Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict (Hardcover)

By Laurie Viera Rigler

Dutton Adult, 9780525950400, 304pp.

Publication Date: August 2, 2007

Advertisement

Description

Read Laurie Viera Rigler's posts on the Penguin Blog.
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?



About the Author

LAURIE VIERA RIGLER's first novel, "Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict," was a national bestseller. A Life Member of the Jane Austen Society ofNorth America, Laurie teaches writing workshops, including classes atVroman's, Southern California's oldest and largest independentbookstore.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

  1. Would 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?
  2. How 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?
  3. How do you interpret the ending of the book?
  4. Aside 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?
  5. One 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?
  6. Like Courtney/Jane, have you ever found yourself in a situation where your very concept of who you are was fundamentally challenged?
  7. 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?
  8. If 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?
Advertisement