Sunday, November 11, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Bad Miss Bennett

Audiobook Review:  The Bad Miss Bennett
by Jean Burnett 
Read by Davina Porter
Length: 10 hrs, 1 min
Release Date: 10/19/12
Publisher: AudioGo Ltd 

Publisher's Synopsis:
Lydia was never the most upstanding of the Bennet sisters, but who ever said that moral rectitude was fun? At least she bested her elder sisters and was the first to get married. She never could understand what all the fuss was about after she left Brighton with her gallant. It is a shame, though, that Mr. Wickham turned out to be a disappointing husband in so many aspects, the most notable being his early demise on the battlefields of Waterloo. And so Lydia, still not yet twenty and full of enterprising spirit, is in urgent need of a wealthy replacement. A lesser woman, without Lydia's natural ability to flirt uproariously on the dance floor and cheat seamlessly at the card table, would swoon in the wake of a dashing highwayman, a corrupt banker, and even an amorous Prince Regent. But on the hunt for a marriage that will make her rich, there's nothing that Lydia won't turn her hand to. In the meantime, she has no qualms about imposing on her sister Elizabeth's hospitality at Pemberley. After all, what is the point of having all that fine fortune if not to aid a poor, newly widowed younger sister? While Lydia rattles around the continent from Paris to Venice and to the home of the disgraced Princess of Wales in Italy and back again to Darbyshire, you, dear reader, will be greatly diverted by the new adventures of Jane Austen's consummate and incorrigible anti-heroine, who never ceases to delight.

Review copy provided by AudioGo

My thoughts:
This dear reader was greatly diverted by the bad Miss Bennett's adventures and exploits.  In fact, I found myself laughing out loud at times and letting the housework go while I listened to some parts over again. 

The story begins with Lydia as a young widow, complaining about having to wear black because her husband is dead.  She has come to stay at Pemberly with Elizabeth’s family, much to Mr. Darcy’s dismay.  Lydia has her sights set on living in Paris where she might meet a wealthy replacement for Mr. Wickham.  Lydia knows she is an embarrassment to the family and uses it to persuade Mr. Darcy to set her up with an allowance so she can live abroad.  He finally agrees to the allowance on the condition that she go live with friends in London and so her adventures begin.  She meets a highwayman on her way to London and becomes so enamored with him that she will do anything he asks her to, including a rendezvous with the Prince Regent.  That was one of the funniest scenes in the book.  I had to listen to it three times.   

In my opinion, this book is better as an audiobook and narrator Davina Porter is perfect.  Her voice in the audio sample was part of the reason I chose the book.  She distinguished the characters beautifully, both male and female.  She will be added to my list of favorite narrators.

I had read some negative comments about the book, especially about the character of Lydia. It had been a very long time since I read Pride and Prejudice so I checked out an audio version from the library and listened to it.  I think that Jean Burnett did an absolutely brilliant job of taking up Lydia’s story where Jane Austen left off.  I bet she had as much fun writing it as I had listening to it.