“Inspired by Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan, this biting social comedy from mother-daughter duo Rubino (the veteran author) and Rubino-Bradway (the first-timer) is a delightful, worthy homage to Austen. In 19th-century England, Lady Susan Vernon is left nearly penniless after her honorable, wealthy husband dies and his unscrupulous little brother, Charles, bilks Susan and her daughter, Frederica, of their share of his fortune. Forced to rely upon the kindness of friends, the two spend several months bouncing from home to home. Subjected to the two-faced machinations of her social circle (particularly from Charles’s wife, Catherine), Susan cleverly (and believably) turns several of her enemies against each other, using their own words. As in Austen’s novels, securing a generous dowry and a good marriage (that is, one with money and status) is the all-important goal of every woman, but Susan is a dynamic character more than capable of delivering a shocking surprise.”
I was a little skeptical when I signed up for the contest to win Lady Vernon and Her Daughter as I had not read any of Jane Austen’s original works. Sure I know the stories from watching all the BBC and Masterpiece shows. And believe me, I have watched them all, at least 3 different Pride and Prejudice. I am not sure why I have never read any of Austens works. I think that it just looked to hard to read. So with all that in my head. I was delighted and a bit apprehensive to win Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, thanks to Lucy at http://www.enchantedbyjosephine.blogspot.com/. thanks again Lucy!!!
So, what did I think of the book?? I loved it!! I just had to giggle in spots. The story is based on letters that Jane Austen had written that were basically abandoned until the authors tell the story now in this novel. These letters tell the story of Lady Vernon and her daughter Frederica and the troubles they end up with after Sir Frederick Vernon dies after an accident. Frederick’s brother Charles manages to inherit the estate of his brother and conveniently forgetting his promise to take care of Lady Susan and his niece.
Lady Susan sends Frederica to school where she ends up being asked to leave after she trys to stop a friend from eloping. After that mother and daughter are left to rely on the charity of others for a place to live and to find a way to obtain a good dowry for Frederica so she can make a good “match” because it is all about the money and status. Lady Susan’s sister in law, Catherine, is a mean spiteful woman who does not like Lady Susan. Lady Susan had let it be known that she didn’t necessarily approve of Catherine’s marriage to Charles and Catherine has not forgotten that. So while Catherine lives in the house that should be Lady Vernon’s and spends her days trying to make everyone miserable, while Charles also enjoys his new found wealth and perfectly oblivious to anything that is happening in his household and after awhile stays in London to gamble and do whatever else it that ‘gentlemen” in this era do.
The other characters in the story include Sir James, a cousin, whom the gossips think is wanting to marry Frederica. Then there is Catherines brother Reginald who is another suitor for either Lady Vernon or Frederica. There is also Catherine and Reginald’s parents, Lady and Sir Reginald De Courcy, an aunt of Lady Susan’s, Lady Martin.
Most of the characters in the story have no idea that Charles was not taking care of Lady Vernon and her daughter so there is a lot of speculation as to who is wooing who and what Lady Vernon’s motives are.
It seems to me that all the characters in this story have nothing better to do in their lives but speculate and gossip about who is going to inherit what and how much and if they are a good match for marriage. As the story goes on it becomes clear that Lady Susan will eventually get things to go her way for her and her daughter. She also has a secret that no one other than her aunt and daughter are privy to.
As I said before, I had to giggle in a few spots and there were certain characters that I liked and several that I didn’t like. I felt that by time I got to the end that things worked out the way they should have and “what goes around comes around” as the saying goes and the good people get what they should and that the not so good people get what is coming to them..
This book will appeal to those Jane Austen fans out there and even to those who have never read Jane Austen, like me, will want to check out this book. I highly recommend it…
As stated before this book was won in a contest.
Source for Synopsis B&N