Oct 262012

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!

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  • The paperback giveaway is open to US/CAN residents, the ebook giveaway is open internationally.
  • This giveaway ends November 3rd.
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  25 Responses to “The Beresfords – Christina Dudley”


    Ooh, the ending does sound wonderful, Meredith! To get that scene we all have been waiting for and the tension build-up and emotions sounds perfect! Sounds like another great book!


    All right, I’m convinced! The Beresfords is now a MUST read, not just a TO read. Plus, you also just might have convinced me to give Mansfield Park another go.

    Thank you for the review, Meredith!

    Heather M.


    Meredith, your review has made me want to start reading this book immediately! I have always liked Fanny Price. There is just something about her that is so endearing! Lovely review! Thank you for the giveaway!!:)


    This looks like a great book. I love Fanny.
    rbquilterat gmail.com


    I’ve always liked Mansfield Park, unpopular though it may be. LOL I think that this is a very important add to my TBR. Thanks for your reviews Meredith, as usual, greatly appreciated!

    thx4praying at aol dot com


    This is the first I’v heard of this book but it sounds fantastic, thanks to your lovely review, Meredith. You have definitely sparked my interest as I have never been a fan of Fanny Price, although I do share personality traits with her.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity!



    I love adaptations that explore Jane Austen’s other works. Sometimes I think we get too bogged down with Pride and Prejudice and forget that Austen created other wonderful characters, like Fanny Price. I for one applaud the existence of this work and look forward to reading it!



    So, Meredith, I’m getting the impression that you might just possibly like this book? LOL I’m glad that you are so excited about this, moving up the TBR list! Thanks for another chance to win!


    I was sceptical when I first saw this book but now…. I can’t wait to read it.


    felicialso @gmail. com


    Yes, yes! Can’t wait to read this! Thanks for letting me know about it.

    -Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit



    Great review! This will definitely be moving up my to-read list as well. How did the author handle the cousins thing? Can’t wait to read it!



    The preview on Tuesday was great and makes you want to read the book and the review just seals it.



    This is a book that I definitely will have to read. I’m actually one of the few that puts Mansfield Park in my top two favorite Austen stores and I have never seen an adaption of the MP story historical or contemporary.

    Enjoyed your review and thanks for the giveaway opportunity.
    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com


    This sounds freaking fantastic! I can’t wait to read it!



    This sounds awesome!! Would love to read it! 🙂

    Valerie R. (US)
    txreyn5663 (at) earthlink (dot) net


    I would like to win this excellent book. I have read it and lent my copy to a relative of mine who lost it!!! Imagine that!
    I am still in mourning for this book. My e-mail is zora.brozina@gmail.com
    Thank you


    Ooh this sounds good. I never minded Fanny, but the hero (whose name I am not quite sure of, was it Edmund?) was a bit of a disappointment to me, it was almost like he settled for Fanny and I felt she deserved more.

    Thanks for the giveaway! frawli1978[at]gmail[dot]com


    I love Jane Austen and Mansfield Park and would love to read this book. Thanks for the great giveaway.
    Ann (dot) Sheiring ( at) gmail (dot) com

    Beverly DeeAnjello at Facebook


    I’m sold! I want to read this book!



    good to see something Mansfield Park related….it’s so rare.


    Your enthusiasm is contagious, Meredith! I am more and more eager to read this.



    This comment has been removed by the author.


    Sounds Fabulous and I can’t wait to read it!!

    joyalegra at gmail


    I am also excited to see a book based on Mansfield Park. Thank you for the giveaway.
    bledsoefamily4 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net


    I would like to read the book too after reading this fantastic review. I never thought that a modern adaptation of Mansfield Park is so good as this. I’m international.


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