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Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice

Written by Natasha Farrant

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Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice Review

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Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award

In a nutshell: Dances | Dreams | Determination  Younger sister of Lizzy and Jane, Lydia Bennet is one of literature’s great catalysts. Her actions are fundamental to the story of Pride and Prejudice, but there we never learn exactly what lead up to her shocking elopement with Wickham. Natasha Farrant fills in those gaps, drawing Lydia as impetuous, bold, determined, a breathing teenage girl, much more likeable than she’s allowed to be in Austen’s novel. She gives Lydia some 21st century sensibilities, showing her frustrated by society’s constraints on women and dreaming of escape and independence. Her relationship with her sisters is warmly and wittily described, as is her relationship with Wickham – they are surprisingly honest with each other, and he is much more sympathetic as a result. In fact this story is full of surprises, a fresh, sharp but faithful reimagining it will delight readers, whether they know the original or not. ~ Andrea Reece

A Piece of passion from Publisher, Barry Cunningham    It’s no secret that Pride and Prejudice has captured the hearts of readers for centuries. But what’s been under wraps, until now, is the life and voice of one of its more minor characters – Lydia, the youngest Bennet sister – who’s anything but minor in this funny and fresh reimagining of the beloved novel.Lydia is spirited, witty and independent – a modern girl before her time. Through her diary entries and letters, we see a young woman trying to break free, trying to get what she wants, but who just . . . CAN’T. But there’s romance and adventure on her horizon, and with it a life that she would have never thought possible. Not to be too Austentatious, but I think there’s a lot of Lydia in me. The author has told me she thinks there’s a lot of Wickham in her. And I KNOW that readers will love seeing themselves in these much-loved characters . . . brought to life in the modern age in a way like never before.


Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice Synopsis

A spirited, witty and fresh reimagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice! Lydia is the youngest Bennet sister and she's sick of country life - instead of sewing and reading, she longs for adventure. When a red-coated garrison arrives in Merryton, Lydia's life turns upside down. As she falls for dashing Wickham, she's swept into a whirlwind social circle and deposited in a seaside town, Brighton. Sea-bathing, promenades and scandal await - and a pair of intriguing twins. Can Lydia find out what she really wants - and can she get it?

A message from the author: All of Austen’s heroines are determined to carve out their own paths, but none more so than wild child Lydia Bennet. Rebellious, selfish, wilful, brimming with energy and love of life, she is the archetypal teenager. As I wrote her, the curious feeling came over me that I was actually writing myself. That is the power of Austen: her observation of human nature was so incisive that two hundred years later even her minor characters still resonate profoundly with us. And I will tell you a secret: now that the book is done, I miss Lydia like I have never missed any other character I wrote. I hope that for all her many faults, you will love her just as much as I do.

Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Jenny Duffy - 'A very readable and thoughtful book, which brings a welcome feminist slant to Austen’s work and takes a fresh look at one of Pride & Prejudice’s less likeable characters.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This was a really interesting story. I wasn't going to read this book but I'm so glad I did.'
  • Hannah Maxwell - 'It is a brilliant take on Pride and Prejudice and I would love to see more books from this author.'
  • Kyra, age 17 - 'An utterly delightful read filled with vivacious characters, dashing suitors and daring escapades. It's a charming, whimsical novel that NEEDS to be on your summer reading list!'
  • Cara Mcilroy, age 14 - 'A fantastic story - I couldn't put down.'
  • Maisie Sadler, age 15 - 'I loved this book. It was gripping and a very well written spin-off from Pride and Prejudice!'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This was a delightful story and it would make a great read for any fan of Pride and Prejudice.'
  • Celeste Phelan, age 14 - 'Lydia is a fantastic continuation of the Pride and Prejudice story and has really encouraged me to read this classic novel.'
  • Destiny Maraj, age 14 - 'I found this novel taught me more about how women were treated in the olden days and the unfairness of it all.  Overall I loved Lydia.'
  • Humaira, age 18 - 'Lydia is not only such a delightful book but also such a gem of a character and I'm sure she has captured the hearts of many who read what she has to say.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781910002971
Publication date: 01/09/2016
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781910002971
Publication date: 1st September 2016
Author: Natasha Farrant
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 304 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 13+ readers
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children
Other Categories: UKLA 2018

About Natasha Farrant

Natasha Farrant has worked in children’s publishing for almost twenty years, running her own literary scouting agency for the past ten. She is the author of the Carnegie longlisted and Branford Boase shortlisted YA historical novel The Things We Did For Love, as well as two successful adult novels. She grew up in London where she still lives with her husband, their two daughters and a large tortoiseshell cat. She is the eldest of four siblings and has never dyed her hair pink. Photo credit © Sam Armstrong.

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