Monday, January 20, 2020

Blog Tour and Review: Sanditon by Jane Austen and Kate Riordan

Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Historical Fiction
Pub. Date: December 10, 2019
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Publisher for review
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "A novelisation of ITV's lavish period drama, Sanditon, adapted for television by Emmy and BAFTA-Award winning writer Andrew Davies and based on Jane Austen's unfinished novel.  When a chance accident transports Charlotte Heywood to the seaside town of Sanditon, her life changes forever. And when she meets the charming and slightly wild Sidney Parker, she finds herself caught up in a whirlwind of romance, betrayal and changing alliances - nobody in Sanditon is quite as they seem.  Discover the world Jane Austen left behind and meet the characters brought to the page by Kate Riordan. Every coastal town has its secrets - but Sanditon has more than most!"

Charlotte Heywood lives a pretty simple life in the country with her family,  that is until one day an accident occurs by her house and in turn, she meets the Parkers who are now indebted to the Heywoods for their hospitality.  Mr. Tom Parker invites Charlotte's father to his new seaside community, Sanditon, but her father doesn't enjoy traveling and turns him down. Naturally, Charlotte jumps at the chance to visit Sanditon and spread her wings a bit. So, they agree to let her go, but her father gives her a stern warning that Sanditon is going to be very different than the sleepy hamlet she grew up in where everyone knows everyone. There will be strangers and people from different backgrounds, so she should be careful.  While there, she meets Tom Parker's brother, Sidney, who immediately catches her eye. However, based on their first few interactions, things are off to a rocky start.  While in Sanditon, there's quite a cast of characters: Lady Denham and her companion, Clara, and there's the rakish Sir Edward and his scheming sister.  Lastly, we can't forget Miss Lambe, an heiress, who is also Austen's first African American character.  Even though parts of Sanditon didn't entirely feel like Jane Austen herself, it was wholly entertaining novel and very delightful to be back in an Austen inspired world. Fans of the show on PBS won't want to miss Sanditon by Kate Riordan.

Charlotte Heywood reminds me so much of Elizabeth Bennet, so I immediately enjoyed her character in Sanditon.  She arrives at Sanditon and is very naive, but she is comfortable sharing her opinion, which I enjoyed. In fact, many innuendos are thrown her way and allusions to various inappropriate topics and she is very confused by this. How endearing! However, Sanditon opens with her hunting with her many siblings, so she isn't some shrinking violet.  When she meets Sidney, he is very off-putting.  I was wondering why on earth he would be the love interest for Charlotte? Couldn't she find a decent guy who doesn't yell at her at a ball? But then I remembered Austen loves a brooding, mysterious hero, so hopefully Sidney will redeem himself by the end. Fingers crossed.

The secondary characters are all very interesting in Sanditon.  I think that the show made have made them a little more eccentric and unconventional than Austen may have initially wanted, but I welcome this modern change.  I especially appreciated Miss Lambe and the diversity she brought to Austen's world. She is an heiress of a large fortune, so of course, all the gentlemen were chomping at the bit to have an introduction.  I can only wonder what plans Austen initially had for Miss Lambe, but I think Kate Riordan and the Sanditon TV show (Andrew Davies) did her justice.

My only issue with Sanditon is the fact that there were some parts that I felt weren't very Austen-esque, (especially that ending!), but once I let go of my expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel.  So, hard-core Janeites, keep this in mind!

If you are an Austen fan and love Austen-inspired novels, pick up Sanditon this winter. I really enjoyed revisiting Austen's world where no one is as they seem and balls are always a fun event where someone usually and very dramatically ends up in tears.  I read Sanditon before watching the TV show on PBS and I am so glad I took the opportunity to do so as it makes it that much more enjoyable to see the book come to life and get more of an in-depth look at the characters.

Are you a Jane Austen fan? Will you be reading Sanditon? Are you watching the show? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


  1. I haven't read this or seen the show, but it's interesting how popular it is when the original book was unfinished! It's kind of cool to see how others would interpret and continue the story.

    1. Right? I thought so as well. I am excited to continue with the show on PBS! Thanks for visiting, Angela.

  2. I don't really care for anything Jane Austen tbh. I don't really like classics much. I find them to be kind of slow and boring. But this looks pretty cute.

    Ash @ JennReneeRead

    1. This is definitely isn't as traditional as Jane's previous novels. Do you watch the show on PBS? If so, you'll like this book! Thanks for visiting, Ash.

  3. I need to read this.

    1. I hope you get your hands on a copy soon! Thanks for visiting!

  4. Thanks for your review Christina. I always appreciate your insights. I enjoyed this book, but we share some of the same negatives about the story. I think that Kate Riordan did a great job writing the novelization and I would happily read one of her novels.


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