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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for chasing the blues away!
Being an avid reader yet reluctant writer I have not submitted a book review before, but 'Lydia Bennett's Story' has shaken me out of my complacency - what a great read - brilliant for chasing the blues away! A friend introduced me to this book and, although a great fan of Jane Austen's work, I've never read a sequel before. I loved this book from its first page - Ms...
Published on 7 Jan 2008 by J. Murison

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New look at Lydia Bennett
I am absolutely amazed at the seemingly never ending stream of books being published telling the story of nearly all of the characters in Pride and Prejudice. One sometimes wonders how many more the market can hold and surely these must come to an end soon. I cannot imagine that anybody would want to know about Kitty or Mary Bennett but I daresay they will soon have a...
Published on 10 Sep 2008 by Elaine Simpson-long


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for chasing the blues away!, 7 Jan 2008
By 
J. Murison (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
Being an avid reader yet reluctant writer I have not submitted a book review before, but 'Lydia Bennett's Story' has shaken me out of my complacency - what a great read - brilliant for chasing the blues away! A friend introduced me to this book and, although a great fan of Jane Austen's work, I've never read a sequel before. I loved this book from its first page - Ms Odiwe's writing is so descriptive - it sends you back to the Regency World in all its sensuous detail (surely the result of many hours of meticulous research). The story fairly romps along and the clever device of interweaving the narrative with extracts from Lydia's diary gives fascinating insights into her character. If you are looking for a novel to lose yourself in I cannot recommend this book highly enough! I'm left with a quandary though - now I have a taste for Austen sequels will other writers live up to Jane Odiwe's penmanship? The only answer is to chain Ms Odiwe to her desk until she produces another - the sooner the better!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars New look at Lydia Bennett, 10 Sep 2008
By 
Elaine Simpson-long (Colchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
I am absolutely amazed at the seemingly never ending stream of books being published telling the story of nearly all of the characters in Pride and Prejudice. One sometimes wonders how many more the market can hold and surely these must come to an end soon. I cannot imagine that anybody would want to know about Kitty or Mary Bennett but I daresay they will soon have a book devoted to them. I do wonder about the perennial fascination with all things P&P. I fully understand that the BBC version of ten years ago simply swept everyone up and was sold worldwide, sparking off a huge upsurge in Austen interest but find it odd that these spin off books focus mainly on this Austen novel and none of the others.

So I was a little doubtful about this book but was pleasantly surprised. Jane Odiwe has caught Lydia's gushing, breathless manner beautifully in those parts of the book which are purporting to be her diary. Too many explanation marks for my liking, but I daresay Lydia would have written like this, all dash and full of enthusiasm.

Lydia is thought of as the villain of the piece along with Wickham, the thoughtless, conceited younger daughter who was only interested in officers and flirting and getting married before her sisters and we forget that when this happened she was only sixteen years old. Precocious yes, but still young. the interesting thread in this book is the constant striving by Lydia to win her father's approval and affection. She thinks of Jane and Lizzy as boring and proper and destined to be old maids, but it is clear that these are the thoughts of a childish and jealous younger sister who is aware that her father thinks she is one of 'the silliest girls in the country' and that he is wrapped up in his close relationship with Elizabeth. Lydia adopts the attitude 'ok he expects very little of me so I will prove him right' and continues to behave in a silly and outrageous manner hoping to gain his attention and is disappointed when she hopes, optimistically, that when she comes home with her husband, Mr Bennett will greet her and congratulate her on her marriage.

Lydia's behaviour is classic look at me, attention seeking and outrageous, to obtain a reaction which never comes and I found myself rather warming to her as I read her Story. She is honest enough to realise that she has made a terrible mistake in marrying Wickham and to admit that she has nobody to blame but herself and to feel sadness at the obvious affection and happiness in her sister's marriages which is sadly lacking in her own.

So, a story that turned out to be better than I thought, rather sweet and made me feel sorry for Lydia. A silly feckless mother and a father who ignored her, two elder sisters regarded as the beauties and best of the Bennett girls, no wonder she behaved as she did.

