Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler is more a parallel story to the hugely popular Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict than a sequel and it was awesome! It was funny, witty, and ever so charming. I was completely captivated by Jane’s adventures as Courtney in the modern world.
A little background is in order I think. In Confessions, Courtney ends up in Jane’s world in the 1800’s and struggles to find her way there and it was a series of hilarious happenings that kept me laughing. In Rude Awakenings, Jane Mansfield ends up in Courtney’s world which is our world now and Jane is none to happy with how things seem to have changed. She doesn’t seem to have a servant, men are coming into her room, and oh my—the clothes—they don’t cover your whole body. One of the most hilarious scenes for me was when Jane/Courtney is putting on underwear…
- ‘One of the garments is bright pink with three large openings; the other consists of two bowl-shaped pieces of fabric in a pale yellow, connected with strips of fabric and decorated with lace and embroidery of the same color. Anna hands me the yellow article; I turn it this way and that. Ah. I could fit one of the bowls inside the other and — yes that must be it. I place the bowl-like sections upon my head and attempt to tie the strips of fabric under my chin.’ (pg 22/23)
Jane had wanted to escape the rigidness of her own life and well she certainly succeeded when she ended up waking up in this one. The story takes us through Jane trying to accustom herself to our world. Think about it, she’s never seen tv, dvd’s, cars—any number of what we consider modern conveniences. When she finds Pride & Prejudice playing in the glass window she is fascinated. I think though she’s most surprised at the apparent lack of morals people have in this day compared to her time and she feels very conflicted over that.
The real Courtney’s friends Anna and Paula think she’s off her rocker. That hit on the head in the pool really mixed up her marbles. Then there’s Courtney’s ex Frank and the whole scandal there involving Wes. With Wes, she just doesn’t know what to think. She still can’t come to terms with having a man in her apartment unchaperoned but she sure does like having him around but apparently he lied to Courtney so that’s just one messed up situation too.
As time passes, Jane/Courtney becomes more used to life in this new world and she’s liking it. For the first time in her life she has independence, her own place and privacy —something she’s always craved and she learns that she can get a job, make money and take care of herself. This novel is a delightful look at our world through the eyes of a nineteen century Jane Austen addict.
While this story is witty and funny and very entertaining, Laurie’s wonderful writing style shines through. I always seem to find myself falling into her books and losing myself for a while and for me that’s the purpose of a good book. I have another favorite quote from the book to leave you with…
- ‘What makes a story true is that there is the truth of human nature and self-reflection in it, the awareness and the awakening to the fact that we indeed know nothing and that nothing we think is true is really true, that indeed we have made it all up.’ (pg 109)
A huge thank you goes out to Laurie for sending me her newest novel Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict. I hope this isn’t the end of the line for either Jane or Courtney but whatever Laurie chooses to write about next, I’m sure it’ll be just as awesome as this novel is! Make sure and pop over to Laurie’s website here, she’s got a really great site. Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict releases tomorrow, June 25, so be sure to check it out! You can purchase the book here in the US and here in Canada. Oh, and keep an eye out about mid-July, there just may be a surprise coming up.