Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Book review

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Bloomsbury (2011) ‘7.99.

Reviewed by Jan Edwards

The title pretty much sums up the plot. Jane Mansfield, an ardent Jane Austen fan circa 1813 wakes up as 21st century Jane Austen fan, Courtney Stone, living in the LA of 2011. Or did Courtney really just lose her memory and slide into a fantasy Austen persona after hitting her head in the swimming pool?

The premise is one of 19th C Jane with all the usual innocence and skills of a fan-flapping 19th century debutante, swapping places with 21st century Courtney, a film exec’s PA.

There are plot devices here that leave you wondering if we are following Jane or Courtney, such as meetings with the Gypsy fortune teller in a down town bar, and slippage into Jane’s old life. In the end I am not sure I cared very much as I could not see it as anything more than a rather anaemic role reversal of the TV programme Lost in Austen. It’s not badly written, but is basically a rather slight romance, with not enough input from the ‘Courtney’ side of the equation to persuade me that it has real fantasy credentials.

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. Bloomsbury (2011) ‘7.99.

Reviewed by Jan Edwards

The title pretty much sums up the plot. Jane Mansfield, an ardent Jane Austen fan circa 1813 wakes up as 21st century Jane Austen fan, Courtney Stone, living in the LA of 2011. Or did Courtney really just lose her memory and slide into a fantasy Austen persona after hitting her head in the swimming pool?

The premise is one of 19th C Jane with all the usual innocence and skills of a fan-flapping 19th century debutante, swapping places with 21st century Courtney, a film exec’s PA.

There are plot devices here that leave you wondering if we are following Jane or Courtney, such as meetings with the Gypsy fortune teller in a down town bar, and slippage into Jane’s old life. In the end I am not sure I cared very much as I could not see it as anything more than a rather anaemic role reversal of the TV programme Lost in Austen. It’s not badly written, but is basically a rather slight romance, with not enough input from the ‘Courtney’ side of the equation to persuade me that it has real fantasy credentials.