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All About Romance Novels

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict

Laurie Viera Rigler
2009, Time Travel Fiction
Dutton, $25.95, 289 pages, Amazon ASIN 0525950761
Part of a series

Grade: B+
Sensuality: Subtle

In most time travel novels, a person from the present travels to the past. Usually that person has at least some knowledge of the place and time where he finds himself and is not totally lost at sea. But what would happen if a young woman went to bed in England in 1813 and woke up in Los Angeles in 2009? That’s what happens to Jane Mansfield in Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.

Jane is used to being awakened by her maid, Barnes who gently draws the curtains and brings in a cup of tea or chocolate. So what is that terrible noise coming from the box with glowing numbers on it? Why is the bed so low? What is that glare? Where is Barnes, and where is she ?!

Jane is in the bedroom and body of Courtney Stone in Los Angeles, California in 2009. (In Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Courtney finds herself in Jane’s body in 19th century England). Jane is bedazzled, especially when two young women and a man come into her bedroom and introduce themselves. They seem to be her friends – and a man in her bedroom?! Evidently this Courtney woman hit her head while swimming and they decide Jane’s odd speech and actions are the result of a head injury, but to make certain, they get her dressed (she thinks the bra is a bonnet) and take her to the doctor in an odd horseless carriage they call a car.

I’ll leave you to discover the rest of the book on your own, and it is a delightful book. Laurie Viera Rigler does not belabor the fish out of water aspects – this is no farce. Instead it is a study of how a stranger to a society functions while she learns the Rules. Every society has rules that people follow and some of them are so ingrained that we don’t think of them until an outsider like Jane comes along to point them out. Jane was a bit of an outsider in her own society and as the book goes along, she manages to fit into our society with surprising ease.

I would recommend you read Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict in conjunction with in Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, to get the full experience. I love Jane Austen’s novels dearly, and am only now getting into the large collection of Austen-related spinoffs. I don’t see how any of them could top this charming book. I loved it to pieces.

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