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Worlds within Words

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Who Needs Mr Darcy? - Jean Burnett

The title of this book caught my attention immediately as I am a huge Jane Austen fan and Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books and Mr Darcy is one of my favourite fictional heroes.  So I was very interested to discover how the author would treat the subject.

 

The story follows the adventures and many mishaps of Lydia Bennet, the youngest Bennet daughter who infamously elopes with the charming rake Wickham.  The book opens when Lydia is a widow after Wickham dies in battle at Waterloo (though perhaps not as heroically as he would have hoped).  Lydia is back at Pemberley with Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy and she is eager to get away from her stuffy brother –in—law and sister so she can finish “mourning” for the loss of Wickham and start enjoying life again as only she knows how.

 

Lydia faces many trials and tribulations in this book and early on she has an encounter with a highwayman which is significant for her future.  She has many adventures with her friends and has to rely on her wits and beauty to get her out of many unfortunate situations.

 

This is a fast moving, exciting adventure with a serious undertone.  Lydia literally has to rely on her looks to earn her keep at times and this book highlights the plight of young women who for whatever reason weren’t secured a comfortable lifestyle because of whom they married.  The Lydia in this book seems a lot more astute and worldly wise in this book compared to the one we meet in Pride and Prejudice.  I can understand why this as the reader needs to care about Lydia in order to read a whole book about her.

 

I really enjoyed this book, it’s like an old fashioned adventure with, spies, murder, intrigue royalty  and of course romance and the ending was left sufficiently open for a possible sequel which I hope there is as I can’t wait to see what Lydia gets up to next!!