"Today's women are no less desirous of love, and marrying for love, than they were in your time. But they, like so many women before them, simply fear it is an unattainable goal. And thus they settle for what fleeting plasures they can find, creating an endless cycle of pleasure, despair, ad infinitum. Human nature is the same today as it was in your time. The only difference between today's world and your world is that people have more choices now than they did then." ( RUDE AWAKENINGS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, p.265)
This is my first Austen-based book, never read one before, only the original novels by Jane. So I'm not an expert of the genre. RUDE AWAKENINGS is the sequel of Laurie's first novel, CONFESSIONS OF A JANE AUSTEN ADDICT, which I didn' t read. What was this first experience like? Great pure amusement which reminded me the same kind of hilarious reaction I had after skeptically approaching LOST IN AUSTEN when the DVD got to me last September (or was it October?). I mean, I studied Jane Austen's novels at university after reading some of them (only P & P and S & S) in my adolescence and that brought me to read them ( and every other novel ) professionally, because of my job (teaching literature). This is why I was rather skeptical toward Austen based fiction or adaptations. So, in order to read this novel for the challenge, I had to go back to the time I use to read just for fun day and night and leave apart the "professional tools". Anyway, I was truly involved in the narration of the story, since Laurie knows Austen quite well and it is a pleasure to recognize that background while smiling at the entertaining series of misunderstandings, blunders, weird situations her time - travelling protagonist, JANE MANSFIELD, finds herself involved in . Jane wakes suddenly up in 2009 in Los Angeles but she is an English girl living in 1813, fondly in love with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics)
. She is completely misplaced and shocked, her body even is a stranger's one: she looks at herself in the mirror and sees a nice blondie everybody calls Courtney Stone!
Reading this novel I thought of LOST IN AUSTEN many times. There are many analogies between the stories, though I think CONFESSIONS has got more : In Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
, a twenty-first-century Austen fan Courtney Stone awakens one morning in 1813 England as a gentleman's daughter, Jane Mansfield--with comic and romantic consequences. In RUDE AWAKENINGS as I told you, Jane, the gentleman's daughter from 1813 England, finds herself occupying the body of Courtney in the urban madness of twenty-first-century L.A. Since in LOST IN AUSTEN an Austen fan, Amanda Price (Jemima Rooper in the photo on the left) swaps her life with Elizabeth Bennet, the protagonist of her favourite novel...I think it is obvious that I was always drawing comparisons while reading.
Have you seen LOST IN AUSTEN? It's such fun!Lost In Austen [DVD] [2008
]I know many academic would turn up their noses at this kind of readings or TV series but I am convinced that reading as well as studying literature must be a pleasure. This is my philosophy even when I teach Austen or Dickens or Shakespeare to my students: they must contrast and compare those stories to their own experience and amuse themselves as much as they can. Not always an easy task, mine!