I finished Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (my third item for the Everything Austen challenge) this week. Here is the blurb from the publisher:
After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up to find herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?
Not only is Courtney stuck inside another woman’s life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. For her borrowed body knows how to speak without slaying the King’s English, dance without maiming her partner, and embroider as if possessed by actual domestic skill.
But not even Courtney’s level of Austen mania has prepared her for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condom-less seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, a suitor who may turn out not to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.
Confessions was a nice, quick read. I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it (I really wanted to love it since I planned on doing a giveaway, but it is what it is). The first-person narrator took a long time to get used to (I don’t like being stuck in people’s heads), but the idea is interesting. How many of us Austen fans have not dreamed of living in Regency England and attending balls, being courted by rich suitors, and traveling to Bath. But in these fantasies, have any of us considered the harsg realities – how do you bathe? what happens when you get your period? how are you treated when you are sick? These are the things Courtney experiences (along with the balls and the suitors and Bath). It made me glad that I can sit in my 21st century apartment reading about Jane Austen’s era instead of actually experiencing it.
And now for the giveaway!
Since Everything Austen is all about the giveaways, I will be giving away my copy of Confessions of a Jane Austen addict to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment below saying one thing you would do (or dread doing) if you woke up in Regency England. For an extra entry, tweet about it or mention it in a blog post and let me know. The contest will be open until the end of the month (Midnight EDT November 30) and is open to international readers. I will announce the winner in my November Books post. Good luck!