The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet – Natasha Farrant

81uZ1doJyjL     The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet – Natasha Farrant, Chicken House, (9780545940313), 2016

Format: Uncorrected Proof

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre: Historical fiction

What did you like about the book?  This is the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, retold from the point of view of the youngest Bennet sister. Lydia Bennet receives a diary from her sister Mary on her 15th birthday and the novel is presented in diary entries as well as some letters to and by Lydia. Lydia is flighty and fashion conscious, but she also longs for the freedom that comes from being born a male. For this reason, she befriends Lieutenant Wickham who admires her spunk and teaches her to ride. In this version, Lydia quickly sees through Wickham and his pursuit of moneyed women. But their friendship will lead to the events of the Austen novel. Lydia falls in love with a nobleman in Brighton, while Wickham is there to pursue an heiress. The end result is that Wickham is up to his usual machinations and Lydia is forced to marry him in the end. This is a fun retelling that brings this character to vivid life. Jane and Lizzie take a backseat to their adventurous little sister in this tale. Austen fans will enjoy it!

Anything you didn’t like about it?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book?  This is a book to hand to anyone who loves Pride and Prejudice.

Who should buy this book? Public libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, if you love Austen.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  7/17/16

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