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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Book Review - Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict
by Laurie Viera Rigler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've read quite a few novels where a Jane Austen fan gets somehow magically transported into the age/world of the writer, finally able to experience and judge for herself the intricacies of the manners, the confining nature of the beautiful gowns, and the difficult manuevering through relationships of the time. I kind of thought this was another of those books when I grabbed it.
And it is, sort of. But surprisingly enough, the transported fan from today is not the focus of the story. Instead, our protagonist is the woman from Auten's time who is moved forward to inhabit the body of the fan sent back. And what a perplexing world to fall into with cell phones and internet and Pride and Prejudice on DVD. She has to navigate through a world where cars race at speeds she'd never imagined, where waking up with a man in her apartment is - strangely to her - not a horrible affront to her friends. It is our world, familiar as it is to us, and it is completely foreign to her.
Watching a reader navigate a strange world is what I expected, but this particular version of it makes me realize just how far our world has come, and how equally difficult it would be for a woman of the past to come to terms with today's life. Not to mention that the life she is saddled with isn't an easy one. The bills are due, overdue in some cases, and the only shot at income is at a job she can't fathom for a boss who is rude and impatient at the best of times. Her wedding has recently been called off, due to her fiance cheating on her, though he seems determined to sleep with her again, just for fun. And to top it all off, her best male friend and she are adrift. In order to get back to her own life, she believes she has to set this one in order. But once things are working, will she *want* to leave?
Fun, distracting read for Austen fans and chicklit fans alike.