by Laura Viera Rigler


Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict coverIn this Jane Austen–inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen’s time.

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney’s borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.

Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman—and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.


Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook Release date:Nov 20, 2007
Number of parts: 6
Duration: 7 hours, 19 minutes
Also available as a trade paperback (29 Apr 2008) and e-book (2 Aug 2007): 304 pages

I listened to this via, a partnership between member libraries, the state and Overdrive, Inc. It was a “borrowed” audio download.  No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own.

Read by: Orlagh Cassidy


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square "my take"There were times during this story that I thought it was just so self-indulgent, so whiny, so 20th-century-girl-needs-to-grow-up. But, on further reflection, I decided that that was one of the major points.  This woman was self-indulgent in her life in the 21st century.  She allowed herself, by admission, to be blinded to her former fiance’s flaws, her whole life was pretty much about her, without consideration of others.  We all have these “rights’ which we sometime wield without thinking of the effect of said rights on others.  Today, if we are small cogs in big machines, the effects of our actions are often hard to see.  But, back in the 19th century she discovers that being self indulgent could ruin, not only her reputation but, by association that of her friends and family.

And, we all have a tendency to dwell on the romantic aspects of the time periods in which the classic and contemporary novels we read are placed and we forget the ruder aspects of life like:

Stinky: people did not bathe or wash clothing as often as we do today. Nor did they have deodorant, deodorizing feminine hygiene products and the variety of products that make our lives so antiseptic and odorless. Granted, people become used to aromas rather fast, so it probably wasn’t as big a deal after a while.

No running water: Chamberpots and dirty bath water.

A lack of rights as women: forget not being able, because of social status, to put your name on your novel, if you were unmarried there wasn’t much you could do unchaperoned and if you married everything you owned when single became your husband’s possession.

No birth control.  Women pretty much had kids as long as they were fertile —  every two years.

So the next time you think of how wonderful Mr. Darcy was, remember that he would probably be better able to afford to bathe and wash his clothing more often, but, he would own whatever you had and do with it what he would as soon as you were married.  His charms might lose their shine without personal freedom.

I thought the reading was rather well done with a nice, clean transition between characters and reasonable, but not over done, accents.

The novel takes a long time to get to the plot, because there is a lot of this interesting time travel stuff to go into.  But, as much as I may have laughed while reading it, there was suggestion repeatedly of a correlation of some sort between Jane’s and Courtney’s friends and acquaintances, but it is too fluffed over, to merely suggested. There’s no actual sex, although one man does get a little frisky and there are allusions to Courtney’s past sexual encounters..  And I did not understand the ending at all, nor some other allusions about halfway through that Courtney/Jane had told stories to the staff. It is supoosed to be about “identity and destiny” but lacks the gravitas for that deep subject matter.  I almost want to read the next book, the story of Jane in Courtney’s body back in the here and now, just to find out!