Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big Jane Austen fan. I love her novels with my favorite being Persuasion. I have read most of her popular novels but confess I haven’t had a chance to read her unfinished works such as Sandtion.
With the show being released finally here in the US, I thought this would be prime time for me to check out this unfinished novel by Austen, that Kate Riordan picked up and completed.
The show looks fantastic, plus Theo James need I say more. I haven’t yet watched it (I am so behind on my shows!) but I love period dramas and with an author like Jane Austen you simply can’t go wrong!
In the vein of Downton Abbey, Jane Austen’s beloved but unfinished masterpiece-often considered her most modern and exciting novel-gets a spectacular second act in this tie-in to a major new limited television series.
Written only months before Austen’s death in 1817, Sanditontells the story of the joyously impulsive, spirited and unconventional Charlotte Heywood and her spiky relationship with the humorous, charming (and slightly wild!) Sidney Parker. When a chance accident transports her from her rural hometown of Willingden to the would-be coastal resort of the eponymous title, it exposes Charlotte to the intrigues and dalliances of a seaside town on the make, and the characters whose fortunes depend on its commercial success. The twists and turns of the plot, which takes viewers from the West Indies to the rotting alleys of London, exposes the hidden agendas of each character and sees Charlotte discover herself… and ultimately find love (summary from Goodreads)
I will absolutely have to agree with the summery here—this is Austen’s most modern novel! I also want to take a minute and point out that Riordan had her work cut out for her. Austen is incredibly talented and wildly popular, I commend her for having the courage to undertake this book and complete it. Obviously no one really knows exactly what little nuances and edits Austen herself might have made to the story as she died before it was completed, so Riordan had to take the bare bones of this novel and make it her own while trying to maintain the integrity of the novel and characters. Obviously that wasn’t an easy task but I thought she stepped up to the plate and did a bang up job.
Fans of Austen’s other books will find her hallmark character traits in this book—feisty heroines and rakish but charming heroes. Many other readers felt like this book was basically just a rip off of Pride and Prejudice but I disagree. I think Austen wrote about women characters as she hoped they would be but perhaps couldn’t be in real life. Many of her characters are extremely similar in character as are her heroes. When it comes to this book, I feel like Austen and Riordan stuck with that worked for Austen. I hope that makes sense.
While the characters in Sandition might not have been ‘new and exciting’ but some standards, I thought the fact that Austen incorporated a woman of color in her novel was very forward thinking and progressive. I really enjoyed reading Miss Lambe plot, she wasn’t there as a servant or slave but rather as an educated and rich young woman and I thought that alone made this novel very different from her others even if some of the characters were similar from other novels.
Bottom line, no one knows exactly what Austen had planned for this novel and its characters but Riordan did a great job at trying to give us a conclusion and plot. I enjoyed reading it very much and am really looking forward to watching the show finally. As part of this book tour, I was also provided with a copy of THE WORLD OF SANDTION that gave a lot of background information on not only the period drama but the novel itself. I have that copy proudly displayed on my coffee table because it has excellent pictures and I thought really brought life to the novel that I was reading since I had yet to see the show.
Book Info and Rating
- Title: Sanditon
- Authors: Jane Austen & Kate Riordan
- Based on Andrew Davies’ TV adaptation/continuation of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel written in 1817
- As seen on Masterpiece PBS, premiering January 12, 2020
- Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2NccmER
- Amazon eBook: https://amzn.to/2s9aUeW
- Audible Audiobook: https://amzn.to/2FB4rfT
- Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sanditon-jane-austen/1102126790?ean=9781538734681
- Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Sanditon-Jane-Austen/9781538734681?ref=grid-view&qid=1578606145199&sr=1-1
- Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781538734681
- Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48194940-sanditon?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=6udt3BTfvk&rank=1
Kate Riordan is a writer and journalist from England. Her first job was as an editorial assistant at the Guardian newspaper, followed by a stint as deputy editor for the lifestyle section of London bible, Time Out magazine. There she had assignments that saw her racing reindeers in Lapland, going undercover in London’s premier department store and gleaning writing tips (none-too subtly) during interviews with some of her favorite authors. After becoming a freelancer, she left London behind and moved to the beautiful Cotswolds in order to write her first novel.
SANDITON REVIEW ROUNDUP SCHEDULE
January 13 Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog
January 14 History Lizzie
January 17 Babblings of a Bookworm
January 20 Confessions of a Book Addict
January 20 Living Read Girl
January 25 Margie’s Must Reads
January 26 My Jane Austen Book Club
February 03 The Lit Bitch
February 10 Unabridged Chick
February 10 Laura’s Reviews
February 13 Bookfoolery
February 14 Half Agony, Half Hope
February 17 Scuffed Slippers, Wormy Books
February 18 Impressions in Ink
February 23 From Pemberley to Milton
February 24 So Little Time…
February 24 Vesper’s Place
February 26 Austenesque Reviews
February 28 My Vices and Weaknesses