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Title: Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice
Author: Natasha Farrant
Publication: September 1st 2016, Chicken House
Pages: 352 pages, Paperback
Source: Thank you to LoveReading4Kids and Chicken House for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Rating: 4/5 CUPCAKES!
A spirited, witty and fresh reimagining of Jane Austen's Prid eand Prejudice! Lydia is the youngest Bennet sister and she's sick of country life - instead of sewing and reading, she longs for adventure. When a red-coated garrison arrives in Merryton, Lydia's life turns upside down. As she falls for dashing Wickham, she's swept into a whirlwind social circle and deposited in a seaside town, Brighton. Sea-bathing, promenades and scandal await - and a pair of intriguing twins. Can Lydia find out what she really wants - and can she get it?
I'm probably going to shock a lot of you by admitting that I've never read Pride and Prejudice and I'm not really a fan of Jane Austen's writing (I've read Northanger Abbey and 60+ pages of Emma but I just don't feel it), however, after reading this vibrant and whimsical retelling of the youngest Bennett sister, I'm utterly desperate to give Pride and Prejudice a go!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - more even than I thought I would! I read it in a couple of sittings and once I reached the last page I let out an audible "Awww, it's finished!". It's such a lighthearted, fanciful read and I would absolutely love it if the author decided to write more books from Lydia's perspective -or from the other Bennett sisters' point of views!
Based off of this book alone (as I know nothing about Pride and Prejudice except that Mr. Darcy is THE book boyfriend of all book boyfriends) I can safely say I really adored them - especially Lydia! She's determined, she's witty, she's comical and her vivacious spirit radiated from the pages. I would love to read more books from her perspective! I liked Wickham for most of the book as well, his snark and teasing combined with Lydia's spunk made me laugh out loud several times but unfortunately, I couldn't love him completely due to him being quite greedy and manipulative. I also grew quite fond of Alaric (who, after Googling, I think is an original character to this novel - correct me if I'm wrong!), the French count who woos Lydia and I completely 100% shipped with Lydia. He was so sweet and bookish but I'm quite frustrated with him and if you read this book (which you should) you will find out why. I also loved each of the Bennett sisters and I found myself chuckling several times throughout as I read about their interactions with Lydia, which often left them feeling quite exasperated and had me feeling quite amused! My only complaint for the entire book though is that I didn't feel as connected to all the characters but other than that I LOVED EVERYTHING.
Another thing I loved about this book was how it transported me back in time. How it took me to balls and carriages, to the countryside and Brighton beach in the 1800s. I loved how this book perfectly captured a different era and I felt as if I was roaming the streets with a bonnet and parasol, alongside the characters.
The writing was excellent too! I have always been a fan of books written in diary format and reading Lydia just made me realise why I fell in love with that kind of style in the first place. I love the humorous, honest and heart-warming thoughts that tumble out of the character's head and onto the page. It made me feel as if I was being confided in, as if Lydia and I had become the greatest of friends and she trusted me enough to pour her heart out. I definitely think readers will form a deep connection to her character as they read this book - I know I did!
The plot was entertaining as well and I ended up reading this book in a few sittings which rarely ever happens when I read a book! I think the reason I generally struggle with Jane Austen's books is because I find them quite dull but whilst reading this, I found it to be the exact opposite! The story seemed to be alive. The balls were glamorous, the seaside visit was intriguing and everything that occurred just seemed so exhilarating!
Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice is an utterly delightful read, filled with vivacious characters, dashing suitors and daring escapades. It's a charming, whimsical novel that you NEED to have on your summer reading list!
I give it: 4/5 CUPCAKES!