Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto
As much fun as Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict was, Laurie Viera Rigler’s second novel, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, is even more so. Rude Awakenings makes for the perfect summer escape as Jane Mansfield’s adventures in the 21st century will have readers laughing out loud.
After a riding accident, Jane Mansfield, a gentleman’s daughter from 1820s England, wakes up to find her room has changed and her trusty maid Barnes is nowhere in sight. What she does find, though, is a noisy box that will not be quiet until she whacks it, another box that is letting her see the characters in her favorite novel, Pride and Prejudice, and a cute man named Wes. He acts awfully familiar but does not seem to a relation, yet does not seem to be a servant either. As more people arrive, Jane discovers that she has awoken in the body of Courtney Stone, a 32-year-old single girl in modern Los Angeles. Her life becomes a whirlwind as she adjusts to living in 2009 and being an independent woman – something she could only have dreamed of during her life two centuries ago. She also finds herself falling for a man her friends dislike, but how can she ignore the new ability to actually choose a mate for love rather than for his station in life?
I have read a few time-travel stories where characters from the past come to the present and are startled over new inventions, but seem to adapt rather quickly, which I always found rather unrealistic. Rigler does not do this in Rude Awakenings, which is what makes it such an amazing book. Jane literally has to learn how everything works, and what she is eventually able to do, such as typing or driving, is explained by cellular memory from Courtney’s body. It takes the whole novel for Jane to adapt to current social mores (and she is still not totally there at the end), so this adds further doses of realism and humor to the story. Jane is also an extremely likeable character and the reader instantly sympathizes with her in her plight (although still laughing at some of the things she does) and soon starts rooting for her to finally connect with her new crush.
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict is a perfect escapist read, great for the summer. While it can be a standalone, it makes more sense when being read after Confessions. However, you do not have to have read any Jane Austen to enjoy this spectacular story by Laurie Viera Rigler.<< Back