I am generally dubious about Jane Austin fan fiction, but The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch won me over totally! It is funny, clever and very, very entertaining.
If you enjoy historical fiction and if you’re even a bit of a Jane Austin fan, do swallow your reluctance and give this a chance. Yes, there is witchcraft and all sorts of tomfoolery. The airheaded Lydia is secretly a witch, Wickham is a baddie, but not in the way you would expect, her sister Kitty is actually… a cat, and yes, it’s all very nonsensical. But what a joy it is to read! It’s inventive, fun, spirited and funny.
It also has a somewhat more serious side: we see Lydia’s ‘elopement’ with the ‘wicked’ Mr Wickham from a more modern perspective, much more conscious of the fact that she was only 16 and not in a position to make much of a choice in the matter.
It should also be said that even if you have never read Pride and Prejudice, you can still enjoy The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch. It holds up on its own.
Most of all, the language and dialogue is – if not quite that of the inimitable Jane Austin herself – a pleasure to read, charming, fast paced, sharp and witty.
Thanks to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC. All my reviews are 100% honest and unbiased, regardless of how I acquire the book.
The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch is available from all major booksellers. Pub Date: 3 October 2023
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