Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe

Lydia Bennet’s Story
By Jane Odiwe

2008 - Sourcebooks Landmark

I must admit that I have been getting pretty sick of the Austen books. I have read all the ones that cross my hand and very rarely, VERY RARELY, do I find one that I enjoy. It seems that some of these authors get so caught up in continuing the story of the Jane and Darcy and Lizzy and Bingley that they don’t take the time to create a thoughtful and entertaining story. At least to me.

On that note, I loved this book.

I fully expected to hate this book. I expected to finish it and thank my lucky stars that I only had one Austen related book on my desk. I was sad when this book ended.

Of all the Bennet sisters I always liked Lydia. She seemed like she would be fun to be around. What young girl doesn’t like to party every once in a while? However, we never really learned much about her. She was given to the reader as a silly, thoughtless and self-concerned girl who didn't warrant much consideration by the original Austen. What Odiwe has given us, in this go round, is a girl like any other. She is young, naïve, trusting and foolish. She doesn’t understand consequence at all. At the end of the book the reader is left with a woman, a woman who knows her own heart and goals.

This book started slow. The first thirty pages were torture but once past the introductory pages it picked up pace. The reader travels all over England with Lydia as she straightens out her life and tries to free herself from Wickham. Wickham is everything he is in Pride and Prejudice and a really delicious character to hate.

It is with great reluctance that I pass this book on to a friend. Lydia Bennet’s Story is a book that I would love to be able to revisit whenever I needed a fun book on a rainy afternoon.

Happy Reading!

From the Publisher:
Lydia Bennet is the flirtatious, wild and free-wheeling youngest daughter. Her untamed expressiveness and vulnerability make her fascinating to readers who'll love this imaginative rendering of Lydia's life after her marriage to the villainous George Wickham. Will she mature or turn bitter? Can a girl like her really find true love?In Lydia Bennet's Story we are taken back to Jane Austen's most beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice, to a Regency world seen through Lydia's eyes where pleasure and marriage are the only pursuits. But the road to matrimony is fraught with difficulties and even when she is convinced that she has met the man of her dreams, complications arise. When Lydia is reunited with the Bennets, Bingleys, and Darcys for a grand ball at Netherfield Park, the shocking truth about her husband may just cause the greatest scandal of all ..."A breathtaking Regency romp!"-Diana Birchall, author of Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma

Publishers Weekly:
In this pleasant addition to the growing microgenre of Austen knockoffs, Odiwe pays nice homage to Austen's stylings and endears the reader to the formerly secondary character, spoiled and impulsive Lydia Bennet. Odiwe begins partway through the original tale, with Lydia heading to Brighton. Shifting between a third-person narrative and Lydia's first-person journal entries, Odiwe grants readers unfettered access to Lydia as she flirts with her many beaus and falls hard for George Wickham, with whom she elopes. After the pair is married and settled in Newcastle, Lydia has a hard time keeping her jealousy in check as George, a notorious flirt, does not change his ways. Her marital discontent leads to frequent visits to her sisters, and it's during one of these visits that a massive scandal befalls the Wickham household. In a pleasantly foreshadowed if too abrupt conclusion, a slightly matured Lydia finds true happiness in the most unlikely of places. It won't convert anybody who doesn't already worship at the church of Jane, but devotees will enjoy. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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