TITLE: Seeking Mansfield
AUTHOR: Kate Watson
RELEASE DATE: May 16th 2017
GENRE(S): Retelling, Young Adult, Contemporary, ROMANCE
STAR RATING: 5 *****
“MOVIE” RATING: PG (4 language?)
This was an adorable piece of young adult and a marvelous retelling of Jane Austen’s classic, Mansfield Park. Though I have not read Mansfield Park in its entirety, I know the story well. The original story is often viewed as one of Austen’s duller works with a heroine that isn’t as vibrant as seen in Pride and Prejudice or Emma. However, Seeking Mansfield is precisely the opposite. The novel correlates well with the classic story with a more modern take.
Essentially, Seeking Mansfield is about a girl, Finley, who has gone through some different circumstances in her life that involve her mother and as a result, goes to live with her father’s best friend and his family, the Bertrams. She treats them as her own family, even though they might not always view her as the same. We soon are introduced to Harlan and Emma Crawford who are movie stars that have come to work on a live theater piece at the local theater in Chicago. Finley Price and Oliver Bertram are both trying to find their own voice in the chaos that follows and it was so much fun getting to know them both.
Finley’s character is so strong and complex and it is such a wonderful journey that she is on that I absolutely loved following through this novel. I couldn’t help but want to be like her in her selflessness and humble attitude. Her example is refreshing and what we should all strive to be, especially in this day.
There was some romance involved but not overly done. I feel that it was meant to be a sweet story of overcoming your own demons, facing them, and admitting to what we really desire in life. However, it was so stressful to not see Finley and Oliver get together already! The complexity of each situation was carried out very well and it was surprising to see how everything fit into place so nicely!
You can’t help but root for Harlan and Emma like you sort of wanted to do with Henry and Mary in Mansfield Park. Sort of. 😉 It was one of those moments where your heart is torn between the two good couples and the two not-so-good couples because they seem to really get along and the feelings are sweet towards each other.
It took me less than two days to read this novel and I was very much impressed by it. I couldn’t put it down! When it is released in May (drats!), I will for sure be picking up a copy myself so I can reread it over and over. Wonderful story and complex characters, what more could you want?!
ABOUT Kate Watson:
Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two, and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. A lover of travel, speaking in accents, and experiencing new cultures, she has studied in Israel and lived in Brazil, the American South, and now calls Arizona home.
Her first novel, SEEKING MANSFIELD, debuts in Spring 2017, with the companion novel to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith’s Welcome Home adoption anthology coming in 2017.