A surprising ending and, one hopes, it will lead to happiness for Lydia. A good addition to the P&P canon.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 8 Jan 2008
By 
M. T. Obrien - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
Excellent book. Took it on holiday for the duration. Lasted one day. Could not put it down. Lydia'story fills in the gaps and yearning to the many references to her. The descriptive writing made me feel as if I was actually there. The attention to detail meticulous. Well writen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read! I finished it in two sittings!, 18 Jan 2008
By 
Laura Boyle "Austentation" (Massachusetts, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
Presented as a novel interspersed with diary entries, Part one of Lydia's story retells the now familiar events of Pride and Prejudice through a new heroine's eyes, adding details which help explain some of her actions, shedding light on the motive behind others. As readers, we are wont to think of Lydia only as one of "the silliest girls in the country." Ms. Odiwe undertakes to teach us better.

A young teenager in love cannot be anything but thoughtless, but it does not stand that once the first bloom of romance has passed that she may not turn her mind towards the improvement of herself and her situation. It is not impossible to learn from one's mistakes. The moral of Pride and Prejudice is that first impressions are not the stuff of lasting relationships. Personalities can improve or disappoint on further acquaintance- from knowing one better, their disposition is better understood. This theme is carried further in Lydia Bennet's Story.

We accompany Lydia to Brighton with the Regiment and there experience firsthand her flirtation with Wickham. Unaware of his past indiscretions, she fancies herself in love with him. A midnight flight is planned and we follow the couple to London, stand with them at their wedding and from there travel with them to their new life in the north.

Part two begins where Pride and Prejudice leaves off, with the Wickhams in Newcastle and Jane and Elizabeth happily settled at their respective estates. Life has not been kind to the young couple, though it is perhaps what they deserve for beginning so badly. How they find their way towards a better understanding of each other, how the past is brought forward to determine their future...well--it is riveting reading.

New friends are introduced and old ones are revisited with grace and charm. Romances are concocted, and hearts are won and lost against a vivid background of Regency England. Brighton is brought forth in all its gaudy splendor; a whole camp full of soldiers with balls and parties every night. Newcastle becomes a real place, far more than just a northern banishment; a seaside city full of full of merchants and warehouses, shops and gossips. In Bath, all the familiar haunts from Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are revisited; the Pump Room, the Upper Rooms, Queen's Square and even the Gravel Walk, so often the trysting place of young couples.

With an unexpected plot twist the story of young Lydia rapidly comes to its satisfying conclusion. Readers will not be disappointed by the creative way the author brings justice to all. Lydia's story is thoroughly entertaining. Despite the illicit nature of the Wickham's relationship at first, readers will find the matter delicately handled with no reason to blush. Lydia's voice is sweet and lively. Hers is not a nature to be weighed down by care or sorrow. A greater understanding of her nature and situation brings the reader a new compassion for her and an admiration for her overcoming spirit. It is a mature Lydia who writes at the end of the book, "If only I could have shown some control over my actions and curbed my obsession with George, perhaps my own great folly could have been avoided. Well, we have both come to a better understanding of life as a result... though first attachments, it would seem are not always the best".

Lydia Bennet was, indeed, born to an extraordinary fate, and I, for one, am grateful to Ms. Odiwe for sharing her story.

Jane Odiwe lives in North London, with her husband and three children. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and talented artist. Her first book, Effusions of Fancy is an illustrated collection of "letters" by Jane Austen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read for anyone but particularly for JA fans, 23 Jan 2008
By 
D. Taylor (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
The descriptive narrative is truly remarkable and this is a book hard to put down. The "piece de resistance" is the twist to the plot at the end which readers should keep to themselves!
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5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be disappointed!, 12 Mar 2008
This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
I really enjoyed reading `Lydia Bennet!' Jane Odiwe has beautifully captured Lydia's giddiness and zest for life in this sparkling Regency romp. Fans of the period can rest assured Jane has done her research carefully. There are some nice touches of humour, and watch out for the surprise `twist' - I nearly jumped out of my chair!
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Pure" escapism, 24 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
What a delightfiul story. Full of Regency detail and Jane Austen style. A lively tale with great insights into it's spirited heroine's thoughts and opinions. The plot dashes along with the same exuberance that Lydia approaches life. It certainly lift my spirits in the gloomy winter evenings.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up, 1 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)
I only got this book at Christmas and read it within two days as I could not but it down! I have read many Pride & Prejudice remakes this it certainly one of the best as very original portraying Lydia Bennet's portion of the story. Jane Odiwe did not make the mistake of changing the original Master peace just centring this book on Lydia's description of the events which take place in Pride & Prejudice. My only feeling is that Jane Odiwe makes Lydia out to be a `victim' due to the evil George Wickham, and sees the error of her ways in order for there to be a happy ending!

Definitely one to read!
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