Aiken, Joan. 1985/2005. Mansfield Park Revisited. Sourcebooks. 201 pages.
The sudden and unexpected death of Sir Thomas Bertram, while abroad engaged on business relating to his various properties in the West Indies, could be a cause of nothing but sorrow, dismay, and consternation to the baronet's friends in England.
I just LOVED this book. It was delightful and charming. But more importantly it is redemptive. With Fanny and Edmund out of the picture--for the most part--the narrative has a chance to focus in on other characters. Susan, Fanny's younger sister, and Tom, Edmund's brother, for example. But it also returns to us the brother-sister villains, Henry and Mary Crawford. (She's come back--and is actually renting a cottage from the Bertrams--but there's a catch: she's dying.) New characters are also introduced--the lovely Mrs. Osborne and her brother, the Reverend Francis Wadham. (He will be taking Edmund's place in the parish temporarily.) The book is full of characters you come to love...and those you love to hate.
Appearances can be deceiving, and such is the case here. All isn't as it first appeared, for example, in Mansfield Park. I have never been a fan of Mansfield Park, but I am a BIG FAN of this sequel. If you're like me, you might want to give this one a try. You might just find yourself surprised!
Like most Austen novels, this one has to do with love and matchmaking. And so much more.
I'm sorry I can't really describe it very well. But it is one of those where sharing a few details might spoil it. It is best to read for yourself and see where the story goes.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews
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