Good Afternoon everyone,
I’m sure you’ve all heard about the novelisation of the Sanditon completion mini-series by now, and I’m also sure that just like me, you’re very curious about it.
The moment I heard about Kate Riordan’s work, I added it to my TBR pile. This is definitely one of those books that any Jane Austen aficionado cannot miss, but unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, so today I’m not sharing with you my thoughts on it, but an excerpt which I hope will make you want to read this book even sooner then you had expected.
Please do let me know what you think of it, and if you have either seen the mini-series, or read the book, tell me what to expect! I’d love to hear you opinion on it!
I would also like to thank Laurel Ann Nattress for organizing this blog tour and including me in it! As always, it was a pleasure to work among such nice people in this community 🙂
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, Sanditon tells 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.
You can find Sanditon at:
and at Audible.com
Much to everyone’s comfort and pleasure, the weather the day after the bathing party went on just as fine. Charlotte couldn’t help smiling to herself as she went downstairs after dressing. Sanditon was proving to be everything she’d hoped it would be and a great deal more. Here, her mind strayed again to the exhilaration of her swim. As much as she missed her family, Willingden and its quiet rhythms seemed like a thousand years ago.
Mrs Parker and her daughters were already seated at the breakfast table when she got there. Mr Parker, for his part, was pacing agitatedly.
‘It’s too bad. It’s really too bad!’
‘It’s nothing to worry about, really,’ said Mrs Parker soothingly.
‘Nothing to worry about? No word from him, and the ball only a day away? Good morning, Charlotte,’ he said, as she took her place.
Mrs Parker continued to smile with great patience. ‘You know Sidney always leaves everything to the last minute, dear.’
‘But does he realise the paramount importance of this occasion?’
‘Is it really so very important?’
‘Of course it is! Of course it is. Sanditon’s first ball!’
‘Sit down and eat your breakfast, Tom.’
‘I can’t. I’m too…’ Too distracted even to finish his sentence, he marched from the room.
It was only after breakfast, once the two ladies had set forth for Sanditon’s shops, that Mrs Parker confided in Charlotte. The sun was so bright on the water below that Charlotte had to shield her eyes from it.
‘My husband has two wives, Charlotte,’ said Mrs Parker with admirable fondness. ‘Myself and Sanditon – and I’d hesitate to say which of us he cares for most. Marriage is very much about making allowances for the other person, as I am sure you’ll find out for yourself.’ She laughed softly. ‘And life with Tom is at least never dull.’
‘But – forgive me – he was comfortably situated,’ said Charlotte in her plain-spoken way. ‘He had no need to throw himself into all this speculative activity?’
‘Yes, indeed. I had no idea what I was letting myself in for when I fell in love with Tom. But here we are.’ She gestured to the activity going on around them, from the new-built houses to the respectable visitors promenading past them.
Charlotte smiled. ‘There is something thrilling about that, don’t you think?’
‘Thrilling. But exhausting.’
They were by now outside Heely’s, the shoe shop. The blue shoes she had seen before were still displayed prominently in the window. At close quarters, they were even more glorious.
‘Now what do you think of those?’ said Mrs Parker.
‘Oh, they’re lovely,’ Charlotte breathed.
‘I think you would look very well in them at the ball,’ said Mrs Parker. ‘Shall we go in?’
Despite her protestations, the shoes were soon tried on and pronounced the perfect fit. Charlotte could hardly believe her good fortune. They were already halfway back up the hill to Trafalgar House when she realised hers was the only purchase.
‘You didn’t buy anything for yourself!’
Mrs Parker waved her concern away. ‘I no longer need to put all my charms on display, and Tom likes me well enough in any old thing. He’s very worried that if Sidney doesn’t come and bring a friend or two there won’t be enough eligible young men for you young ladies. But you wouldn’t be too proud to dance with a clerk or a shopkeeper, would you?’
‘Indeed, I would not. I love to dance, and I’ll stand up with anyone who will partner me.’
‘Excellent! And I hope the mysterious Miss Lambe and her friends are of the same agreeable frame of mind. Oh, look, here is Miss Denham.’
Esther Denham greeted them with a chilly smile. ‘Mrs Parker, Miss Heywood. Well met. I was growing sick of my own company. Could I persuade you to walk a few steps with me?’
‘I have things to see to at home,’ said Mrs Parker, ‘but Charlotte?’ She looked expectantly at her.
‘So, what do you think of us all so far?’ said Miss Denham when they had found a bench upon which to take their ease.
Charlotte hesitated, rather intimidated by Miss Denham’s cool manner. ‘It’s… always pleasant to make new acquaintances.’
‘Very prettily said, and you don’t mean a word of it. I saw Lady D. haranguing you the other day. What was she talking about?’
‘Well, her money mostly.’
‘And how we are scheming to get it, no doubt. She talks of little else. She’s a mean, miserly old monster.’
Charlotte couldn’t bring herself to disagree. ‘I did find myself feeling a little sorry for Miss Brereton.’
But Miss Denham snorted derisively at that. ‘Oh, she has no need of your sympathy. She is well enough, basking in the warmth and luxury of Sanditon House, while Edward and I shiver in the damp and cold of Denham Place. If she succeeds in her object, which is of course to get everything herself, I swear I’ll poison her.’
Charlotte was shocked, and could only hope that she was being teased. ‘I’m sure you don’t mean that.’
‘You wait and see. And your hosts?’
‘I am very fond of them already.’
Miss Denham gave her another withering look. ‘Mr Tom Parker is a monomaniac who is well on the way to ruining himself and his family with his crazy schemes.’
‘You don’t really think that?’ Charlotte felt rather indignant. ‘I think his ideas are admirable.’
‘Wait till he bankrupts himself. I have nothing against his wife, indeed I feel very sorry for her. His brother is a buffoon, as no doubt you’ve noticed for yourself, and as for Sidney…’
‘I have not had the pleasure yet.’
‘Very unsteady and unreliable,’ pronounced Miss Denham. ‘I advise you to be on your guard.’
‘Thank you,’ Charlotte said weakly. She didn’t know how to respond to this barrage of disparagement.
‘All in all, I think you may come to regret ever setting foot in Sanditon,’ continued Miss Denham. ‘I know I do.’ She turned to face the water, which looked particularly dazzling from their vantage point, the sun glancing off the blue like scattered gold. ‘Look at that view,’ she said despondently. ‘Sea. Sky. Isn’t it all unutterably dreary?’
Charlotte could only stare at her in astonishment.
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.
Please do not forget to check the other stops of the blog tour 🙂
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