Monday, 17 December 2018

The Other Miss Bates

The second book in the Highbury Trilogy, inspired by Jane Austen's 'Emma'

Amazon UK link

Amazon US link

Book description

Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences make her new life all Jane had hoped for. 
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey. 
When the handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind. 

My review -

This story fills in much of the background detail from the original Jane Austen story, Emma. Like the earlier Mrs Bates of Highbury, it rings true to the original. It treats Miss Austen’s work respectfully and feels and reads as true to the time. The characters we know from the original are not altered but merely expanded and it all feels like part of the story of Emma. This isn’t merely fan fiction but a credible contribution to the backstories of many favourite characters. It’s an enjoyable read for Austen lovers but also makes a great tale on its own behalf. I’ve loved these two books and look forward to a third.

Author info
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
Allie recalls: 'I was about 8 years old. Our teacher asked us to write about a family occasion and I launched into a detailed, harrowing and entirely fictional account of my grandfather's funeral. I think he died very soon after I was born; certainly I have no memory of him and definitely did not attend his funeral, but I got right into the details, making them up as I went along (I decided he had been a Vicar, which I spelled 'Vice'). My teacher obviously considered this outpouring very good bereavement therapy so she allowed me to continue with the story on several subsequent days, and I got out of maths and PE on a few occasions before I was rumbled.'
Just a thought - A room without books is like a b ody without a soul.

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