"Clever, stylish and very funny” - JENNY MCLACHLAN

 

“…LOVE IT. It’s like being hugged by a book” – HOLLY BOURNE

 

“A fantastically fun take on Jane Austen” – DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE radio

 

 

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PRESS REVIEWS

 

 

THE GUARDIANLINK

“best described as a “feminist Regency romp”. Farrant’s Lydia is cleverer and bolder than Austen’s, if still somewhat averse to education. She contrives to leave Merryton for Brighton, falls hero-worshippingly in love with the aristocratic twins she meets there – and accepts her eventual fate as Wickham’s wife with clear-eyed optimism. This reimagining of the youngest Miss Bennet should prompt a sympathetic rereading of her original.”

 

 

BUZZFEED:

1. FEMINIST READING LIST, SUMMER 2016 (LINK)

“If Jane Austen wasn’t feminist AF already, this new reimagining of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the wildest Bennett sister certainly is. Opinionated and determined, Lydia is a divisive character, but an excellent one – a strong young woman who makes her own choices and her own mistakes, and Natasha Farrant’s new book offers a fascinating peer inside her head.”

 

2. 28 YA BOOKS EVERYONE SHOULD READ (LINK)

“Natasha Farrant’s delightfully sassy Pride and Prejudice inspired novel is a perfect back-to-school read. Breaking off from Elizabeth’s story, Lydia, as the title implies, is the story of the wild sister of the Bennett brood, and offers and exciting feminist angle to Jane Austen’s classic.”

 

SUNDAY TIMES “CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE WEEK”

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WATERSTONES.COM  (LINK)

“What makes this book so enjoyable is its ability to keep the events set in the early 1800s, and keep many of the things that make reading historical fiction so interesting, whilst at the same time creating a Lydia who is a modern and high spirited typical teenager. It really made me think about how Lydia is presented to us by Jane Austen in the original novel. I think this book is an invaluable read to any teenager studying Jane Austen, especially if they're struggling to get into the original texts. It's a brilliant way into the world of classics, and when paired with something like the YouTube series 'The Lizzie Bennet Diaries', is a fantastic way of keeping these classics vivid and relevant to today's young adults.”

 

TIMES EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT CLASS REVIEW: LINK

“a style that is both respectful of the original and simultaneously refreshingly modern… Challenging my long and dearly held ideas, I became more fond of Lydia than I ever thought possible. Now I feel that, had I met her, I would have been cheering her along – probably offering her a copy of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and buying her a pair of blue stockings. I thoroughly believe that Austen herself would be laughing out loud at this and I predict a renewed interest in her wonderful novels, sparked by Natasha Farrant and her wonderful Lydia.”

 

“Natasha Farrant conjures up a romantic atmosphere that may melt your heart. It is a must for all major bookworms out there!” - Teagan McClymont-Dodd, Year 6

 

Lydia is an OUTSTANDING, astonishing book, filled with wonder and revelation.” - Natalia Ferens, Year 6

 

“If you like rebellious, rule- breaking characters, then this is the book for you.” - Kellie Jo Mather, Year 6

 

THE BOOKSELLER “ONE TO WATCH”

“…a treat. Both faithful and affectionate to the original. Farrant brings warmth, poignancy, and a contemporary edge to Lydia’s voice.”

 

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BOOKS FOR KEEPS: LINK (website)

 “It is a brave author who takes on a classic; it very rarely works. Natasha Farrant has boldly decided to enter the world of Jane Austen. Does she succeed? She does. In the first place she is careful not to be Jane Austen. The period setting is lightly handled, her dialogue refreshingly contemporary without jarring. Nor does she focus on the characters that are central to Austen's plot. Rather she takes Lydia who, though important, nevertheless does not appear for much of the original. Even so her character is very definite - and Farrant takes advantage of this to develop her for a modern audience who will meet someone they can recognise -a teenager rebellious, independent, often naive but also resourceful. By using the diary format, the reader steps into Lydia's life. It is a technique that is admirably suited to the story Farrant tells; she takes the period that Lydia is off stage and fills it in while cleverly embedding it inside Austen's plot. She remains true to the original characters - but seen through the eyes of an exasperated and exasperating younger sister. Wickham is well presented, not an out and out villain - but very much as Lydia says "a gambler and a chancer", a charmer - as she is. Would there have been Lydia’s in Austen's world? Indeed, yes, just think of Becky Sharp. A terrific romp and a great antidote to the many teen novels full misery. Very much recommended - and maybe it will introduce new readers to the ultimate classic, Pride and Prejudice.”

 

READING ZONE

MAIN INTERVIEW – SCHOOLS BOOK OF THE MONTH - LINK

 

TURN2PAGE1 – interview, links, feature - LINK

 

REVIEW – LINK

“Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice is a beautifully written and crafted novel that works because it doesn't mimic Austen but it is imbued with Austen's landscapes and tone; the same significance of the minutiae, the measured formalities and voices within limited social settings, the dashes of humour, and a warmth for and understanding of its characters. Lydia, we are reminded, was just a teenager - and, in her willingness to find her own path in life, she is one the modern reader will want to applaud rather than judge. Nor will readers have to know Pride and Prejudice to enjoy Farrant's work; it stands on its own although it also fills in many gaps for those who have read Austen's novel”

 

LOVEREADING4KIDS

“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.”

 

THE BOOKBAG:

“she has succeeded in making us fall in love with Lydia, despite her faults. She has kept true to the original character, but by giving Lydia her own voice, we realise what an exciting character she is, as well as a sparkling storyteller. We see Lydia's moods sway one way and another in her diary entries; one minute she is ecstatic and the next, heartbroken. We can't help but echo her sentiments and get swept along with her story… I absolutely adored this book and I think it will appeal to younger readers too, as the wording, style and book length are more accessible than the original. Hopefully, the story will inspire a new generation to be inspired by Jane Austen and seek out the classic book on which the story was based.”

