by Laurie Viera Rigler
Our heroine, Courtney, wakes up in “Jane’s” body in 1813 England. Jane had just been in an accident so luckily Courtney’s initial confusion upon waking creates no lasting damage or suspicion from Jane’s mother or the maid. Courtney has been unlucky in love in the 21st century and had been self-medicating in all books and adaptations Austen. Will she fare better as Jane in the Austen’s England? Or will she cause irrevocable damage for Jane from her lack of fully understanding and appreciating the nuances and mores of the time?
It was fun. It was pure escapism. It opened my eyes to living in a world where they didn’t know about germs and contagion. Ok, well it made me think about it. Courtney was a bit disappointing with all her blundering and disregard for propriety even though she seemed to have read each Austen book more times than she could count. Though, it does comment on our daydreams and escape fantasies doesn’t it? A pretty big case of the grass is always greener… Courtney has been dreaming of escaping to Austen’s England to find a “real man” and live a better life. But once she is there, life isn’t as simple or as easy as she imagined.
Also, Courtney seems very young as she has to learn everything the hard way, from experience. But if you can get over her trying to change her “lucid dream” by shouting at everyone that they aren’t who they say they are, the rest of the stuff helps the plot move forward. Luckily, she does end up learning from her mistakes.
All in all, I enjoyed the book, though it did make me want to rewatch BBC’s Pride & Prejudice (Colin Firth mmmmm), and I would recommend it to others who enjoy the books that mess with Austen, there are so many these days! Particulary if you want something light-hearted that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If so, be sure to open the pages and go on this romp through 19th century England. 3 stars.