A Stellar and Compelling Homage to Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Being fourteen is never easy – still in your awkward stage, feeling misunderstood, falling for your first crush, etc. And for Frannie Price it is an even more trying time because she is painfully shy, insecure, and harboring a secret and possibly inappropriate crush on her step-cousin, Jonathan. But what really makes the summer of her fourteenth year really unbearable is Caroline and Eric Grant. From the moment she met the quick-witted, charming, and vibrant siblings, Frannie knew they were trouble. She knew that they would enchant, distract, and negatively influence all the Beresford siblings, but what could she do about it? She was just a poor relation with a drug-addict mother, taken in by her aunt’s wealthy husband and family…
Starting her tale during the summer of 1985, Frannie tells us the story of that fateful summer and continues to chronicle the lives of the Beresfords for the next several years. Through Frannie’s impressions and insights readers are able to witness her true thoughts, hidden emotions, and silent pain. This establishes an intimate connection to the heroine and perhaps makes her seem less “priggish” and “insipid” as her Regency counterpart is sometimes described…
Oh. My. Word. This modern adaptation of Mansfield Park is just BRILLAINT! I can’t imagine it being easy to plausibly and thoughtfully translate Jane Austen’s most controversial novel and least loved heroine into a contemporary time period. But with Christina Dudley’s clever updates, engaging characters, and creative modifications, she makes it seem like an effortless endeavor.
It may shock some people to hear this, but my favorite part of this novel is…Frannie Price. Now, I should probably preface that statement by admitting that I’ve always loved and felt great empathy towards Jane Austen’s character – I am shy, sensitive, and introverted like Fanny (and Frannie) – and I am so grateful that Jane Austen created such a different type of heroine with her – we aren’t all like Elizabeth, Emma, and Marianne (even thought we want to be!) I loved how Ms. Dudley portrayed Frannie – her internal monologues, her beliefs, her flaws – I couldn’t help but find Frannie endearing and extremely likable.
Another aspect about this novel that I thought was just superb was the ending. Now, I adore Jane Austen, but I cannot help but feel more than a little dissatisfied with her ending for Mansfield Park. Readers don’t get a declaration scene in Mansfield Park, they just get a summary! We don’t know what Edmund said, what Fanny said, or the emotions that were involved – readers are left to imagine what took place by themselves. However…in The Beresfords, Christina Dudley does a magnificent job of creating the scene we’ve all been waiting for – there’s a delicious build-up of tension and heat, tempers flaring, frustration, pain, and…pure joy. Needless to say, I was extremely satisfied!
Finally, a praiseworthy and captivating modern-adaptation of Mansfield Park! If you haven’t already figured it out, I loved The Beresfords and I highly recommend this delightful and endearing coming-of-age novel to all Jane Austen fans – even those who don’t care too much for Fanny Price or Mansfield Park!
**Word on the street is that Christina Dudley has entertained the idea of penning a modern adaptation of Northanger Abbey! Woot Woot! Wouldn’t that be fantastic? Please help me persuade her to write more Austenesque novels! 🙂
GIVEAWAY!!! Christina Dudley has kindly offered to giveaway one new paperback copy and one ebook copy of her novel The Beresfods in conjunction with my review and our fun interview post (which was posted on Tuesday).
To enter and win one of these LOVELY prizes all you have to do is comment below.
Psst! If you comment on Tuesday’s post, you will be entered twice!
- To save your inbox from unwanted spam, please leave your email address with an [at] instead of @.
- (You could also leave a Twitter handle or Facebook username instead).
- The paperback giveaway is open to US/CAN residents, the ebook giveaway is open internationally.
- This giveaway ends November 3rd.