Confessions Of A Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera RiglerConfessions Of A Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Confessions Of A Jane Austen Addict

byLaurie Viera Rigler

Paperback | April 29, 2008

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After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds 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 in 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. But not even her level of Austen mania has prepared Courtney 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. This looking-glass Austen world is not without its charms, however. There are journeys to Bath and London, balls in the Assembly Rooms, and the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who may not be a familiar species of philanderer after all. But when Courtney’s borrowed brain serves up memories that are not her own, the ultimate identity crisis ensues. Will she ever get her real life back, and does she even want to?
LAURIE VIERA RIGLER's first novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, was a national bestseller. A Life Member of the Jane Austen Society of North America, Laurie teaches writing workshops, including classes at Vroman's, Southern California's oldest and largest independent bookstore.
Title:Confessions Of A Jane Austen AddictFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.96 × 5.33 × 0.65 inPublished:April 29, 2008Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0452289726

ISBN - 13:9780452289727

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Quick Easy Read It's a story playing off many reader's love of Jane Austen but I would say not worth the purchase price. It was a quick, fun read but only library level if you ask me. I wouldn't read it more than once but didn't mind reading it once :)
Date published: 2018-02-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not good company If anyone else out there is thinking of taking on Jane Austen in another chick-lit format, here’s a few thoughts from someone who loves Jane Austen’s novels: Don’t do it! I beg you. For those who love Jane Austen, just keep rereading her novels and don’t waste your time on overwrought, feeble stuff like this. Paul Newman is famous for the comment (when talking about his wife Joanne Woodward) but it applies here, too, “Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?” If you’ve got Jane Austen on your bookshelves, why go out and buy something that’s all ground up like a dog’s breakfast? It’s likely this book sold well when it came out. If you put Jane Austen’s name on any cover, I’m sure it helps, especially if the cover promises more than it delivers. But between the covers, well, it’s a whole other story often, isn’t? This book is proof that being an editor does not automatically make you a writer. And as an editor, it probably wasn’t a smart idea for the author to admit it on the book jacket, especially when her work bristles with writing clichés like clefts in chins, melting eyes - hazel or otherwise - and she’s even put in that ubiquitous lock of hair that seems to fall over every Harlequin hero’s forehead. I kid you not. And she wasn’t either – but it’s hard to tell with all that heavy handed humour -- like naming her heroine “Jane Mansfield”. Groan. I read somewhere there might be a sequel. Yikes. Marketing another slapped together chick-lit book where the characters have no depth, where the story is a limp and pale facsimile of Jane Austen’s -- and the humour is utterly clichéd and ham-fisted – seems to be merely one more attempt to grab more cash using the name and work of a great writer. Jane Austen wrote, “My idea of good company is the company of clever, well-informed people who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.” I am absolutely certain Jane Austen, even with her wry humour and understanding of human frailties, would not for one second, find this book good company.
Date published: 2009-04-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A nice summer reading Although nicely written, the novel lacks the details to be really great. Austen's hardcore fans might find the book to be far from Austen's novels, but even those who have never read Jane Austen can appreciate the book without feeling lost with litterature references. The novel evolves fast and is a light reading, perfect for summer. It would have been nice to hear more about the characters, outside the simple facts that are necessary to the story. Still, I enjoyed reading it.
Date published: 2008-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Actually quite an entertaining read! I found this book to be quite entertaining. The main character finds herself in Jane Austen's time but with her modern-day sensibilities. It seems credible that she would notice smells, the lack of hygiene, and dodgy medical practices, so that part didn't bother me. My only quibble is with the ending, which wasn't as fully realized as it could have been, although this was intentional on the author's part. And I'm happy to say that the author does not spoil the Jane Austen books, for those who haven't read them yet. Definitely worth reading.
Date published: 2008-06-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from American angst in 19th Century England. Beware the Jane Austen in the title! If you love Jane Austen this book is a sad disappointment. An American full of obsessions with body odour, beautiful teeth and self absorbtion trying to write about Regency England is a recipe for disaster. The story premise is quite good, unfortunately not a lot of research went into this book other than re-reading Jane Austen many times over. I did finish it, but wouldn't recommend buying it.
Date published: 2008-05-29

Bookclub Guide

INTRODUCTIONAfter nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds 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 in 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. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney 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, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney’s borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman—and being this other woman is not without its advantages: especially in a looking-glass Austen world. And especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all. ABOUT LAURIE VIERA RIGLERWhen not indulging herself in rereadings of Jane Austen’s six novels, Laurie Viera Rigler is a freelance book editor who teaches writing workshops, including classes at Vroman’s, Southern California’s oldest and largest independent bookstore. Laurie lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. A CONVERSATION WITH LAURIE VIERA RIGLERQ. Why did you choose Jane Austen’s world as the inspiration for your novel?A. Despite my fascination (or let’s be honest, obsession) with all those period details, what really draws me to Jane Austen is that she does, in fact, transcend time. Her all-seeing, all-knowing, take-no-prisoners approach to the follies and flaws of human beings makes her books not only timeless but almost eerily contemporary, despite the bonnets and balls and carriages. It is as if she were a modern-day psychotherapist with a wicked sense of humor who time-traveled back to the Regency and wrote novels about everyone who spent time on her couch.Q. Why are you, and so many others, “Austen addicts”?A. Because the more I read Jane Austen’s six novels, the more I discover about myself and human nature in general. In fact, the Austen canon equates to the best self-help book you could ever have in your library. Feeling self-important? Read Jane Austen. In the midst of an identity crisis? Perhaps, like me, you’ll find a little of yourself in all her heroines. Northanger Abbey’s Catherine Morland, who is addicted to scary novels, dancing, and old houses, reminds me of who I was when I lived in a crumbling Victorian that was said to be haunted, or when I could spend all night in after-hours clubs and still make it to work by nine. Sense and Sensibility’s Marianne Dashwood, she of the tear-rimmed eyes and self-destructive tendencies, is who I was when consuming little more than espresso and Big Gulp–size vodka martinis, and American Spirits was my idea of post-breakup nourishment. Emma is who I am when I get lost in the land of running-your-life-is-so-much-better-than-looking-at-my-own. I still wish I were as eloquent a smartass as Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennet, but the more I venture into the minefield of self-reflection, the more I appreciate Austen’s less incendiary heroines: the quietly steadfast Anne Eliot of Persuasion, and even the iconically timid Fanny Price of Mansfield Park, whom I used to dismiss as a prude.Q. How did your obsession with reading and rereading Austen’s novels lead to writing a novel yourself?A. For me it was an inevitable outcome. I can never get enough of Jane Austen’s six novels, or of the veritable banquet of Austen-inspired movies. There’s Colin Firth fencing and working up a sweat in the BBC’s 1996 Pride and Prejudice, Matthew MacFadyen smoldering in the 2005 version, and Lost’s swoonworthy Naveen Andrews in the Bollywood version. If there were fifty adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, I’d see them all. I’d buy them all. I’d play them all till they started skipping and I had to buy a new one.After all, I am insatiable. Which is why I started writing Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. I could feed my cravings by creating a story of a twenty-first-century party girl who wakes up in the body and life of a woman in Jane Austen’s time. Now, that’s what I call an identity crisis. That’s what I call the perfect excuse to immerse myself in the world of my favorite author.This book, however, grew into a more complex personal journey than I could have imagined. I found myself exploring fundamental questions of identity, destiny, and the nature of time, such as: Can I really be who I think I am if everyone around me thinks I’m someone else? How big a role does free will play in our destiny? And is time really linear, or is there another way to look at it? These are things that are worth pondering, even if one doesn’t wake up in Regency England.Q. How did you research your novel? And what does B.B. King have to do with Jane Austen?A. I read everything I could find on the period, and I traveled. I went to London, to Bath, to little country villages frozen in time. I went to the Assembly Rooms where Anne Eliot longed to catch Captain Wentworth’s eye. I went to conjure the past through the lens of my twenty-first-century protagonist’s mind. While searching for articles on the Internet, I also stumbled across a bunch of Jane-centric groups and fansites. (Apparently there were people as addicted to Austen as I was.) The only group I joined was JASNA, the Jane Austen Society of North America. I never thought of myself as much of a joiner, but they were a scholarly group whose publications were food for my research. Or so I reasoned. So what if some of them liked to dress in period costumes for their annual Regency ball? Was that so wrong? Wouldn’t I like to don an empire-waisted muslin and learn English country dancing and pretend I was Gwyneth Paltrow dancing with Jeremy Northam? The very thought was enough to make me break out in a cold sweat.No, I decided, there was no reason for me to actually attend a JASNA meeting, not even when they blew into LA. for their annual confab. Truth is, I was afraid of being in a room with other people who were not only as obsessed with Austen as I am, but who also had no problem labeling themselves as such. Might it not be like going to an AA meeting and admitting publicly I had a problem? Like my protagonist, I didn’t know if I was ready for that.My husband, however, insisted I go. Alone.After willing myself through the glass doors of the Biltmore Hotel in downtown LA and down the grand columned and chandeliered hallway, I made my way to the JASNA registration table. The women at the table were all giddy about B.B. King, who had apparently just passed by, caught sight of the sign, and said, “Jane Austen! I love Jane Austen!” Thrilled, they gave him a tote bag.Picturing the blues legend carrying around a canary yellow bag emblazoned with the JASNA acronym, it suddenly hit me: If B.B. King could love Jane Austen publicly, couldn’t I?And so I came out of the Janeite closet that weekend. I went to every talk and lecture I could, short of cloning myself so that I could attend three at once. I took English country dance lessons and danced every dance at the ball. Most of all, I met a lot of wonderful people who love to read Jane Austen. Over and over again. And my world’s a better place because of it. DISCUSSION QUESTIONSWould you have handled things differently if you found yourself in Courtney’s/Jane’s situation? Which things would you have done differently? Which things would you have done the same?Had you witnessed my behaviour there, I can hardly suppose you would ever have thought well of me again.— Frank Churchill, in Jane Austen’s EmmaHow does Courtney/Jane use Jane Austen’s novels as a means of making sense of her world? Have you ever turned to your favorite books or films for inner strength, guidance, or comfort?“Oh! it is only a novel!” replies the young lady; while she lays down her book with affected indifference, or momentary shame. It is . . . in short, only some work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language.— Henry Tilney, in Jane Austen’s Northanger AbbeyHow do you interpret the ending of the book?Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.— From Mansfield ParkAside from the societal restrictions on a woman’s mobility, career choices, and living arrangements that Courtney/Jane faced in 1813, have parental, peer, and personal attitudes toward unmarried women fundamentally changed since Jane Austen’s day?Ah! Jane, I take your place now, and you must go lower, because I am a married woman.— Lydia Bennet, in Jane Austen’s Pride and PrejudiceOne of the ways in which Courtney/Jane defines herself is by what she reads. To what extent do we define ourselves by what we read? To what extent do we form our opinions of others based on what they read?The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid. — Henry Tilney, in Jane Austen’s Northanger AbbeyLike Courtney/Jane, have you ever found yourself in a situation where your very concept of who you are was fundamentally challenged?Till this moment, I never knew myself.— Elizabeth Bennet, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.What are the things you think you would enjoy the most about being in Jane Austen’s world? What are the things you might find particularly challenging? Is there anything in the contemporary world that you absolutely could not do without?One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.— Emma Woodhouse, in Jane Austen’s EmmaIf it were possible for you to be someone in Jane Austen’s world, who would you wish to be? Would you prefer a round-trip ticket to that world, or one-way only?The distance is nothing, when one has a motive . . .— Elizabeth Bennet, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

