Sunday, January 25, 2009

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Talk about an out-of-body experience. One moment Courtney Stone is a modern-day L.A. career woman lamenting a lost love; the next she is Jane Mansfield, a well-to-do, willowy (though not particularly buxom, unlike her twentieth-century namesake) lady in nineteenth-century England. What could account for this transplant of time and place? Courtney has no opportunity to ruminate over such matters; she must quickly learn to interact with inhabitants of the brave old world in which she finds herself. There's her mother, determined to marry 30-year-old Jane off to handsome Mr. Edgeworth; her artist father, more inclined to his daughter's free-spirited frame of mind; and faithful servant Miss Barnes, who helps her mistress manage everything from chaperones to corsets. (Thank goodness Jane has read Pride and Prejudice more than a dozen times.) It's not long before Jane finds the lines blurred between her two vastly different selves.

From the moment I received this book in the mail a little over a month ago, I was excited to read it. I love Jane Austen and I love historical novels so I couldn't think of a more perfect book for myself. And let me just say, this book did not disappoint in any way. From beginning to end I was enthralled with the story and the main character. I wanted to see how she, Courtney, was going to handle the next situation that was thrown her way.

The author did a fantastic job creating a story within a world that is commonly read in a different way (i.e. through the Jane Austen novels). I also loved how she was able to have an appearance of Jane Austen in this book, and left me wanting more of her with the next page turn. All of the characters had a decent amount of depth, especially Courtney who I found pleasantly humorous throughout the book as she was trying to adapt into the every day life of Regency England after living in the twenty first century.

Overall I thought this book was well worth the time it took for me to get to it as my anticipation was not let down in the slightest. The book has left me wanting more and I wholeheartedly recommend you to go out and buy yourself a copy, as it is one you will want to read over and over just as Courtney did with Jane Austen's novels.

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