I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet.
Since Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books ever, how could I have said no to a blog tour invite about the inner voice of the youngest, most brash Bennet sister? Obviously I couldn’t have, and I didn’t. I do love to read different takes on my favorites, and this really is one of them.
In the book, Farrant remains true to Austen’s story line, while giving Lydia Bennet a chance of her own to shine and share the story of what really happened on that fated trip to Brighton. Lydia, ever the willful child and destined—as she sees it—to remain in the shadow of her elder sisters, most notably Lizzy, makes new acquaintances with the help of a certain young gentleman readers will find familiar: Mr. Wickham. As Lydia writes in her diary, the reader understands how much she wants to please the people she loves, but also how much she craves adventure, and her distaste for the fact that she cannot, thanks to society, do anything and everything she wants to—including learning how to properly ride a horse—because she is not a man.
She does take cues from her elder sisters, including a conversation with Lizzy after the infamous refusal of Mr. Collins when Lizzy says, “I cannot imagine anything worse than marrying a man I don’t respect.” Lydia takes this comment of Lizzy’s to heart, and while we all know the way the story ends, Lydia’s adventurous way of getting there was a refreshing, fun version of that lull of information about Lydia present in the novel.
An amusing interlude occurs when Lydia decides—in order to impress her new acquaintances—that she must read some major classic and contemporary works of literature. She visits the library in Brighton, and when handed a reading list from the librarian, says, “But all this—all this is what I have to read to appear intelligent?” The following exchange between the two is amusing, but also a reminder of the true nature of books. The librarian tells her, “[Y]ou must not be afraid, Miss Bennet, for books do not judge you. Do you understand?” I loved the “plug” for reading both in the context of the story, as well as in my life as a mother, teacher, reader, and writer.
Farrant’s fresh and novel take on the “Brighton Affair” was fun to read, and I did recommend it on Litsy, just as I’m recommending it here. Fans of Pride and Prejudice and fans of fun romps through the mind of young women figuring out their way through life will love The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet.
About the Book:
Title: THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET
Author: Natasha Farrant
Pub. Date: October 25, 2016
Publisher: The Chicken House
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Lydia is the youngest of the five Bennet girls. She’s stubborn, never listens, and can’t seem to keep her mouth shut — not that she would want to anyway. She wishes her older sisters would pay her attention, or that something would happen in her boring country life.
Luckily, that something is right around the corner, and it’s the handsome Wickham, who arrives at Longbourn to sweep her off her feet. Lydia’s not going to let him know THAT, of course, especially since he only seems to be interested in friendship. But when they both decide to summer in the fasionable seaside town of Brighton, their paths inevitably become entangled again.
At the seaside, Lydia also finds exciting new ways of life and a pair of friends who offer her a future she would have never dreamed possible. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?
I am one of those rarities, a Londoner born and bred. And like most true Londoners, I’m not completely English, but three-quarters French with a little bit Dutch thrown in. I can’t imagine living anywhere else, though I would like a horse, a big old house with a secret passage or two, a fig tree, a walnut tree, lots of dogs and a vista of rolling hills on one side and the sea on the other. All of which are sadly incompatible with both life in the city and my income.
I write partly because in my stories I can live the lives I’m not…
I have two teenage daughters, Justine and Lily, who provide endless inspiration for my books. I am pleased to say inspiration works both ways. One of them has dyed her hair pink, and the other has taken to hanging out on the roof in the middle of the night.
The “person” I talk to most is my tortoiseshell cat, Amber. This is because as a writer you spend a lot of time alone, which makes you go slightly mad. Amber repays me for my conversation by trashing my house. Soon we are goig to buy a dachshund puppy called Blue, and presumably he will be equally destructive.
I get very grumpy if I don’t have a good book to read, if I’m not writing, if I’m hungry, tired or don’t get enough exercise. Otherwise I am a generally cheerful person.
Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about my life as a writer.
3 winners will receive finished copies of THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET, US Only
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