 

ABSOLUTELY EDUCATION MAGAZINE: review (Sept 16 edition)

“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 elopement with Wickham. Natasha Farrant lls in those gaps, drawing Lydia as an impetuous, bold, determined 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. This story is full of surprises, a fresh, sharp but faithful reimagining which will delight readers, whether they know the original or not.”

 

CUCKOO REVIEWS

“Her version of Lydia is a character that will stay with me for a long time.”

 

BOOKTRUST:

“Natasha Farrant perfectly captures Lydia's voice and personality”

 

 

ANGELS AND URCHINS - LINK

“I was in two minds to recommend this book, fearful it might prevent readers from tackling P&P itself but I do in the hope it will whet their appetites.”

 

 

BLOG REVIEWS:

 

SUE & PAKKA’S - LINK

“To have managed to write such a story, based on such a classic is a remarkably brave undertaking. Particularly with such an author as Jane Austen. I was not, however, one who would know if any errors were made with the book, having, as I have said, not read P&P.

I must state though, that to have written such a book in such a way as to make me for one, consider reading Pride and Prejudice, must be a success. Further, it must be one that Jane Austen would be pleased to acknowledge as a result of that, if nothing else.”

 

BOOK COOKIE BLOG: LINK

“Overall Lydia’s lighthearted narrative is bubbly and amusing and a thoroughly enjoyable read. I think that this book is an excellent introduction to the classic novel Pride and Prejudice, which I now intend to read, and I would highly recommend it to anyone of 10+.”

 

LAURA’S LITTLE BOOK BLOG - LINK

“As you may have already guessed, this is the untold story of Lydia, the youngest and at the time unruly of the Bennet sisters. These types of stories are really growing in popularity with me and it does not matter at all that it is not from the original author. Also it's clear that Natasha has kept to the original story as much as she could and really did feel like dipping back into the beloved story, but it was still fresh and unique to Natasha's writing style and it worked so well being told through Lydia's diary.”

 

BLOG OF A BOOKAHOLIC: LINK

“after reading this vibrant and whimsical retelling of the youngest Bennett sister, I'm utterly desperate to give Pride and Prejudice a go! I thoroughly enjoyed this book - more even than I thought I would! I read it in a couple of sittings and once I reached the last page I let out an audible "Awww, it's finished!". It's such a lighthearted, fanciful read and I would absolutely love it if the author decided to write more books from Lydia's perspective -or from the other Bennett sisters' point of views! Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride and Prejudice is an utterly delightful read, filled with vivacious characters, dashing suitors and daring escapades. It's a charming, whimsical novel that you NEED to have on your summer reading list!

 

 

LUCY THE READER, VIA INSTAGRAM - https://www.instagram.com/p/BHcTpS5g67U/

 

EDEL WAUGH: LINK

“Lydia's perspective is an eye opening experience and she is just as outspoken as you would expect her to be”

 

SCARLETTE’S BOOK BLOG – most anticipated - LINK

 

TEENS ON MOON LANE – top 20 in second half of 2016 - LINK

 

THE BOOKS THE ART AND ME – guest interview with Natasha Farrant - LINK

 

THE BOOKS THE ART AND ME – review - LINK

“Farrant’s attention to detail in terms of clothing and customs is impressive (her descriptions of the bathing machines were brilliant) and she creates a book that is respectful of Austen while being an entertaining read in its own right. The diary format is very effective, Lydia’s voice is earnest and lively. Lydia brings a welcome feminist slant to Austen’s work and takes a fresh look at one of Pride & Prejudice’s less likeable characters.”

 

SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME – review - LINK

“But most of all, I loved that Lydia’s ending felt so different to P&P – it felt worthy of the character I fell in love with during this novel. Marrying Wickham almost seemed like a punishment for her actions in Austen’s book, something that would inevitably end in unhappiness, but Lydia got her happy ending in Lydia which was really lovely to see. I finished this book with a great big smile on my face and you really can’t ask for more than that. Lydia is a fresh, affectionate and respectful take on Pride and Prejudice and really manages to keep Austen’s original at its heart.”

 

WILDE ON MY SIDE – review - LINK

“There’s a feminist edge to Lydia which I really enjoyed; the forceful main character bullies Wickham into teaching her to ride a horse properly, as well as asking him to show her how to shoot, and more than once bemoans the fact that being born a girl in the Regency period has deprived her of the opportunities available to men. “I wish I were a man,” she says, “instead of a girl, obliged to sit around waiting for no-good suitors to decide if I am fancy enough, or to throw myself at idiot clergymen. If I were a man, I could do something.” It’s hard to argue with her logic, and I found myself cheering her on as she took matters into her own hands. Farrant’s spin on the relationship between Lydia and Wickham is interesting too; it’s not necessarily how I’ve always imagined that aspect of the story, but I enjoyed what she did with it, particularly when Lydia’s diary was covering events that were familiar from Pride and Prejudice.”

 

NORTH SOMERSET TEACHERS - LINK

“The story is particularly strong when Lydia gets her wish and goes to Brighton. Here, Lydia's 'missing story' is developed with details of life in a seaside resort of the early 1800s and the reader can see her grow and mature, viewing her escapades more sympathetically than they might otherwise have done. The outcome is still the same- she ends up married to Wickham- but it has a different feel. Whether you're a 'Pride and Prejudice' fan or just looking for a great read, 'Lydia' is the perfect choice!”