Lydia Bennett is the despair of her father, an embarrassment to her older sisters and the jewel in her mother’s crown. ‘Remember girls, if you want something, you must fight for it. Nobody else will do it for you,’ advises Lydia’s Mama. Lydia takes her at her word.

‘Lydia’ wants to know and experience everything. While she is stuck in Merryton with Napoleon the kitten, pious visitors, expectations, and listening to whispered conversations through the walls, the world awaits. Officers, setting up a regiment in the town suggest a distraction. One, Captain Wickham, offers her a lifeline, as a friend. He recognises her desires and frustrations. She recognises his ambitions.

Lydia‘ is brilliantly realised. I am reacquainted with her sisters and family, and other ‘Pride and Prejudice’ characters. They are realised truthfully. We come to know Lydia. Our sympathies for her grow as we realise the limitations imposed on her through history and gender.

Bookwagon recommends ‘Lydia‘ to any readers who love Jane Austen, historical writing, or books with beautifully realised characters. We are delighted to include ‘Lydia‘ aboard the wagon.



The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice

Natasha Farrant

(Chicken House)

We know Elizabeth Bennett’s story through Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’. What about ‘Lydia’, her wayward youngest sister? Suppose she’d taken up Mary’s unwanted birthday gift of a diary, given that Lydia might’ improve her mind’. She wails that ‘nothing EVER happens’ in the depths of the English countryside. What if this diary of the year from her fifteenth birthday proves otherwise? This wonderful book is recommended to anyone who loves Jane Austen, character driven or historical writing. Natasha Farrant has worked magic in this creation.

Nominated for the Carnegie Media, the UKLA book award and the Guardian Fiction prize.


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