Monday, October 20, 2008

Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe

I wouldn't say I'm a huge Jane Austen fan, but I've read a few of her novels and enjoyed them. Of course, Pride & Prejudice is a favorite of mine, so when Danielle Jackson from Sourcebooks gave me the chance to read Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe, I couldn't say no.

Lydia Bennet has always annoyed me. She was selfish, self-absorbed, and most of all, naive. But I've always been curious about her quick marriage to that scoundrel George Wickham that took up a good portion of Pride & Prejudice and made Elizabeth Bennet see Mr. Darcy in a different light.

Lydia Bennet's Story takes readers on the journey to Brighton, where Lydia's romance with George Wickham begins. Most of the chapters end with a diary entry by Lydia, so you get a chance to see what's going on in her head and understand that she was just a foolish child who always had to be the center of attention. She was boy crazy, and with a mother who did nothing but talk about marrying off her daughters, it's easy to see why. I could sympathize with Odiwe's Lydia; she fell in love with the wrong man and made numerous mistakes in the name of love.

Odiwe introduces some interesting characters: Captain Trayton-Camfield, who grabs Lydia's attention when she first arrives in Brighton, and Isabella and Alexander Fitzallan, Lydia's close friend and her brother who comfort Lydia and extend a helping hand when the truth about George Wickham is revealed.

Lydia Bennet's Story leaves Brighton and follows Lydia through the ups and downs of her marriage, from visits with the Bingleys at Netherfield to the Darcys at Pemberley. It is not only a physical journey as Lydia travels to get away from talk about her husband, but also an emotional journey as Lydia learns the meaning of love and even grows up a little.

Other than some of the language being racier than what you'd find in Jane Austen's novels (My favorite quote from one of Lydia's diary entries after running away with Wickham: 'We have not stirred for days, and I do not think we will ever rise again--though for dear Mr Wickham rising often is never a problem!!'), Odiwe's writing style made me feel almost as though I were actually reading Austen. I had to remind myself it was a sequel several times.

I know not everyone enjoys Pride & Prejudice sequels; there are a lot of them out there. But if you like Jane Austen and her heroines, I recommend Lydia Bennet's Story. Lydia Bennet is not a name that comes to mind when thinking about Austen's heroines, but Odiwe's story of Lydia's adventures shows her strength and shows that there's more to the flighty Bennet sister than meets the eye.

Lydia Bennet's Story also was reviewed by:

Savvy Verse & Wit

A Book Blogger's Diary


I had the pleasure of interviewing Jane Odiwe, which I will be posting tomorrow along with information on how you can win a copy of Lydia Bennet's Story for yourself!! Hope to "see" you then!

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of Lydia Bennet's Story from Sourcebooks for review purposes.


Anonymous said...

I liked Pride and Prejudice, but I haven't figured out the fascination with the sequels to it. I think it's just me, though.

Serena said...

I love Jane Austen and I am looking forward to finishing up this book and posting my review. I can't wait to see what Jane has to say in her interview.

Jeannie said...

I'll definitely consider this book, being the big Jane Austen fan that I am. And I enjoy Lydia Bennet and her starry-eyed admiration for military officers- the daft girl!

Dawn said...

Another one going on my "to read" list!

I haven't really explored the sequels to JA's books, but I'm going to give this one a go. Thanks Anna! :)

Anonymous said...

I'll look forward to the interview. Not a fan (yet) of Jane Austen, just haven't gotten around to the reads yet, let alone sequels of Pride & Prejudice. (I know, I know - what planet do I live on? sheesh - I read all the time, just not a lot in that genre, OK? LOL) But always up for reading reviews and interviews about books and with authors I may do well to bone up on.

Thanks for this post!

Marvin Blogs at Free Spirit:
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Tricia said...

I just got this book last week, so I'm glad you liked it. I look forward to reading it and to your author interview!

Anna said...

Bermudaonion: I've read a few of the sequels. Haven't like them all, but it's nice when you come across one that's good.

Serena: Looking forward to your review!

Jeannie: I had no idea you were a big Austen fan! I love Austen but I don't LOVE her. I hope that makes sense!

Dawn: You're welcome! Always glad to be an enabler when it comes to books! ;)

Marvin: If you only get the chance to read one Austen, I'd recommend P&P. Glad you enjoyed the review even though you've never read Austen!

Tricia: Looking forward to your review! I hope you like the book!

tanabata said...

Lydia has always annoyed me too! Sounds like it might be fun to read her side of the story and to have her grow up a bit. For me she's stuck as the silly, boy-crazy girl in P and P!

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy the sequels that people write of Austen's novels. However, I often wonder what she would think of all that. I never thought about a sequel about Lydia Bennet. Interesting idea...

Anna said...

Tanabata: Because she annoyed me, I thought this book would be interesting. It really is comical, and the way Odiwe develops the character throughout the book made me look at Lydia differently in the end.

Nicole: I've also wondered how Austen would feel about her popularity. I never realized until recently just how many sequels are out there! It's amazing!

Shana said...

Great review Anna. Love that quote. It gives me an idea of the tone of the book. I have it, but haven't read it yet and wasn't sure what to expect. I'm very curious about poor Lydia and just dying to know how her marriage turns out.


Anna said...

Shana: I loved that quote, too, and there are a few others like that. Lydia really was humorous, which was great because I before reading this I found her to be the annoying Bennet sister.

Beth F said...

Thanks for this. I hadn't heard of this one. And, yes, Lydia was annoying. I'd like to read about a more mature Lydia and see where her life choices took her.

Carrie said...

I thought your review was really interesting so I put a link up on my blog towards it. I'm intrigued. Not enough to read it. But intrigued!

Bookfool said...

I actually had no interest in this particular spin-off until your review (yep, I thought she was annoying, too). Now I want to read it!! Argh, just shoot me. Thanks, Anna, great review. :)

Anna said...

Beth: Lydia is a bit mature at the end of this book. It was a nice change!

Carrie: Thanks for the link! I really appreciate it!

Bookfool: Glad you enjoyed it! Looking forward to hearing what you think about it!