For a Well-bred Regency Lady 2009 is Definitely a Rude Awakening!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
What a befitting title for this companion novel to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Instead of reading about Courtney Stone’s experience in 1813 Regency England, we encounter Jane Mansfield, a well-bred Regency lady, waking up to find that it is the year 2009 and that she is in Courtney Stone’s body and apartment located in Los Angeles, California. Jane finds this inexplicable transformation to be a very rude awakening indeed, yet, not an unwelcome one… She is now the proud owner of six Jane Austen novels instead of two, can take luxurious showers with running water, and doesn’t have to live with her overbearing mother!
Jane learns that she has switched lives with Courtney for a purpose and that purpose is to fix the mess that is Courtney’s life. Courtney was avoiding her former best friend, Wes, who she believes to have betrayed her; mourning the loss of her cheating exfiance, Frank; and working for a unsympathetic, tyrannizing jerk. Jane sets about to restore order and happiness to Courtney’s life, and what ensues is an entertaining and lively excursion of how a 19th century woman endures being transplanted into 21st century.
Jane was a very likable heroine, I enjoyed her innocence and astonishment with all things modern. Laura Viera Rigler excellently portrayed Jane’s impressions and confusion with the 21st century covering everything from cellphones and electricity to living in a tiny apartment alone without any servants. Jane is an endearing character that the reader cannot but help fall in love with. The same could be said for Wes; I fell in love with adorable, kind, and considerate Wes. In addition, I enjoyed the tension and angst Laura Viera Rigler created in his relationship with Courtney. Even though he is very grateful to be back in Courtney’s life, he fears that it is only a matter of time before she remembers what he’s done wrong and gives him the boot.
Like in Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, there were scenes with the fortune teller and a lot of time was devoted to explaining how and why Courtney and Jane switched bodies. Again, this seemed to be a little too complex and I would have enjoyed a shorter explanation for it all. In addition, I sometimes felt these passages created more questions instead of answering them.
If you are in the mood for something “light, bright, and sparkling,” then look no further! I found this to be such a delightful and diverting series, and Laura Viera Rigler is a very talented and witty author. I highly recommend that if you do read these books, that you be sure to read both of them, and that you read Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict prior to reading Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict.