About the book:
A spirited, witty and fresh reimagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and 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?
Review by Katy Haye:
I am a HUGE fan of Pride & Prejudice. I’ve read it numerous times and can quote the famous lines if you give me half an excuse. So, for fans like me, adding a new book to that universe is a bold step and not something to be attempted by the faint of heart.
I’m not dreadfully precious, I will point that out. I don’t hold Pride & Prejudice to be entirely sacrosanct and untouchable. I loved the TV adaptation of PD James’ Death Comes to Pemberley (but I didn’t love it enough to seek out the book; I think a large part of the attraction was Matthew Rhys, to be entirely honest). I also read and loved Longbourn – the P&P story told from the point of view of the servants “below stairs”. I didn’t much like the movie Pride & Prejudice & Zombies (just a bit too silly), although it was entertaining enough.
Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice is a respectable addition to the Pride & Prejudice universe. It was a pleasure to read. I zipped through it in a day. It’s lacking the witty glory of Austen’s prose (but quite right, too – anyone attempting to ape that is asking for trouble), but it was a competent, well-written story. I enjoyed visiting Regency Brighton, and the resolution of the love story (if that’s what it is) was unexpected and satisfying.
But I didn’t love it enough to grab people by the hand and demand they read it. I think, overall, I the strongest feeling in my mind is what a shame you have to piggyback onto something famous in order to get people to read your book. I understand the pleasure of the familiar, but finding a new treasure is equally fabulous … isn’t it?
If you can’t get enough of Pride & Prejudice, give it a try. You might very well like it. I’m going to go and check out what else Natasha Farrant has written.
Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel of the Year (it lost out to Love Song by Sophia Bennett – read our review). Find out more about the award and other shortlisted books on their website.