Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict: A Novel

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict: A Novel

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by Laurie Viera Rigler
     
 

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

The time-bending parallel tale to the national bestseller Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

In Laurie Viera Rigler's first novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, twenty­first-century Austen fan Courtney Stone found herself in Regency England occupying the body of one

Overview

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

The time-bending parallel tale to the national bestseller Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

In Laurie Viera Rigler's first novel, Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, twenty­first-century Austen fan Courtney Stone found herself in Regency England occupying the body of one Jane Mansfield- with comic and romantic consequences. Now, in Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict, Jane Mansfield awakens in the urban madness of twenty-first-century L.A.-in Courtney's body. With no knowledge of Courtney's life, let alone her world-with its horseless carriages and shiny glass box in which tiny figures act out her favorite book, Pride and Prejudice-Jane is over her head. Especially when she falls for a handsome young gentleman. Can a girl from Regency England make sense of a world in which kissing and flirting and even the sexual act raise no matrimonial expectations?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This delightful sequel to Rigler's Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict has 19th-century Jane Mansfield switching bodies and milieus with contemporary L.A. girl Courtney Stone. As Jane grasps the idea that she's a different person in an unimaginable world, and grapples with the radically liberal social mores, dress and language, she leans on Jane Austen's novels as touchstones to reality. Kate Reading performs the first-person narration with a cultured tones and accent befitting an upper-class Regency-era young lady. Her skill as a versatile voice performer becomes evident as dialogue introduces modern American characters, and she skillfully modulates her accent, dialect and tones to accommodate them. The romantically suspenseful story and the entertaining vocal interpretation will keep romance listeners enthralled and amused. A Dutton hardcover. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Kate Reading's pitch and accent are spot-on as Jane's cultivated British internal voice.... Reading also shifts smoothly from Jane's thoughts to Courtney's actual L.A. American speaking voice." —-AudioFile

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780452296169
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/27/2010
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
638,287
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

One

A piercing sound, like a ship's horn but higher, shriller, shakes my frame. I open one eye, then the other; the lids seem stuck together. From a gap in the curtains a tiny, knife-thin strip of light slices the darkness.

I clap my hands over my ears, but the sound is relentless. As is the pain. It feels as if an entire regiment of soldiers marches behind my eyes.

"Barnes?" My voice is a faint croak, too weak for Barnes to hear. No matter; she will of course be roused by the high-pitched horn. Only a corpse could sleep through such a cacophony.

Why hasn't Barnes put a stop to that blasted noise? I fumble for the bell pull behind me, but my hand feels only bare wall. Odd. I shall have to get out of bed and find Barnes myself.

I swing my legs over the side of the bed; they hit the floor instead of dangling a few inches above it. Could a headache make one's bed seem lower than it is? The worst of my headaches have been heralded by broken rainbows of light before my eyes, but never have I experienced such a lowering sensation. Lowering indeed. I can almost laugh at my facility with words this morning, despite the sorry state of my head. And my ears. How harsh and insistent is that sound.

My feet touch bare wood floor instead of the woven rug in its customary place. And my bed shoes? Not there. I fumble in the dark and crash my right hip into a great lump of wood; blast it all to—I clench my teeth in an effort not to scream. This is enough punishment to put even the punster in me to rest. Barnes must be rearranging furniture again. Except—

There are numbers, glowing red, on top of the offending lump of wood. 8 0 8. What is this wondrous thing? The numbers are in some sort of a box, the front of it smooth and cold beneath my fingertips; the top of it scored and bumpy. I run my fingers over the bumps, and the shrill sound stops. Oh, thank heaven.

Blessed silence. I move toward the thin strip of light to open the curtains wide; surely the sun's rays shall reveal the source of this odd geographic puzzle that has become my room. But instead of the thick velvet nap of the curtains that have hung on my windows these five years at least, my hands grasp what feels like coarse burlap. Perhaps Barnes slipped in early and exchanged them so that she could beat the dust from the velvet ones. First the rearrangement of furniture, then this. I have never known her to engage in such haphazard housekeeping.

I grasp the edges of the burlap curtains—why are my hands shaking? I pull them open.

There are iron bars on my window.

