« Lifetime is so sure that Flowers in the Attic will succeed... | Main | Teaser trailer: Outlander. »

13 January 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sarah Rettger

So now that you've finished, I'll say that my big quibble was with Ptolemy's role. When he first appeared, he seemed like a major character, but by the end he was just another mechanism for Sarah's development. Which is fine. It's the story Baker wanted to tell.

But once he was introduced, I was expecting more of a focus on people of color in Georgian/Regency England, because there are so many aspects of the identity politics of the time that could make for a great story. And basically I wanted Ptolemy to be more of a primary character than he turned out to be.

Like I said in my previous comment, though, this is me complaining that Baker didn't write the book I wanted her to write -- and if she'd written my version, she would probably have veered well away from the frame of P&P that's the whole basis for Longbourn.


Now that I've finished the book, I actually think you're being way too hard on yourself: as much as I loved the book, the Ptolemy character IS problematic. Not because he wasn't the focus--like you said, complaining about that would be taking issue with what we want, rather than what we're looking at--but because he was less a person and more a plot device. He was there almost entirely to advance Sarah and James' story, and while that would be a flaw in and of itself, it's even more problematic given that he's the only POC in the book.

So, yeah. Don't beat yourself up!


I actually liked that Ptolemy didn't end up being more than he was. I thought he was going to have more significant plot thread too and liked that he ended up being just a not-so-nice potential love interest for Sarah that didn't go anywhere. I think it was a subtle way to show her reaction to a man of color in that time. Not so much exotic as attractive. I thought it very clever on the author's part.

Melissa @ Bookmark Dragon

I've loved reading your chapter reviews of this book. I haven't read it yet, but am excited to give it a try. Have you read Shannon Hale's Austenland? It feels like everyone has read it since the film came out last summer, but I thought I'd recommend it just in case you haven't read it yet. It's well worth the read. :)


I can't believe you held your reading in check as much as you did! Bravo for your restraint there.

I loved the way Lady dB was rounded out. Of course! A woman like her would feel she had ownership of everything on her property, even the vicar's house. The vicar's house keeper being so hard on Sarah made sense after we saw how Lady dB acted.


I have been wanting to read the book, and your chapter reviews are fun to read without being too spoilery. I highly recommend you read The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It is a modern gothic suspense novel about an author who finally wants to tell her biography... but is famous for never telling the same story twice.

Melissa @Book Nut

My favorite "explanation" was Wickham, actually. I thought it added to Austen in a way that made his preying (which really, is what it was) on Lydia believable. I didn't, however, like the long diversion in to the Mrs. Hill/James backstory while putting everything else on hold. I wish she could have revealed things as she went on rather than having a whole section devoted just to them. Because, honestly, they weren't my favorite characters.

I agree with Polly and Mary, though. Loved what she did with them.

You should try Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. I'd love to see what you think oft hat.


Three Melissas commenting on this thread? Whoa!

The comments to this entry are closed.


Blog powered by Typepad