Monday, 9 December 2013

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary by Marcia Williams (Walker Books)
HC RRP $19.95
ISBN 9781406346947
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Lizzy Bennet’s Diary was inspired by the reading of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Told in a lively confiding narrative tone, this superbly entertaining book is written in diary form by Lizzy Bennet. The entries are accompanied by letters referred to in the book, invitations to the balls, notices and other interesting documents. These come in fold outs, open ups and lift-the-flap forms.

The diary, given to Lizzy by her father, was to be used to write a novel to fill the boring hours at Longbourn. But when Mr Bingley moves into Netherfield Park, accompanied by the haughty but rich and attractive Mr Darcy, things spark up and the diary entries begin.

Austen’s clever language and sharp wit (which Marcia Williams stays true to) makes the words sizzle on the page. The entries concerning Mrs Bennet’s, Lydia and Kitty’s mortifying behaviour, added to Mary’s righteous indignation, command laughter as does the greater part of the narrative. The asides in pictures and comments are incomparable.

Readers familiar with Pride and Prejudice will love this book. New-comers to the work will warm to it with interest in the language, the depiction of the characters, and the brilliant illustrations and design that result in a fantastic publication.

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