I hear myself gasp. This is not, cannot, be my window. Indeed, as I wheel around to take in the space behind me, I see that this is not my room. Head pounding, I survey the tall, unornamented chest of drawers; the wide, low bed devoid of hangings; the box with the glowing numbers atop the chest. There is no pink marble fireplace, no armoire, no dressing table. There is, however, a low table bearing a large, rectangular box made mostly of glass and a shiny-smooth, gray material that I have never seen before.

My knees shake, almost buckling under me. I must move to the bed; just a minute of sitting down will be a restorative.

I sink down atop a tangle of bedclothes, and the glass box roars to life.

I jump back, clutching the covers. There are small figures talking and dancing inside the glass box. Who are they? Is this some sort of window? The figures are small, so they must be some distance away. Yet I can distinguish their words and their features as clearly as if they were right in the room with me. How can this be?

"I remember hearing you once say," says the beautiful lady in the window to the gentleman dancing with her, "that you hardly ever forgave. That your resentment, once created, was implacable. You are very careful, are you not, in allowing your resentment to be created?"

The gentleman dancing with her says, "I am."

"And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?" asks the lady.

"I hope not," says the gentleman. May I ask to what these questions tend?"

"Merely to the illustration of your character," says she. "I'm trying to make it out."

I know these words—I have read them! It is the Netherfield Ball from my favorite book, Pride and Prejudice, and the gentleman and lady are Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet. To think that Elizabeth and Darcy are real people, and that I am watching them, right now, through a window! This is something I cannot explain, nor can I make sense of the fact that they are apparently far away yet completely distinguishable.

I shall call out to the lady and see if she can solve the mystery. "I beg your pardon, Miss Bennet. We have not been introduced, but I seem to be your neighbor, and I am lost. Can you hear me?"

But the brightly lit figures in the window make no sign of having heard me, though I continue to hear their conversation as clearly as if they were right here in the room with me.

I reach out my hand to the glass box and touch its hard, shiny surface. I tap on the glass to see if I can get the attention of the figures inside; no luck. I move my face closer to the glass to see if I can get a better look, but indeed the figures look flatter and less real somehow the closer I am to the window. How very curious.

But that is not the worst of it. Odder still is the sound of my own voice, which is, as a matter of fact, not my voice at all.

"Hello? Miss Bennet?" I say, marveling at the tone and accent of what issues from my own mouth, and not at this point expecting Miss Bennet to hear me. The voice is not my own, the accent having hints of something almost of Bristol and perhaps a bit like Captain Stevens sounded when he was imitating people who lived in the Americas. How incensed my mother would be if she could hear me speak like a barbaric American. Delightful thought.

I glance around the strange room again, and at the glass window with the people from Pride and Prejudice conversing with one another as if I were not here trying to get their attention, and all at once I understand: Of course. I am having a dream. Nothing like the other dreams I have had in which I also knew I was dreaming, but a dream nevertheless. What a relief to know that I do not have to ascertain where I am or find my way back to my own room; all I have to do is wake up.

In the meantime, I shall divert myself by finding out if Barnes is here, and, if so, where; surely she would delight as much as I in the wondrous sight and sound of Lizzy and Darcy dancing in the glass rectangle.

I shall put on my dressing gown and explore. Where might the gowns be kept? I open a door, revealing at least two yards of hanging garments, none of which look like my own clothes. I pull out a long, filmy, sashed thing; it might do. If only there were a looking-glass.

Ah, there it is; on the other side of the door to this vast repository of garments. I pull open the door and see a petite, pale-haired young woman in the glass. She and I gasp in unison. I wheel around, for the woman must be behind me, but there is only the empty room. Except for Miss Bennet and Mr. Darcy, that is.

I turn back to the mirror and the truth literally stares me in the face: I am looking at my own reflection.

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From the Publisher
"Kate Reading's pitch and accent are spot-on as Jane's cultivated British internal voice.... Reading also shifts smoothly from Jane's thoughts to Courtney's actual L.A. American speaking voice." —-AudioFile

Meet 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.

