Narrators: Orlagh Cassidy
Source: Sacramento Library
Rating: 4 out of 10
Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks
Length: 7 hours, 19 minutes
Pages: 304 (print version)
Challenges: 2012 Audio Book Challenge, 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Synopsis (from Booklist): One moment Courtney Stone is a modern-day L.A. career woman lamenting a lost love; the next she is Jane Mansfield, a well-to-do, willowy lady in nineteenth-century England. What could account for this transplant of time and place? Courtney has no opportunity to ruminate over such matters; she must quickly learn to interact with inhabitants of the brave old world in which she finds herself. It’s not long before Jane finds the lines blurred between her two vastly different selves.
Overall Impression: Might I just say I really dislike writing negative reviews? I feel bad. I’m sure the author is a lovely person. But here it goes anyway:
Perhaps this should have been called All the Jane Austen AND All the LA Girl Cliches Ever. I picked up a copy somewhere and it’s been sitting on my shelf for ages. In an effort to get through more of my TBR pile, I’ve been grabbing books of the library audio book shelf, since I don’t seem to have as much read-an-actual-book time as I used to. I was hoping for a little light escapism (I’ve been reading a lot of heavier stuff lately) — but it really just turned out to be so trite. Courtney was not very likable as a heroine — she complains, she doesn’t have much self-worth, she is kind of a self-centered ditz (where is my vodka and lipstick?), and although she claimed to be an Austen addict, she really is clueless when it comes to how she should speak and act. The men in the book were all cliches as well — the misunderstood brooding hero, the rake who tries to compromise her virtue. I also felt like the author was lazy and didn’t come up with a credible reason why Courtney found herself in Austen’s time. A fortuneteller tells her time is fluid? There’s a connection? Not enough to make this time travel plausible for me.
Positives: The writing was actually pretty good, and there were a few laugh-out-loud funny moments.
Negatives: Plot and characterization.
Narration: Cassidy is actually a fantastic narrator — she nails both the female and male American and British accents with no problem. Part of me wonders if I might have rated it even lower had I read it instead of listened to it. *cringe*
Other books I’ve read by Laurie Viera Rigler: none
Other books I’ve listened to narrated by Orlagh Cassidy: The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (review)
Other blogger opinions:
Dear Author: “I enjoyed watching Courtney grow as a person and delighted in her finally finding her own ‘Mr Darcy.’”
Iris on Books: “I often come to these books prepared to be disappointed and that was wholly unnecessary in this case.”
The Sleepless Reader: “What can I say? Not exactly my cup of tea? Gritting my teeth to powder?”