When you drown your sorrows in Absolut and Jane Austen novels, you shouldn’t be surprised when something strange happens.
After catching her finance cheating on her with the wedding flower lady, Courtney Stone finds herself waking up in the body and the life of Jane, an Austen-era old woman, who single at the age of 30 is seen as long “on the shelf.”
With a new demanding mother, a hero who may or may not be what he seems, a best friend and a mysterious gypsy, Courtney/Jane must navigate this new world in the hope of getting back to her own.
Austen-based novels are nothing new. They are a slippery slope in themselves, since inevitably, each work will be compared to the originals and come up lacking. It is a rare author that could pull it off. Unfortunately, Rigler is not that author.
While I don’t consider myself an Austen snob, this book has a lot of problems. There are huge gaps that need to be filled. For example, the main character often hints at what might be going on with her own life, but the author never follows through. Then there is the weakness of the plot and the inconsistencies of the characters. It is okay to leave some questions unanswered in a novel, some of the best do that, but it seems as though the author can’t make up her mind. Did Courtney wind up in a swimming pool and pass away from her own life? Was she reincarnated from Jane into Courtney? Did she simply fall asleep and will wake at any moment? Is Mr. Edgeworth really Wesley, a weak character that has none of the dash or solidness of a real Austen character? It is all very confusing.
I found myself not really liking Courtney and having a hard time believing the behavior of many of the other characters.
That said, it doesn’t take a lot of brain power to read this book, and there are definitely parts of it that are entertaining, so if you are looking for a quick beach read, go ahead and pick it up. It may keep you engaged without worrying if the book accidentally gets left behind on the sand.