Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice

Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Odiwe

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Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Pride and Prejudice 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
YY4U More than 1 year ago
Lydia Bennet was one of my least liked characters in Jane Austen's masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice, but Miss Odiwe has changed my mind. She was able to capture the immaturity and selfish aspects of Lydia's character and allow the reader to form sympathy for her flaws. Lydia's marriage to Mr. Wickham, was, indeed, a mistake. Miss Oidwe takes us on a journey from Brighton to Newcastle, then on to Pemberley where the beloved Lizzy and Darcy come into the story, then to Netherfield where Jane and Bingley join the story. The story got better once Lizzy, Darcy, Jane and Bingley were introduced to the storyline. New characters were introduced and fit perfectly in the plot as we see Lydia humiliated and hurt by Mr. Wickham's actions. Lydia is able to withstand the pain, and carry herself with dignity, not stooping to her former behavior, but instead growing up and maturing, able to see her two sisters marriages as the ideal and viewing her past behavior for it was-immaturity. I liked the book very much, and recommend to any who loved Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet was able to redeem herself with the help of Jane Odiwe's writing skills.
LHedgpeth More than 1 year ago
Jane Austen has become quite a valuable commodity within the last decade or so, both in the literary and movie worlds, and reading about a new (or relatively new) Austen sequel has become par for the course. I found Lydia Bennet's Story interesting and original precisely because Jane Odiwe took a secondary character from Pride and Prejudice and elaborated on her own very twisted and dramatic plot. If you are familiar with Pride and Prejudice, you know that Lydia is Lizzy's youngest sister, and a very spoiled one at that. Due to her recklessness in running away with Wickham, she seriously jeopardizes the potential future marriages of her sisters and very nearly sullies her family's good name. As she was a secondary character in Pride and Prejudice, we heard briefly about her exploits but not from her point of view; nor did we know what Wickham said to her to cause her to throw caution to the wind with a foolhardy elopement or exactly what happened with the couple during those weeks in London before their hastily arranged marriage or, outside of their return to Longbourne, of their lives as a newlywed couple. Lydia Bennet's Story alternates between Lydia's diary and a third person accounting, showing Lydia as flirty, flighty, immature and petulent. Ms. Odiwe stays faithful to Jane Austen, both in her portrayal of Lydia as well as Wickham, who naturally reveals himself to be as spoiled and flighty as Lydia. I enjoyed hearing a portion of Pride and Prejudice from Lydia's viewpoint, as well as having the gaps filled in for portions of the story we were not privy to in Ms. Austen's rendition. Ms. Odiwe's descriptions of the period, the dress, the language, is spot on and a true compliment to both Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. The introduction of new characters move the story along fluidly and seem as natural as Lydia ogling a new bonnet. In a market saturated with Austen sequels (not that I'm complaining, mind you, because the more the merrier, in this Austen-obsessed reader's opinion), Lydia Bennet's Story stands out and makes an excellent reading choice.
ExLibris More than 1 year ago
"The true misfortune, which besets any young lady who believes herself destined for fortune and favour, is to find that she has been born into an unsuitable family." (pg. 9)

The opening line of Chapter 1 of Jane Odiwe's sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice describes the character of Elizabeth Bennet's youngest sister Lydia to a tee. In Lydia Bennet's Story, Jane Odiwe brings to life Lydia's lively, high-spirited character as we gain insight to her side of the Wickham debacle through her eyes - and her heart.

Lydia Bennet's Story begins at the point where Lydia becomes increasingly involved with that dastardly rake, George Wickham. Lydia, who cares not to think beyond a new bonnet and how many suitors will ask her to dance at the next assembly, falls quickly under Wickham's spell. To Lydia, who is high spirited and wants nothing more than to be married to a wealthy, handsome soldier, Wickham seems to be the man of her dreams. But she finds out the hard way that Wickham's heart has never been hers and that he only wants her as a connection to Mr. Darcy and his money.

Odiwe weaves her fiction into Austen's story seamlessly, as we follow Lydia through the aftermath of her marriage to Wickham and the subsequent scandals she is subjected to because of him. We also watch Lydia transform from a selfish girl into a mature young woman who wants nothing more than to love and be loved - in style, of course.

