Letter from Ramsgate is a variation that faithfully follows the events of Pride and Prejudice, adapting them in a context in which the two main characters fall in love long before then in the original novel. This happens thanks to the friendship that has been established between Elizabeth and Georgiana during their stay in Ramsgate. But the true hero of the opera are the letters, and in particular two of them, that will change the course of the story and will be the turning points that lead to the happy ending.
Despite the book main characters are, as it is right, Darcy and Elizabeth, it is left too much room for other characters that, although secondary, have their own charm. In particular I refer to Georgiana, a young woman who represents the change from the age of innocence to that of awareness. It was very nice to see how she will become a real and true character thanks to the description of her infatuation for Wickham and her wrong decisions that are not described in Austen’s work. I also found her very similar to Lydia in her naïveté. Her friendship with Elizabeth is sincere, although in my opinion it seems that Georgiana is not located on an equal level with her friend, but that she looks at her as an example to follow.
Lady Edwina is a new character very proud of herself in a world where to women are not given the right value. I adored her involvement, although only hinted, with a gentleman well known to janeites. In contrast to this figure we find the well-known character of Mrs. Younge, which is explored and described in a different way from what you would think by reading Pride and prejudice. This is a woman who had fallen on hard times after the death of a wealthy husband and is prey of an abominable man who uses her only for his own purposes. In my opinion, if this character had the same opportunities Lady Edwina had, it would have behaved much better.
The only items that have not convinced me at all were Lady Amelia and the story that involves her. I think she is described in a too positive way to be an exponent of the high society where feelings and kindness are not allowed. She looks like Elizabeth, but I would have preferred that she had a second motive and that she proves actually more like Miss Bingley.
Generally I really liked this book because it was fluent and, while following the events of the original novel, it has not lost itself in unnecessary duplication. The only thing that made me unsatisfied was the male character, who is stubborn in his desire to interpret in the wrong way certain actions Elizabeth does. Moreover, in my opinion, there wasn’t the path of change and maturity that distinguishes his character. I have not seen from him a real improvement, indeed, it seemed that they were the other characters that wanted to push him for a change of which he was not really convinced. If it was not for this reason, the volume would surely received 5/5.
Letter from Ramsgate is Suzan Lauder’s second published novel. Her first novel, Alias Thomas Bennet, is an Austen-inspired Regency romance with a mystery twist. She also contributed a short modern romance, Delivery boy, to the holiday anthology Then comes winter. All Lauder’s published fiction is based on Pride and prejudice and is available from Meryton Press.
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.
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