September 10, 2009
Review of Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe and a Giveaway!
Synopsis: 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. (from Barnes & Noble)
Jane Austen has become quite a valuable commodity within the last decade or so, both in the literary and movie worlds, and reading about a new (or relatively new) Austen sequel has become par for the course.
I found Lydia Bennet's Story interesting and original precisely because Jane Odiwe took a secondary character from Pride and Prejudice and elaborated on her own very twisted and dramatic plot. If you are familiar with Pride and Prejudice, you know that Lydia is Lizzy's youngest sister, and a very spoiled one at that. Due to her recklessness in running away with Wickham, she seriously jeopardizes the potential future marriages of her sisters and very nearly sullies her family's good name.
As she was a secondary character in Pride and Prejudice, we heard briefly about her exploits but not from her point of view; nor did we know what Wickham said to her to cause her to throw caution to the wind with a foolhardy elopement or exactly what happened with the couple during those weeks in London before their hastily arranged marriage or, outside of their return to Longbourne, of their lives as a newlywed couple.
Lydia Bennet's Story alternates between Lydia's diary and a third person accounting, showing Lydia as flirty, flighty, immature and petulent. Ms. Odiwe stays faithful to Jane Austen, both in her portrayal of Lydia as well as Wickham, who naturally reveals himself to be as spoiled and flighty as Lydia.
I enjoyed hearing a portion of Pride and Prejudice from Lydia's viewpoint, as well as having the gaps filled in for portions of the story we were not privy to in Ms. Austen's rendition. Ms. Odiwe's descriptions of the period, the dress, the language, is spot on and a true compliment to both Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. The introduction of new characters move the story along fluidly and seem as natural as Lydia ogling a new bonnet.
In a market saturated with Austen sequels (not that I'm complaining, mind you, because the more the merrier, in this Austen-obsessed reader's opinion), Lydia Bennet's Story stands out and makes an excellent reading choice.
Now . . . for the GIVEAWAY!!!
I am offering up my own like-new, very gently read copy of Lydia Bennet's Story to a lucky reader.
Here is all you need to do:
* Leave me a comment with an email address to contact you (worth 1 entry)
For 2 extra entries:
* Become a follower or subscriber of my blog (let me know if you already are and let me know if you become one) (Just click on the "Follow" or "Subscribe" button located on the left side of my blog)
For 3 extra entries:
* Add me to your blogroll and/or mention my giveaway on your blog (and leave a link) or Twitter it
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only. No P.O. boxes. I will draw the winner on Monday, October 5 and email the lucky reader.