- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Chicken House (October 25, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0545940311
- ISBN-13: 978-0545940313
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,001,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret Diary of Lydia Bennet Hardcover – October 25, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Everyone knows Pride and Prejudice is Elizabeth Bennet's story. Sister Lydia wants to change that. Farrant's enticing book, written to evoke Austen's style without attempting to replicate it, gives readers "the rest of the story." Lydia might have been portrayed as a flibbertigibbet in the source material, memorable for eloping with the charming scoundrel Mr. Wickham, but here she presents her take. Readers are introduced to the youngest Bennet's wonderfully snarky personality as she, naively at times, lays open English society in 1811. The 15-year-old may be flighty and immature, but her diary entries illustrate that societal structure and mores can be held responsible. Women had well-defined roles, and society did not look kindly on those who defied them. Adventurous Lydia longs to ride fast, learn to shoot, and see the world beyond Hertfordshire. Instead, she is viewed as a marriage commodity by a mother desperate to ensure her family's financial security. Lydia is aware that she was denied an education because her family considers her looks and disposition her chief assets. When she sneaks into a library in search of reading material to impress a young man, readers sense that although her motives are shallow, this encounter with literature may not be her last. In the despicable Wickham, Lydia finds a kindred spirit, someone who has the potential to open worlds to her. VERDICT A delight to read. A familiarity with Pride and Prejudice will enhance enjoyment but is not necessary, and those who haven't read Austen will be sent in search of her work.—Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA
"A study in the challenges of growing up and in the raucously funny habits of a family of eccentrics." --The New York Times
"Memorable... Funny and painful and tumultuous." --The Wall Street Journal
"An uplifting, memorable read." --Kirkus Reviews
"A fine read--funny and moving." --The Sunday Telegraph (UK)
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Top customer reviews
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Because I knew how things ended up for Lydia, I wasn’t expecting some much suspense. Farrant made me feel for Lydia and even respect her quite a bit. She is a complex character in this story. She’s very independent and strong willed, like Elizabeth.
Re-tellings and spin-offs always impress me. And this book was no exception. Farrant was able to weave a very interesting story between the known beginning and known ending of Lydia’s story. I don’t want to say too much, but if you’re an Austen fan-fiction reader, I think you’ll love this story.
Blog: Opinionated Book Lover