Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review: Lizzy Bennet's Diary

Some of you may not know that I am a huge Jane Austen fan. My love of all things Austen doesn't come up that often here on this blog, as most Austen content is aimed at an adult audience. That changes today, however, as I review today's title.

The Stats: Lizzy Bennet's Diary by Marcia Williams, released April 22 from Candlewick

The Synopsis: Elizabeth (Lizzy) Bennet and her sisters, living in Georgian England, have their lives just about turned to chaos when their mother learns that Mr. Bingley--a very eligible bachelor--has moved into the neighborhood. The social world of a single Regency woman revolved around marriage prospects, and Lizzy Bennet is no different. This book constitutes her diary, and it proves that all the marriage fuss doesn't mean Lizzy can't have her own opinions and interesting experiences along the way.

The Review: Williams's diary-style interpretation of Pride and Prejudice is fair indeed. It keeps mostly consistent with the characterization from Austen's original--an important detail for me, since adaptations for younger readers need to represent everything that's excellent about the real thing. There are a few moments when Lizzy seems to think or say something that doesn't quite seem in character, but I attribute that to the liberties of changing a third person story to a first person internal narration. I've got no major complaints, which is a pretty big endorsement for me when it comes to an Austen adaptation.

The Programming Connection: I'd book talk this title in conjunction with other diary-style novels, like the Dear America and Royal Diary series. It would also make a nice complement to a suite of historical novels.

Review copy provided by the publisher.

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