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Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Jane Mansfield dreamed of escaping the confines of the Regency era aristocracy. So when she hears strange noises and wonders why Barnes the Butler has not silenced the source, she is shocked because she went to bed in 1813 and now finds herself in some place she never heard of: Los Angeles, California. Besides the eerie red digits, she looks into a mirror but what she sees reflected is not her. Worse Jane finds her abode is a dumpy apartment instead of gardens and servants. She explores the tiny box of a home and realizes the "occupant" Courtney Stone, like her, is (or is that was or will be) a Jane Austen fan. So far that is the only connection Jane can find. Jane is a bit frightened and knows she is spoiled but likes the music, the in door lighting and plumbing, the variety of cold and icy food , the freedom of loose clothing and especially the container holding tiny actors portraying Pride and Prejudice. She is taken aback with her attraction to Courtney Stone's friend Wes and the woman's former fiancé Frank. The biggest stunner is sex does not mean compromise and marriage so with Austen's novel to assist her in making it in this weird L.A., Jane Mansfield tries to figure out how to fit in modern American society. This is the opposite direction of that of CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, in which an Internet era Southern California woman went to Austen's Regency period. RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT is a fun tale of "survival". The reactions of Courtney's friends to Jane's behavior including her diction makes the tale fun to read starting when she arrogantly informs Wes that her name is Jane Mansfield and he retorts in disbelief referring to the acting legend. Fans of Ms. Austen will enjoy the second switch as an early nineteenth century aristocratic transplant tries to make it in Los Angeles. Harriet Klausner
Laurel_Ann More than 1 year ago
In the parallel story to best selling Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, Jane Mansfield a gentleman's daughter from 1813 is mysteriously transported into the body of twenty-first century Los Angelean Courtney Stone. Jane awakens with a headache, but it will take more than aromatic vinegar to solve her problems. Where is she? Her surroundings are wholly unfamiliar to the usual comforts of her parent's palatial Manor house in Somerset. Is she dreaming? She remembers a tumble off her horse Belle, but nothing after that point. She looks in the mirror and the face reflected back is not her own. How can this be? A young man named Wes arrives who calls her Courtney. Is he a servant? Who is Courtney? Ladies arrive for a visit concerned by her odd behavior. Why is she acting like a character in a Jane Austen novel? Jane is indeed a stranger in a strange land. As her friends, or Courtney's friends Paula, Anna and Wes, help her navigate through the technology of cell phones, CD players, washing machines and other trappings of our modern life it becomes les taxing. She relishes her privacy and independence to do as she chooses, indulging in reading the four new (to her) novels by Jane Austen that she discovers on Courtney's bookshelf - one passion/addiction that she shares in common with her over the centuries. Between Jane Austen's keen insights and the fortune teller called "the lady", she might be able to make sense of this nonsensical world she has been thrown into.The lady tells her she has work to do to put Courtney's life in order. Jane only wants to return to her former life and Charles Edgeworth, the estranged beau she left behind. Seeing our modern world from Jane's nineteenth century eyes was quite revealing. I do not think that I will ever look at a television screen again without remembering her first reaction to the glass box with tiny people inside talking and dancing like characters from Pride and Prejudice! These quirky insights are what Rigler excels at, and her Regency era research and knowledge of Jane Austen plays out beautifully. We truly understand Jane's reactions and sympathize with her frustrations. Not only is Rude Awakenings a comedy of lifestyle comparisons across the centuries, it supplies a very interesting look at modern courtship and romance with a bit of genteel feminisms thrown in for good measure. Interestingly, what principals and standards that Jane learned in the nineteenth century, will straighten out Courtney's mixed up twenty-first century life at home, work and in her budding romance with Wes. Rude Awakenings is a cheeky comedy with a message. Like Jane Austen's novel Persuasion, it helps us to look at mistakes in our past, and reminds us that "time is fleeting, and few of us are fortunate enough to notice that there is always another chance at happiness." I enjoyed the humor, fondly remembering why I became a Jane Austen Addict in the first place. Laurel Ann, Austenprose
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Continuations including p d james. Does anyone know if the pbs mini series was based on these two books where the two exchange places in own bodies and the future gal marries darcey but eliz refuses to come back and becomes a nanny
PanolaJD More than 1 year ago
