Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Review: Sandition, By Jane Austen

Uncompleted, Sandition was the last of Jane Austen’s work.

Another delightful short read by Austen. I can’t say enough about how much I revel in these brief , yet brilliant works. Sandition brought me the light read and humour I desperately needed after the meatier books I last dove into.

Sandition, is the name of a new beach resort village in its coming of age. Because it is a relatively unknown area in need of new residents, travelers and reputable people-the then local entrepreneur, Tom Parker, starts up the story on a tour in search of a physician for his new community. Along the way (and due to a small injury) he must stop for help in a town – and lucky for him, the people are very welcoming and readily available for help. Mr. Parker and his wife, appreciating the warmth and kindness of these accidental hosts, as a gesture of appreciation, offer to take the daughter of Mr. Heywood (the main man who helped and hosted them) a Miss Charlotte Heywood, back with them as a guest in their home in Sandition.

Charlotte is the heroine of this story and everything is pretty much seen through her eyes. In Sandition we meet such colourful characters as the very rich, elderly and twice-widowed, Lady Denham; her niece and nephew by her second husband, her cousin Clara- a beautiful and demure young lady. But- the funniest of all characters are Mr. Parker’s siblings who have endless ailments (all of them purel y made up). One of these, Diane (Parker’s sister) is on a mission to ‘fill up’ the town and in doing so, she is constantly busy and bustling around , leaving Charlotte to wonder if the illness isn’t but an act.

Sadly (for me), the story ends abruptly with the arrival into Sandition, of the dashing Mr. Sidney, Parker’s brother . I say sadly because I was just getting into it- just when the characters started coming together for the meshing of a story line…Sandition has got me wondering how this one could have turned out. The characters are delightful and true to Austen’s originality and good sense of build up to a story that would surely have become another of her great masterpieces. It also saddens me to think that it was during this very year of writing Sandition that Jane Austen passed away.

This is my 5th of 6 Austen reads, for the Everything Austen Challenge.

Does anyone know if there’s an Austenesque sequel to Sandition by another author? I’d love to see the take on this one.


Christy B said...

I haven't read any of them, but there's a list of Sanditionesque works here:

May said...

I've never read this one but always wondered about it. Thank you, I always love your reviews.

Kirsten Steen said...

Hi Ms. Lucy! I admire your stick-to-it-iveness on the Jane Austen challenge. I've yet to read enough of her works. A few for college but not just for fun. Would love to know your favorite when you get all done!
Thanks for keeping us up on all you're uncovering with her works.

Seccionista said...

I want to read this eventually... I need more time :-S

And I really have to work on that challenge too.

Thanks for sharing!

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Thanks for your review. I've not read this one yet.

BurtonReview said...

Congrats on getting really close to completing the Austen Challenge!!
This one sounds interesting but I would save this for last for me as it ended so abruptly.
Thanks for the review!

Ingrid Mida said...

I love anything related to Jane Austen but wasn't aware of this last book. I'll have to get a copy.
Btw, my prize arrived in the mail today. I cannot wait to begin reading The Virgin Daughters in the Court of Elizabeth I. Thanks Lucy.

Lucy said...

Thanks for the link Christy- I'll be sure to check out those sequels:)

Thanks for the compliment Matterhorn:) I'm sure you'd enjoy this one- It's brief but entertaing.

Hey Ms. K! I still don't know which is my favourite. Each one has its own particular flair:) Thanks:)

Hi Ana:) You are so good at keeping up with all your reads and reviews! I'm sure you'll get back into this challenge in no time:)

Hello Lady of the Bookshelf Monstrosity;) I'm sure you'd enjoy this- it's a fun one (but a bit disappointing when you know that it ended just like that. Thanks:)

Thanks Marie;) I agree with saving it for last..but then again, now I can look forward to reading one more (for the challenge- after that I'll keep right on reading Austenesque ones anyway).

Hi Ingrid! I'm sure you could probably find it free online as well (I did for Lady Susan)- try the Austen site. I'm so happy you received the book. I think you'll enjoy it. Let me know though;)

Gricel said...

I've had this one in my TBR pile for a while, along with The Watsons. I think I've put it off because I know it's the last :(

Lisa said...

I've been meaning to get to this for the challenge. Now I'm really anxious to read it!

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Good job on the Austen challenge. I really need to get back on that!

Arleigh said...

Where have I been... never even heard of this. I thought Lady Susan was the last. It sounds great! Good job on the Challenge! You have me beat, as I've only read 2 of her novels (and about 10 continuations!)