I enjoyed Lydia Bennet's Story immensely. It was a fun story with everything I love about good Regency fiction - good writing, plenty of period descriptions and background information that lend authenticity, and romance that is exciting but not over the top. Odiwe did an excellent job of staying true to Austen's style while creating new characters and plots to make the story fresh and interesting. She also gave me a new appreciation for the character of Lydia. In an age of numerous Austen sequels, this one is definitely worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The true misfortune , which besets any young lady who believes herself destined for fortune and favour, is to find that she has been born into an unsuitable family. Lydia Bennet of Longbourn, Hertfordshire, not only believed that her mama and papa had most likely stolen her from noble parents, but also considered it a small miracle that they could have produced between them her own fair self and four comely girls - Jane, Elizabeth, Mary and Kitty - though to tell the truth, she felt herself most blessed in looks.' Chapter 1 It was no surprise to me when I discovered that Elizabeth Bennet¿s impetuous little sister Lydia had been honored with her own book, Lydia Bennet¿s Story, only amazed that it had taken so long for it to arrive on the Janeite bookshelf in the first place. Of all of Jane Austen¿s characters in Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet was one of the most intriguing creatures to recklessly flirt and scandalize a family and for readers who enjoy a good adventure well worth her own treatment. In a bus accident sort of way, I have always longed to know more about her, and now we have been given our chance in this new edition available October 1st from Sourcebooks. The novel can be categorized as a retelling and a sequel since the story begins about one third of the way into Jane Austen¿s Pride and Prejudice as Lydia¿s older sisters Elizabeth and Jane are away from the family home of Longbourn respectively visiting the Collins¿ at Hunsford and the Gardiner¿s in London. The second half of the novel picks up after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice when Lydia and her new husband George Wickham have moved to Newcastle. Interestingly, author Odiwe has chosen to tell the story by excerpts from Lydia¿s journal supplemented by a third person narrative which Austen also employed allowing us the benefit of Lydia¿s unbridled inner thoughts and a narrative of other characters dialogue and action to support it. A nice touch since both Austen¿s and Odiwe¿s Lydia are a bit over the top in reaction and interpretation of events, and the narrative gives readers some grounding for her breathless emotions. And, reactions and emotions are what Lydia Bennet is all about and why I believe many may be intrigued by her. Just based on the fact that she is the youngest of five daughters raised by an indolent father and imprudent mother, one could be inspired to write psychological thesis on all the mitigating factors in her environment that contributed to her personality! However, what Jane Austen introduced Jane Odiwe has cleverly expanded upon picking up the plot and style without a missing a beat. Not only are we reminded that thoughtless, wild and outspoken Lydia is ¿the most determined flirt that ever made herself and her family ridiculous¿ , we begin to understand (but not always agree) with her reasoning¿s and are swept up in the story like a new bonnet bought on impulse. Oh, to be but sixteen again without a care in the world except the latest fashions, local gossip, and which officer to dance with at the next Assembly are a delightful foundation for this excursion into Austenland that is both an amusement and a gentle morality story. Even though author Odiwe succeeded in delivering a lively rendering of an impertinent young Miss bent on fashion, flirting and marriage, she missed her opportunity of a more expressive title which should have read something like `Lydia Bennet¿s Romantic and Sometimes Naughty Adventures¿! Not only is Miss Lydia a professional flirt approaching Beck Sharpe of Vanity Fair¿s territory, she gets to travel to Brighton, London, Newcastle and Bath and have a few escapades along the way. Her determination to follow her latest flirtation George Wickham to Brighton and then infamously elope with him is renowned. Her unchecked impulses continue as the novel progresses through their patched up marriage and her new life in Newcastle where her husband has sadly grown tired of her and moved on to the nex
scarlettbrooke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I must admit that I have been getting pretty sick of the Austen books. I have read all the ones that cross my hand and very rarely, VERY RARELY, do I find one that I enjoy. It seems that some of these authors get so caught up in continuing the story of the Jane and Darcy and Lizzy and Bingley that they don¿t take the time to create a thoughtful and entertaining story. At least to me. On that note, I loved this book.I fully expected to hate this book. I expected to finish it and thank my lucky stars that I only had one Austen related book on my desk. I was sad when this book ended.Of all the Bennet sisters I always liked Lydia. She seemed like she would be fun to be around. What young girl doesn¿t like to party every once in a while? However, we never really learned much about her. She was given to the reader as a silly, thoughtless and self-concerned girl who didn't warrant much consideration by the original Austen. What Odiwe has given us, in this go round, is a girl like any other. She is young, naïve, trusting and foolish. She doesn¿t understand consequence at all. At the end of the book the reader is left with a woman, a woman who knows her own heart and goals.This book started slow. The first thirty pages were torture but once past the introductory pages it picked up pace. The reader travels all over England with Lydia as she straightens out her life and tries to free herself from Wickham. Wickham is everything he is in Pride and Prejudice and a really delicious character to hate.It is with great reluctance that I pass this book on to a friend. Lydia Bennet¿s Story is a book that I would love to be able to revisit whenever I needed a fun book on a rainy afternoon.
