First, I want to apologise to our dearest friend Jane Odiwe for I am so late in giving this review. Second, I want to thank her for sending me the beautiful Lydia Bennet’s Story, which I finished two weeks ago with a feeling of ‘why didn’t I read it sooner?’
Indeed, dear friends, for although I was late in reading
For a start, I have to admit that although I admire Elizabeth Bennet, and of course, Mr. Darcy, they are not my favourite couple (everybody: gasp!). Indeed, they are romantic, interesting, etc, and I do have a particular fandom towards Jennifer Ehle/Colin Firth pairing, though I admit that Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfayden were also very pleasing to watch (MM created this sensitive Mr. Darcy that was different from CF’s Darcy). My favourite couple is actually – strangely – Emma/Mr. Knightley, tailed by Marianne/Brandon, with Lizzy/Darcy and Fanny/Edmund as the third winners. Blasphemy! Yes, guilty as charged! :-D
Now, it is the truth universally acknowledged that Pride & Prejudice is one of the best-selling classical books ever written. Yet, it stopped there, with Lizzy/Darcy’s and Jane/Bingley’s weddings, leaving a vast imaginary land where many writers have dwelled and creatively written PP sequels. The sequels were mostly about Lizzy and Darcy though, and I could only recall one ‘sequel’, Miss de Bourgh’s Adventure, casting a non-Lizzy/Darcy character as the main spotlight. Instead, that book cast Anne de Bourgh, daughter of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, as the main heroine (Should have that on my pull list as well, the excerpt is very entertaining!). So, I was naturally interested when I learned that dear Jane Odiwe wrote a sequel about Lizzy’s sister. And the Lydia Bennet, of all people!
That being said, I enjoy re-reading Lizzy and Darcy in Lydia Bennet’s Story, for Jane Odiwe (herewith abbreviated as JO to differentiate with our Jane Austen) wrote their character to resemble the Lizzy/Darcy I have in mind when reading Pride & Prejudice. But I have to say that I dislike, dislike, dislike Lydia Wickham nee Bennet.
Why, no wonder. For I never liked her either when watching/reading PP. I think she’s a brat in need of a spank, and my opinion remained during the first half book (Part One). I don’t say that JO did not write
I have to admit again that I read Part One pretty fast; with the very reason of disliking
Later, JO switched to third-person style, and
Part One ended with
After about a month staying in Pemberley (and was treated with some new clothes and bonnets by Lizzy),
Of course, Netherfield is not Netherfield without dances and parties, so dear Jane and Bingley held another ball while
Knowing not what to do,
So shocked about the latest truth she learned about Wickham, Lydia decided to hunt down the information to the very first source. But alas, Wickham himself had run away earlier, possibly after detecting Molly’s presence in Netherfield. What a former brat like Lydia should do then?!
Dear friends, I won’t spoil more now of the ending of the book. Suffice to say that although I was not a fan of Lydia Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, I grew to like her in this book.
Bottom line: pick the book if you have not, and join me to thank Jane Odiwe for bringing us a fresh take of the Pride & Prejudice sequel that does not evolve around Lizzy and Darcy alone.
There is a second edition of the book here, with longer sub-title (‘A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice/The continuing adventures of Mrs. Darcy's youngest sister’), still in paperback. It’s a very lovely cover too.
And I’m sorry to be so unaware of a new competition held by Jane Odiwe about
Pic 1. Cover to Lydia Bennet’s Story, Amazon.com
Pic 2. Lydia’s elopement by Jane Odiwe
Pic 4. Second edition of Lydia Bennet’s Story, Amazon.com