Time travel has been the subject of many books because people love the idea that they could
leave the workaday world and escape. This is exactly the topic of Rude Awakenings of a Jane
Austen Addict, the story of a girl who leaves England in 1813 and ends up in Los Angeles,
2009. Could any two worlds be more different for a single woman? Jane Mansfield had grown up
as a gentleman’s daughter in Regency England, sheltered and protected. The only choices she had
to make was what color dress to wear or who to dance with at the next ball. Now she is in the
body of Courtney Stone and her protective family is gone.
But she isn’t totally alone. She has Courtney Stone’s best friends, Paula and Anna, along
with new friend Deepa. Also very helpful is Wes, a guy whose relationship with Courtney is
definitely not settled. They all believe the confusion in Courtney’s mind that makes her insist
she is Jane Mansfield is due to a hit to the head and reading too much Jane Austen. (Can there
be such a thing?)
Jane finds Courtney’s life in a total mess and she goes about trying to help in her own way.
Can she return to her own time and does she even want to leave? At least in the 21st century,
Jane is mistress of her own fate and not at the beck and call of her family.
This book is a wonderful read, whether one loves Jane Austen books or not. The majority of the
book is taken up with the internal thoughts of a person displaced into another time, and the
results are both funny and thought-provoking. Jane herself wonders if women are truly freer in
the present than in the past, for though a modern woman can pick her lovers she also worries
about how to find a self-respecting, lasting relationship. The gaze of a stranger in our time
shines a light on both the good and bad of our society.
This book is a relaxing and enjoyable read, keeping the reader giggling, agreeing, and