This second Austen Addict book continues with the flip story of Jane and Courtney: Book #1 followed Courtney's new life as Jane in 1813 England and, this one, Book #2 now follows Jane's new life as Courtney in 2009 America. The concept of these books is simple . . . imagine waking up in the life of another. Yet, the twist is, this new life isn't in a time or place you're familiar with or even accustomed to. Thus, Jane trades her life of a well established family, close friends, dependable servants, stable home, prearranged future for one of a single modern lady with emotional baggage in a new world of free will "with inflexible lines between different spheres of society" (pg 215); where she must now find her own way and make her own choices. Having already enjoyed Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict, I was prepared for the comical ciaos that ensues after Jane wakes up in her new life. Unlike Jane, who suffers a horrible fall off her horse Belle, our modern Courtney fatally knocks her head on the bottom of a swimming pool; easily convincing those surrounding her that she's suffering from amnesia. Now Jane not only has to learn the strange futuristic ins and outs from her friends, but she also has to hide her on-going awe of her new modern surroundings while immersing herself in electronics and L.A.'s culture. I found myself enjoying seeing the world through Jane's eyes. Expect a lot of detailed descriptions since the names of modern devices doesn't quickly come to Jane, so it became almost a game in guessing just what she would discover next. Unfortunately, it could be a little too descriptive at times, but never too annoying to throw off continuing with the story. I also enjoyed the many personal lessons Jane learned during her awakening as Courtney. From everyone deserving a second chance in life to decreasing some of her previous airs/essence of arrogance by questioning if earning an honest labor was undignified for herself. Jane really comes out of her protected Regency-style shell throughout Rude Awakenings and does A LOT of internal debate about herself and what good, if any, she's doing in the future world. "Why did I have to inherit such a disordered life?" (pg 170) was a thought Jane kept going back to, but eventually she learns the past has little consequence on her future choices and she decides to focus on the present and enjoy/accept her helpful friends, all the clever twenty-first-century devices, and her splendid book collection. I'm still undecided as to which book out of the two was my favorite, since each was highly enjoyable and had its funny moments, but I feel Rude Awakenings was a little more well rounded overall. Yet, after finishing both, I felt a little sorry for the main characters since if you step back from the story itself, Jane/Courtney was never really happy with their own lives and they needed to be placed in another existence to fully develop a different point of view and acceptance. So, they never really solved their own situations, just worked on someone else troubles by walking in a different pair of shoes. Must be nice to escape all together, but would it be worth giving up everything you've ever known for a different life? These ladies were given that chance, but in the end, they were stuck with it as well. Sure the book claims "there is nothing nobler than to give up one's life in service for another" (pg 108) but switching bodies is a high
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Heather Tankersley More than 1 year ago
As a Jane Austen addict myself, I enjoy and appreciate the references. A great, easy rainy day read.
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kuhlcat More than 1 year ago
Apparently there's a, well, not really a prequel, but, I guess what I'm trying to say is that this book is a continuation of another-- Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. Being the rebel that I am, I read the second one first. Actually, my parents gave me the second one for my birthday, and I had no idea... Wow, sorry for the babbling! I guess my point is that I just finished reading this one and it was cute. I didn't have to have read the first one first, I could keep up with the events in the book without the prequel. The first one is about a 21st century independent woman, Courtney Stone, going back in time to the Regency Era, and this one that I read concerns the woman she kicks out of her body, Jane Mansfield, who leaves 1813 and enters the leftover 2009 body. There's the usual amazement at the "carriages without horses" and the ignorance about how to use a phone, but it's told in Jane Austen language, so the reader really feels as though she's inside Jane Mansfield's head (well, actually Courtney Stone's head, since Jane is inhabiting Courtney's body...wow that's confusing...). The characters that surround Jane are amusing; the punkish type Paula with pink and blue striped hair and Frank, the two-timing flirt who claims to want "Courtney" back. I liked Deepa, too, but sometimes I felt their relationship went beyond friendship and I almost felt as though Jane would have to deal with a lesbian crush as well...which would have definitely put a twist on the story! While this book will never be in the same caliber as actual Jane Austen novels, it was entertaining enough to keep me on the couch reading. I enjoyed the storyline and though it sounds like it could be confusing, it's not. The style is flowing and concise and really shows Jane's confusion and awe in this fast-paced technical world. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if Hollywood makes a movie out of either or both of these books. Hollywood, if you're listening, call me, I'll write the screenplay. ;)
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Love2Read-N-Texas More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed the Laurie Viera Rigler's 2nd book in the Jane Austen Addict Series. I loved the first novel and it is a keeper in my library and so is this one. The characters are fun and plan to give this book to friends as gifts! Can't wait for Rigler's next novel- hopefully it has something to do with Jane Austen's characters......YEs, I am a jane austen addict!! :)