lookingforpenguins on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As a true Jane Austen fan, I had until recently shunned all attempted "sequels" to any of Ms. Austen's great works. Fearing disappointment, I did not want to sully what to me is the perfect novel: Pride and Prejudice. As it turns out, I need not have worried. The term "sequel," I am happy to report, has no application whatsoever to Jane Owide's delightful novel, Lydia Bennet's Story.The novel explores the life of Lydia, the youngest and arguably most insipid Bennet sister. What if Lydia wasn't as vapid as many surmised? What if she was just a silly young girl who made the typical mistakes of the young?Author Jane Owide, thankfully, makes no attempt to be Jane Austen. Writing in third person with occasional glimpses into Lydia's diary, Owide brilliantly takes a supporting character from a classic tale and uniquely makes it her own. Lydia is presented as a normal teen-aged girl with normal teenage concerns and immaturity and the unfortunate luck to cross paths with that infamous 19th-century player, Mr Wickham. This doesn't mean she isn't endearing: quite the opposite. After all, it's difficult not to identify with thoughts such as"Mr Wickham will NOT be forgiven for his behaviour, though I can think of nothing else, playing over the scene in my head with a different ending each time. I now know just how I should have behaved and what I should have said which is vexing in the extreme."By the end of the story, Lydia's actions were quite forgivable in my eyes. She made mistakes many of us can sympathize with, having made many of them ourselves, albeit in a different century. Over-weening pride - an allusion to the novel from which she springs - only compouds her misjudgments.The underlying seriousness of the follies of youth notwithstanding, the novel is lighthearted enough for enjoyable read and I was quite pleased to discover that it may be considered a stand-alone story, meaning that one need not be an Austen aficionado nor even to have read Pride and Prejudice in order to enjoy this book. If, however, you are a serious Austen fan and are loath to try reading one of the many "sequels," you can safely set aside that fear in this instance and sit down with a very enjoyable tale. Happy reading!
sagustocox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lydia Bennet's Story by Jane Odiwe is a different type of sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice; it does not retell the lives of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, their children, or modernize their story as a 20th century romance. Lydia Bennet's Story transports the reader back to 19th Century England to tell Lydia's woeful and headstrong tail of romance and intrigue, rather than the tales woven by Jane Austen for Lizzy and Jane Bennet.We join Lydia on her journey from the balls at the Assembly in Hertfordshire, England, through Brighton, and Newcastle. Headstrong and willy-nilly Lydia is just as vivid in these pages as she is in Jane Austen's novel. Although her character plays a minor role in Austen's novel, she takes center stage in Odiwe's, but with journal entries sprinkled amidst the storyline, the reader begins to see what motivates Lydia to act as she does in public and with the soldiers. As the youngest daughter in the Bennet family, she seeks acceptance and love in all the wrong places.Once in Brighton, Lydia is shameless in her pursuit of a husband and begins lavishing her affections on George Wickham. Despite his declarations that he can love no one, Lydia will have none of it, shunning Captain Trayton-Camfield, who seems to truly care for her. Lydia and Wickham run off to London together, and she expects them to get married, though it only materializes when Wickham is pressured by none-other-than Mr. Darcy. This is where Austen's Pride & Prejudice leaves Lydia.Lydia Bennet's Story does not miss a beat, Odiwe has a strong command of Austen's language, style, and characters, but she puts her own flare on the wild maven that is Lydia. Despite winning her prize--Mr. Wickham--Lydia soon realizes married life to her charming soldier is not all she expected it to be as his gambling and womanizing continue. In a way, Odiwe's Lydia continues to fool herself that Wickham's character is merely misunderstood, but soon his character is undeniable, and she is forced to not only deal with her loveless marriage, but their poor station in life.Here's one of my favorite quotes from Lydia is on page 290:"Even in my reckless alliance, I believed I was in love and yes, a state of confusion it might be, but I submitted to it and felt my regard most wholeheartedly. And though I now believe my love was not truly returned, that I was mislead, I still believe in the power of true love."Here Lydia expresses the evolution of her character and highlights how she has matured on this journey of love, hardship, and growth. She is no longer the silly, younger sister of Lizzy and Jane, but her own mature woman, though more bold than conventions are prepared to handle.Readers of Jane Austen and Austen enthusiasts will enjoy this novel, but even those readers looking for a fast-paced "romance" will enjoy Lydia Bennet's Story.
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