Editorial Reviews

“This frothy take on literary time travel will appeal most to readers well versed in the celebrated author's memorable characters and themes.”—Booklist “[A] delightful comic romp … Jane Austen makes a cameo appearance that is pure pleasure.”—The Times Picayune “[A] charming novel… Rigler writes beautifully… a light and deftly orchestrated visit to 1813.”—Austen Blog   "Confessions is a novel of manners, but with a nifty twist. Laurie Viera Rigler sets the sensibilities of a 21st century L.A. woman against the manners of Regency England to watch the sparks fly. By turns funny, thoughtful, romantic and suspenseful, this engaging story is as brisk and delightful as ‘taking a turn in the shrubbery’ in the company of a handsome gentleman. If you’ve ever fantasized about being a Jane Austen heroine, this is your book."—Judith Ryan Hendricks, author of Bread Alone   “A rich, saucy lark of a book for all of us who have ever looked at our lives and marveled, 'How did I get here?'"—Marisa de los Santos, author of Love Walked In   “Courtney, flung into the past, learns the importance of living in the present even as she challenges our assumptions about identity and memory. I read this wonderful novel in a single sitting; Jane Austen fans will love it!"—Masha Hamilton, author of The Camel Book Mobile   "Rigler evokes the Jane Austen period masterfully, along with the perplexity of a 21st century L.A. woman, Courtney Stone, who lands unexpectedly in the body of a 19th century British woman in a world of chamber pots, chaperones, and different rules about finding true love. Courtney's navigation of the delicate 19th century social scene and her attempts to figure out how to get back to her ‘real’ 21st century life make for a hilarious and affecting, all-around wonderful read."—Ellen Baker, author of Keeping the House   “A devotee of all things Austen… discovers the reality of life in Regency England: rampant body odor, sexual and class repression and a style of medical care involving bloodletting… Despite the smells, little in [her] current lifestyle—including most of the men—can compete with the erotic charge of dancing in a candlelit ballroom.”—USA Today