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
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads
A fresh, funny, and spirited reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice, The
Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet brings the voice of the wildest Bennet sister to life.
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 (CLICK HERE!) of THE SECRET DIARY OF LYDIA BENNET, US Only
Quick Reasons: I just…Wickham, you’re a scoundrel, but somehow I love you in this version?; this adaptation/companion/retelling helped to breathe a different life into characters I wasn’t so sure about or fond of before; also, we get Lydia’s story!; great characters, humorous and entertaining read; yet another perspective on a well-known and much-beloved story
Huge thanks to Natasha Farrant, The Chicken House Publishers, Edelweiss, and Rockstar Book Tours for sending me a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review! This in no way altered my read of or opinion on this book.
If you’ve been following my reviews for ANY amount of time, you’ll probably already know that I am head-over-heels in love with Pride and Prejudice. I own an entire bookshelf of retellings, adaptations, and companion novels. I have watched The Lizzie Bennet Diaries upwards of seven times since discovering it last year. If I could live inside the world of a book for a day, I’d pick Jane Austen’s beloved classic…and I’d enjoy every moment of it. It should be no surprise, therefore, that when I saw this book in a book tour email… I immediately jumped at the chance to read and review it. I HAD to. There was no other choice.
I did NOT, however, expect to have my feelings about one character in particular swayed so very much by a single book. So this is what I’m going to start with: Wickham, you’re a scoundrel….but somehow, you made me love you?! How?! How did you even MANAGE that, when before I was so set against you and everything you stood for? Seriously, penguins–if you’re of the same mind I was before this read, and loathe Wickham entirely… Maybe you shouldn’t read this book. Because by the end of things, you will be so, SO conflicted and confused. Wickham especially is one of those characters that surprises you, and this book was written in just such a way as to make readers view him as complex, flawed…and entirely human. I bow down to Natasha Farrant, actually–it is difficult, once my mind is so set against a character, to make me change it, and she managed that in just over 300 pages.
This is SUCH a lovely and well-written nod to Jane Austen’s classic, guys. Lydia’s story is allowed to breathe and shine through, LYDIA! is allowed to breathe and shine through these pages…but the original story is still there, woven throughout, shifted and molded to match the appropriate perspective. In fact, through Lydia’s eyes, we are able to see a much different story occur–and able to make a more fully formed opinion of the situation as a whole. Natasha Farrant tipped her head to Jane Austen, while still maintaining enough distance to make this wholly and individually her own.
And her voice! Oh my penguins, guys, Lydia’s a uniquely individual and AWESOME character, and I am so so glad we are finally able to see her in all her glory. She is adventurous at heart, but always tied down by societal opinions and judgments on what proper “females” should or should not do. She, like most women I know today, longs to strike out on her own, do something for herself–find her place with like-minded and understanding individuals. I just… there is SO much growth and emotion behind Lydia’s story. I adored every moment spent within her head, hearing about the world from her own words–it was an entertaining, often laugh-out-loud experience.
This is an entertaining, hilarious nod to Jane Austen’s much-beloved classic, and I am so so happy I was given the chance to read this for review. Lydia shines in this story, allowing us to see the world–and her!–from a new and intriguing perspective. Wickham, also, caught me by surprise–and is rather endearing in this version of events. I recommend to those obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, historical fiction, and characters just trying to find their place in the world. Natasha Farrant, you did Jane Austen good–and I can’t wait to see what you do next!