I received this book for free from Miss Print's ARC Adoption in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet by Natasha Farrant
Published by Chicken House on October 25, 2017
Genres: Classic Retelling, Romance
Source: Miss Print's ARC Adoption
In the tradition of Longbourn, Mr. Darcy's Diary, and Prom and Prejudice...
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's bored with her country life and wishes her older sisters would pay her attention . . . for once!
Luckily, the handsome Wickham 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 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 never dreamed of. Lydia finally understands what she really wants. But can she get it?
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 alive and center stage like never before.
When I first heard of this book, I wasn’t so sure. The cover definitely isn’t the best thing, and it sounds like a copycat of The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet from the Youtube Lizzie Bennet Diaries series. But it’s really not. And I’m glad that I read it. It was a pleasant surprise that I really enjoyed.
BTW: I’ve seen a better alternate cover and a different title: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice. So I’m not sure which one came first. But here’s the other cover that’s on Goodreads:
Definitely that’s better than the one on my copy though.
Anyway, basically, this is the diary of Lydia Bennet in the actual Pride & Prejudice setting. We get journal entries from her, and it was really interesting to see a different side of the story. Especially since Lydia usually gets kind of a bad reputation. This story definitely gives her a voice and some redemption.
In the original P&P, we don’t really know what happens with Lydia when she goes to Brighton. All we know is that she ends up with Mr. Wickham, and we always just kind of assume the worst. This novel twists our assumptions around and leads us in a direction I definitely didn’t expect, but it was one that I enjoyed.
Ultimately, if you’re a P&P fan, you should give this one a try. I personally love getting new perspectives from different characters. That’s why I loved A Little in Love, also published by Chicken House, which tells the story of Les Mis but from the perspective of Éponine. While The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet may seem cliché and predictable, I think you’d be surprised.