Young readers not quite ready to tackle Pride and Prejudice directly but who are yet intrigued by it might enjoy this loving tribute by the indefatigable Williams.
The entire story of Jane Austen’s masterpiece is told in diary format by Lizzy herself, including all the important particulars: the arrival of Mr. Bingley to Netherfield Park, her meeting with the “disagreeable” Mr. Darcy, the proposal of the insufferable Mr. Collins, the antics of Lizzy’s giddy sisters and the loss of her beloved sister Jane’s heart to Mr. Bingley. Although Lizzy notes that she is 20, the tone is very much that of a younger girl, as is suitable for her audience. Tiny sketches, watercolors, recipes and wonderful little foldouts of invitations, letters and other minutiae encourage much perusing. Dried flowers, reproductions of paintings and other objects are worked into the diary collages, as are comments by Lizzy about dresses, ribbons and delicacies. Her delight in walking through the fields and opening her mind to many things is evident, and of course, it all ends with the appropriate weddings.
Whether there’s a readership for this is open to question, but it is certainly done well. Miss Austen would probably be pleased.(Dear Reader note) (Fiction/pastiche. 8-12)