Review : Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Pages : 288
Genre : Austen Fiction, Chick Lit
My Rating : 

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?

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. Especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.

I first read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict last year, when it finally came out in paperback. I remember reading it almost completely in one sitting, enjoying its light humor and predictable-but-adorable plot. As a fan of both Jane Austen and time travel, this book was exactly what I was looking for after a stressful semester. Until I hit the ending.

Honestly, I couldn’t remember an ending that had brought more unsatisfaction. I thought it didn’t answer any question, and I felt like I was missing a big part of the story! Completely frustrated, I decided I hated the book, shoved it at the back of my bookcase and forgot about it.

Little did I know that the author was then working on a second novel that would probably answer my questions and doubts! So, of course, I had to re-read the first book before I read the second. All I could remember of it was that frustrating ending. Based on that sole memory, I wouldn’t have given this book more than 2 stars.

As it turns out, this book was in fact a very fun and quick read. Suspend your disbelief and this is quite an interesting travel. Even though Courtney is unbelievably unaware of the social context for a Jane Austen addict, she offered a fresh look on the period and was entertaining to follow around. One of my favorite aspects of the story was Courtney’s quest to discovering what happened in Jane Mansfield’s life before she took over her body.

I just started reading the second book, Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen addict, and I’m really glad I didn’t gave up on this one. I still find the first book’s ending a little irritating, but I can forgive it now that I have the next book (which, from what I heard, holds a better explanation and ending!)

What about you : have you ever encountered such an ending that it changed your complete perception of the book – whether it was positively or negatively? Can an unsatisfying book be forgiven by a wonderful ending – or, on the opposite, a bad ending excused by an otherwise great story?

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10 responses to “Review : Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict”

  1. Meghan says :

    That’s exactly how I felt about this book! Loved it up until the ending, which totally let me down. You will have to let me know if Rude Awakenings solves the problem!

  2. diaryofaneccentric says :

    This book has been on my shelf for a while, but I haven’t read it yet. It stinks that the ending isn’t great on its own, but at least the second book is out so I can read them back to back. Thanks for the review.

    –Anna

  3. bermudaonion says :

    This and Rude Awakenings both sound like light, fun reads to me.

  4. Amy Reads Good Books says :

    I’ll have to check these out! I feel like I read it, but perhaps it was something similar. Now I need to see!

  5. Staci says :

    I have this book to read!! Can’t wait now and I will be able to go to book #2 right away!!

  6. Megan says :

    I’m right here with you, Kay! I’m almost finished with Rude Awakenings Of A Jane Austen Addict, and I’m loving it so much more than Confessions, which I thought was good though I really disliked the unresolved ending. Like you, I’m so glad I picked up the next book… and I’m happy to say how much I’m loving it!

    My problem is this… should we have to feel like we need to get the next book in a series in order to appreciate the first, or should the book just be great based on its own merits? When I read the first, I had no idea that a second was in the works… and was really frustrated by it. But when I found out Rigler was writing a second novel, I seemed to relax a bit, feeling like my questions would be answered.

    Now that I’m finishing Rude Awakenings and getting Jane’s perspective on everything — including what happened to her in England, and what really happened to Courtney in California — I’m feeling like I need to go back and read Confessions again!

    OK, this was super long 🙂 And to answer your question at the end, I don’t think a mediocre book can be saved by a good ending… though I definitely feel like a great book can be wrecked by a terrible conclusion (that’s how I feel about The Friday Night Knitting Club!)

  7. kay says :

    I really hope all of you will enjoy it! It’s a perfect read for summer if you’re looking for something light and fun! 🙂

    Megan : I’m not finished with Rude Awakenings yet but it shouldn’t be long, it’s a great book! I was a little worried about Jane’s perception of the “future”, but I find the author did an amazing job with it! I’m glad I re-read Confessions just before thought, it helps understanding the story.

    To answer your question, I think that once you know there is a second book, the first book’s ending it a lot more enjoyable. It resolved some of the issues while keeping some aspects mysterious for the sequel. But like you, the first time I read Confessions I was really frustrated!

    (Oh, and I did remember your reaction to The Friday Night Knitting Club, I even thought of you while writing the question 😉 )

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