A fabulously fun take on a classic... The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub (Review) #booktwitter #newbooks #thescandalousconfessionsoflydiabennetwitch #melindataub #historicalfantasy #austenesquefiction @MelindaTaub @GrandCentralPub @Austenprose

Welcome! I'm a huge Pride and Prejudice fan so this one
was definitely my kind of book. Read my full review below...

The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch
By Melinda Taub
Historical Fantasy, Austenesque Fiction
Hardcover, Audiobook & eBook, 400 Pages
October 3, 2023 by Grand Central Publishing


A "wildly inventive and utterly addictive" (Julia Quinn) witchy reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, told from the perspective of the troublesome and—according to her—much-maligned youngest Bennet sister, Lydia.

In this exuberant retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Lydia Bennet puts pen to paper to relate the real events and aftermath of the classic story. Some facts are well known: Mrs. Bennet suffers from her nerves, Mr. Bennet suffers from Mrs. Bennet, and all five daughters suffer from an estate that is entailed only to male heirs. But Lydia also suffers from entirely different concerns: her best-loved sister Kitty is really a barn cat; Wickham is every bit as wicked as the world believes him to be, but what else would one expect from a demon? And if Mr. Darcy is uptight about etiquette, that’s nothing compared to his feelings about magic. Most of all, Lydia has yet to learn that for a witch, promises have power . . .

Full of enchantment, intrigue, and boundless magic, The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch, has all the irreverent wit, strength, and romance of Pride and Prejudice—while offering a highly unexpected redemption for the wildest Bennet sister.

Praise for the Book

· “Funny and fierce as Lydia Bennet herself, this book mixes witchcraft lore with Austen’s story to make its own unique magic. I’ll never look at Kitty the same way again…” ―Claudia Gray, author of The Murder of Mr. Wickham, a Mr. Darcy and Miss Tilney Mystery

· “Taub’s wit and creativity shines through. . . A delight for both Austen lovers and fans of magical adventure stories.” ―Kirkus Reviews

· “Wildly inventive and utterly addictive. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm now 100% Team Lydia.” ―Julia Quinn

(Affiliate links included.)

My Review

THE SCANDALOUS CONFESSIONS OF LYDIA BENNET, WITCH is partially Austen's Pride and Prejudice (in the loosest of terms) and part fantasy novel all from Lydia's point of view. Those who are fans of the classic and like creative stories with a magical aspect will find much to love in this book. Readers will find perfectly imperfect characters, both hidden and clear villains, an intriguing plot, and a mostly epistolary story. A very entertaining main character driving the narrative as well as the addition of magic makes for a fabulously fun take on a classic!

I have read the original classic many, many times, as well as many retellings. I've never once loved Lydia Bennet. However, the author had me cheering her on from very early in the story. There is something about the way Lydia unabashedly speaks of the situation and her choices in this retelling that makes you empathize with her as a reader. The author did a marvelous job in taking cues from the original story and fitting in her own flawlessly. They literally could be read simultaneously and you could believe both stories with their very different points of view. This version also gives Wickham a different impression. He is the same, but not, as you can see some of his perspective for his choices and actions. The other characters fit in well as they support Lydia. I enjoyed getting different sides of some characters that aren't present in the original. I also enjoyed the way the plot flowed and the subtle notes of romance that don't fully form until the very end.

The magical aspect of this story is full of fun as well as a touch of danger. There is a bit of folklore worked in, but not enough that it overtakes the story or main players. I liked the whole concept of Lydia being a witch and there being other witches. It leant a feel of mystery, tension and liveliness to this story. I also liked how spells were described like threads that are being woven. It makes for lovely imagery and a logical description of how the magic works. I thought the idea of a familiar to be creative and carried out brilliantly as well. I love stories with magic in them so this combination definitely worked for me. 

In the end, was it what I wished for? I enjoyed this story from beginning to end! I would definitely like to see more written in the same vein from this author and I hope she has some in the works. This one is highly recommended for fans of the classic who also enjoy a touch of fantasy and another side to the story. Please note that you don't have to be a fan of Pride and Prejudice or know that story to enjoy this one.

Content: Some innuendo, suggestive content, and one closed-door scene. Would consider this clean.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Austenprose PR, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Melinda Taub is an Emmy and Writers’ Guild Award-winning writer. The former head writer and executive producer of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, she is also the author of Still Star-Crossed, a young adult novel which was adapted for television by Shondaland. (She also wrote that thing about the Baroness in The Sound of Music that your aunt likes.) She lives in Brooklyn.

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