“He entered. His beauty in scarlet regimentals was overwhelming. The world went black and I thought perhaps I had died, but then Kitty nudged me and I realized that I was alive, but had merely closed my eyes.”
The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet by Natasha Farrant
Star rating: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Summary: Lydia, youngest of the Bennet sisters, tells her story in her own words. From witnessing her sister’s romantic adventures to her own vacation in Brighton and her interactions with her eventual husband, George Wickham.
Reasons for picking this book: I love Pride & Prejudice and Lydia is my favorite Bennet sister, so when I saw his book was coming out told I her perspective I was so excited!
Review: Lydia is my absolute favorite Bennet sister, she’s frivolous, self-absorbed and completely unaware most of the time that she in inappropriate. I really enjoyed that someone decided to delve into Lydia and her character.
In this book Farrant makes Lydia far more complex than in the original Pride & Prejudice. She’s far smarter than she believes, anytime she starts to be clever she recalls how all of her own family believe she is stupid and belittle her. She does prefer things like fashion and dancing but she spends a good chunk of her time studying while in Brighton. To be fair, she was studying to impress a man she had met.
I really liked Lydia’s relationship with Wickham, they’re almost frenemies. She quickly learns that he is trying to use women to increase his wealth and status by marrying them and is not pleased with that idea at all. She distances herself from him but ends up helping him try to woo the cousin of the man she’s falling for in Brighton, but only because he’s blackmailing her.
I liked how Lydia didn’t run away with the intention of marrying Wickham, that she’d long decided she didn’t want him as a husband. The way Farrant made it work out was really cool, I liked how she made it this whole other story and really made it her own. I liked that it’s a story we would never know otherwise rather than just told from a different perspective.
I thought is book was fun to read and I think any fan of Pride & Prejudice would enjoy reading this book. Even if you’re not a big fan of Lydia (but seriously how can you not love her?).
Recommendations: If you haven’t read Pride & Prejudice or aren’t a fan of the book I don’t think this is a book for you. But if you are then yes! Read this book! It’s so much fun!
Up next: The Cage – a dystopian novel