Have you read Pride and Prejudice? Have you wondered what went on in the background? How the servants got along? How they were treated by the Bennets? Jane Austen might be long dead but there are hundreds of novels that attempt to expand or to carry on from the original novel. I confess, before I started this novel, I had no clue it was a Pride and Prejudice spinoff. I’m sure I would have read it anyway…but I would have went into it knowing what to look for….instead of catching on after a few chapters….(I’m slow that way)…Although I loved Pride and Prejudice, I’ve really never understood the desire for people to continue on with the story…it was a creation from Jane Austen, and because it was hers, I don’t believe anyone can understand the characters as she did. Regardless, there is an entire fan base that lives for spinoffs….Longbourn is one of these novels. It attempts to give the servants side of the story…It is told mostly through the POV of Sarah, an orphaned housemaid…
I truly felt sorry for Sarah in the end…She gave all….whilst James gave none….and although I envisioned Mrs Bennet as totally outrageous in P & P I never imagined her as cold….and Mr Bennet….don’t even get me started….in so many ways this novel painted the employers as shallow and uncaring….Perhaps they are….in many ways they were portrayed that way in P & P..but the Bennets were the exception….they were not well to do…I think the Bennet girls might have been superficial on the outside, but certainly, for the most part, they were caring and kind (with perhaps the exception of one). What I loved best about P & P was the family and how they interacted together….the unruly girls with the over the top mother and the calm and yet exasperated father….
This novel ruined that for me…and I am not sure I can ever forgive Ms Baker for that 😦
Until next time….
Buy it now Longbourn by Jo Baker