Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lydia Bennet's Story


Odiwe, Jane. 2008. Lydia Bennet's Story.

The true misfortune, which besets any young lady who believes herself destined for fortune and favour, is to find that she has been born into an unsuitable family. Lydia Bennet of Longbourn, Hertfordshire, not only believed that her mama and papa had most likely stolen her from noble parents, ut also considered it a small miracle that they could have produced between them her own fair self and four comely girls--Jane, Lizzy, Mary, and Kitty--though to tell the truth, she felt herself most blessed in looks. Lydia's greatest desire in life was to be married before any of her sisters, but a lack of marriageable beaux in the county and her papa's reluctance to accompany her to as many Assembly Balls as she wished had thwarted her efforts thus far.

Shall Lydia live happily ever after like her two older sisters? You'll have to read Lydia Bennet's Story for yourself to see. The greater question may just be...does she deserve to have her happily ever after? Lydia is many things. Playful. Boy-crazy. Immature. Irresponsible. Impulsive. Selfish. Vain. Spoiled. Silly. Naive. Flighty. Flirtatious. Entitled. (Reading that description, I think of Scarlett O'Hara. Isn't that an odd comparison waiting to happen!) And as the youngest of the Bennet clan, she is the least ready (emotionally and psychologically) to be married. She is one of those girls that is stuck-on-herself. Who believes that the world revolves around her. For her to get her happily-ever-after Lydia will have to change. She'll have to start growing up. She'll have to start maturing. She'll have to begin to think of others, to be respectful and considerate. She'll have to learn to compromise. She'll have to learn to think before acting. She'll have to become wiser and more genuine. Which leads to my question, is Lydia capable of growth and transformation?

Lydia's story is revealed through rather obnoxious diary entries and letters (simply because they're written by her), and through a more traditional third-person-narrative. The book is in two parts. The first which parallels what we know from Pride and Prejudice, and the second which is a sequel to the action. It is in this second section, that we see if Lydia does get her happily ever after.

It's hard to review this one without giving it away. George Wickham is George Wickham. And if you've read Pride and Prejudice you know exactly what that means. He's a shameless bad boy incapable of change, incapable of integrity. If George is who he is...is it possible even remotely for Lydia to have her happily ever after and remain Mrs. George Wickham? I'll leave that for you to decide!!!

S
P
O
I
L
E
R

So what do I think of this one. I found the ending to be a bit unbelievable. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't hoping for Lydia to get what she deserves--to pay for the consequences of her impulsive rashness. Okay, maybe a part of me was. But I knew better than to expect that in a contemporary sequel. But the ending seemed a bit rushed...not giving Lydia the needed time to mature and develop into a woman.

Other reviews: A Book Blogger's Diary, Jane Austen Today, Austenprose, Austen-tatious.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

2 comments:

Anna 9:21 AM  

Great review! I can totally see the Lydia Bennet/Scarlett O'Hara comparison! LOL

I really enjoyed this book. The ending was okay to me because it still felt as though she had a lot of growing up to do. In that very last passage, I saw bits of the old Lydia poking through, though she was much wiser than before.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric

Beth F 11:31 AM  

I saw someone else's review of this this morning. Between the two of you, I'm convinced that I have to get this book!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP