Are you reading any books for the Halloween season? I was happy to recently read The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub. It combined two of my favorite things – Halloween and Pride and Prejudice.
Lydia Bennet is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter. She has powers that are not shared by the rest of her family, except for her Aunt Phillips who is able to guide her as she grows into a young witch. This novel tells Lydia’s background and then retells the story of Pride and Prejudice from her point of view.
I thought this novel was very fun. I loved that it was told from Lydia’s first-person narration through a manuscript she is writing to Lizzy to explain everything. It is very funny and in character for Lydia. I was delighted to find out that Kitty Bennet is actually a cat and George Wickham, is literally a handsome devil or demon. To me, it seemed like the entire novel was really about the love that Lydia had for her best friend and sister, Kitty, and the sacrifices that Lydia made to ensure her happiness. Taub really captures Lydia’s voice. A few of my favorite quotes:
“I suppose if this were a proper book, I’d begin it something like, ‘Miss Lydia Bennet, youngest of five daughters to a father hopefully entailed, had few advantages in life, but not too few to squander.’”
“La! Imagine what Lizzy would do if she knew I made that spot on her chin pop back out whenever she vexed me.”
“This is the part, I suppose, where the novel would wrap up with a tidy boring moral, so I will say this: Love your best friends. Forgive your worst friends. Remember, always, not to judge people too hastily, for everyone is living out the story of their own, and you only get to read the pages you appear on.”
I was delighted to find out in the author’s note that she used real history, myths, and folklore for the novel. I also loved that Miss Lamb from Sanditon is a character in this novel. I always find her an interesting character and love her addition to the story.
I laughed out loud when I read the first line of the acknowledgements, “Guys, I did so much damn research for this book. I could write a 10-page bibliography.”
Overall, I thought this was an inventive, unique, and fun retelling of Pride and Prejudice perfect for reading during the Halloween season.
Book Source: Review copy from Grand Central Publishing as part of the Austenprose PR Book Tour. Thank-you! Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
· Title: The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch
· Author: Melinda Taub
· Genre: Historical Fantasy, Austenesque Fiction
· Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (October 3, 2023)
· Length: (400) pages
· Format: Hardcover, eBook, & Audiobook
· ISBN: 978-1538739204
· Tour Dates: September 25 – October 9, 2023
"wildly inventive and utterly addictive" (Julia Quinn) witchy
reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, told from the perspective of
the troublesome and—according to her—much-maligned youngest Bennet sister,
In this exuberant retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet puts pen to paper to relate the real events and aftermath of the classic story. Some facts are well known: Mrs. Bennet suffers from her nerves, Mr. Bennet suffers from Mrs. Bennet, and all five daughters suffer from an estate that is entailed only to male heirs.
But Lydia also suffers from entirely different concerns: her best-loved sister Kitty is really a barn cat; Wickham is every bit as wicked as the world believes him to be, but what else would one expect from a demon? And if Mr. Darcy is uptight about etiquette, that’s nothing compared to his feelings about magic. Most of all, Lydia has yet to learn that for a witch, promises have power . . .
Full of enchantment, intrigue, and boundless magic, The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch, has all the irreverent wit, strength, and romance of Pride and Prejudice—while offering a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.
PRAISE FOR THE SCANDALOUS CONFESSIONS OF LYDIA BENNET, WITCH
- “Funny and fierce as Lydia Bennet herself, this book mixes witchcraft lore with Austen’s story to make its own unique magic. I’ll never look at Kitty the same way again…” ―Claudia Gray, author of The Murder of Mr. Wickham, a Mr. Darcy and Miss Tilney Mystery
- “Taub’s wit and creativity shines through. . . A delight for both Austen lovers and fans of magical adventure stories.” ―Kirkus Reviews
· “Wildly inventive and utterly addictive. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm now 100% Team Lydia.” ―Julia Quinn
Melinda Taub is an Emmy and Writers’ Guild Award-winning writer. The former head writer and executive producer of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, she is also the author of Still Star-Crossed, a young adult novel which was adapted for television by Shondaland. (She also wrote that thing about the Baroness in The Sound of Music that your aunt likes.) She lives in Brooklyn.