After a few long days a work, I decided I needed to put aside everything else I was reading and pick up something that was complete fluff. Thank goodness for this book. I got it for Christmas (the only book I received this year), and only because I told my mother it was destiny for me to have it. A book about a woman who is obsessed with Austen’s books and who shares her first name with me? If that isn’t fate, I don’t know what is.
This was such an easy book to get through, and captured my attention from the beginning. Plus, it was a fabulous distraction and completely took my mind off everything I have been stressing out over.
Months before, Courtney Stone walks in on her (now ex) fiance with another woman. One evening when the event is troubling her more than normal, Courtney takes refuge in Jane Austen’s books and Absolut vodka, only to wake up the next morning in Regency England. Trapped in the body of a Jane Mansfield, and unable to tell anyone the truth of what happened under threat of being committed, Courtney must live the life of Jane while trying to figure out how she got there and how to get home.
Of course, Courtney’s life no longer consists of the day-to-day routine she was used to in the 21st century, but now consists of plenty of embroidery, outings with friends, trips to Bath and encounters with one Mr. Edgeworth.
I particularly enjoyed Courtney’s encounter with Jane Austen herself. After overhearing someone address a women in a store as “Miss Austen,” Courtney tears down the street after her, for the chance to meet the author who wrote her favourite books. She fangirls just about as much as I can imagine any number of women fangirling over her if they had the chance to meet Austen.
Oh. My. God. It really is Jane Austen. My knees turn to jelly, and it’s all I can do to keep the tremor out of my voice. “No, but may I introduce myself? I am Jane; I miss, Miss Mansfield, and I could not help but hear the shopkeeper address you, and –”
I can feel her guard go up slightly as she sizes me up. I can see in the glinting sunlight that her large, widely set eyes are more gold than brown. She is waiting for me to speak, offering nothing to ease the awkwardness.
My stomach flutters. “I know this will sound insane, because know that no one is supposed to know, but I am a huge fan of your books.”
This book was good fun. Not my favourite of the people-obsessed-with-Austen type of books I’ve been reading lately, but definitely highly enjoyable.
(Cute little sidenote: as much as I despise MySpace, I love that the heroine of this book, Courtney Stone, happens to have a MySpace account.)