By Laurie Viera Rigler
Dutton/Penguin Books Ltd.
I know, I know, you're getting sick of me reading books with "Jane Austen" in the title. It's an addiction, I swear. I love love love all things Jane Austen (and, to be quite honest, all things Bronte as well). So whenever I see a novel that mentions Jane Austen by name, I always snatch it up.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict had a great, although not all that original, premise. What happens when a lover of all things Austen wakes up in Mansfield Park? Is it a dream? She pinches herself to be sure, feels the pinch but still doesn't awaken. Now what? Courtney Stone is stuck. Stuck in world which she has always loved but never visited before, but now she can't get out.
Courtney stumbles through the rituals put upon her by pre-Victorian society as she contemplates her new-found circumstances. The uncomfortable attire, the formal language, and the role of a single woman in this place are all new to Courtney. There are some really funny moments in the book involving blood-letting, chamber pots and "the vapors". It was a fun read!
Even though I really enjoyed the book I'm only giving it 3.5 bookmarks because of the lack of originality. The author "borrows" so many storylines from actual Austen novels that it leaves you questioning her creativity. It seemed like every other page I was saying to myself, "oh yeah, I remember that from 'Pride and Prejudice'", or something along those lines. I'm all for not reinventing the wheel when it comes to many things in life, but novel-writing is not one of them.