Lady Bridget’s Diary
Author: Maya Rodale
Keeping Up with the Cavendishes Book 1
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Lady Bridget’s Diary is the first book in Maya Rodale’s new series about the Cavendish family-a family from America, who by a fluke and twist of fate, end up thrown into the midst of the British aristocracy when brother James ends up being the heir to the dukedom.
As the title may suggest, this book is the author’s homage and take on Bridget Jones’ Diary, which is an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I really enjoyed the way Maya worked in lines from the movie and book, and the references become fun Easter eggs for the reader to discover. However, Lady Bridget’s Diary is not just a rehash of the same story that we all know and love. Maya definitely puts her stamp on it and makes the story her own.
Lady Bridget is a character you root for and warm up to immediately. She is good hearted, earnest, spirited, has a good sense of humor, and isn’t afraid to stand up to the aloof and snobby Darcy. But most of all, I love the journey she goes through during the course of the book. At the beginning of the story, Bridget is insecure, awkward, and clumsy. She is convinced that everyone seems to get the trick of doing things right, but she’s all sixes and sevens. Her earnest attempts to fit in and be a proper British lady doesn’t go well. But at the end, she finds inner confidence to see that she is wonderful just as she is, and that pigeon-holing herself to fit in isn’t worth giving up her peace and happiness. Also, she learns that everyone has flaws and insecurities just like her-some are just better at hiding it than others.
The Darcy character is one that is beloved by romance lovers everyone, and is one of the most recognizable and famous in Western literature. Who amongst us hasn’t dreamt and daydreamed about having our very own Mr. Darcy sweep us away? Well, the Darcy in Lady Bridget’s Diary will win your heart just as much as Colin Firth did in the 95 BBC adaptation. This Darcy has trouble expressing himself because he’s so used to bottling up his thoughts and emotions in the name of doing the right and proper thing, and to protect his brother Rupert. This Darcy actually has a sly sense of humor, is caring, loyal, and steadfast. It was a joy to see how being with Bridget lightened him up and brought out the best in him, as if he was just waiting for her to come along and bring joy, color, and life back to his existence. He needed someone like Bridget to help him express his feelings, see the lighter side of things, and not take himself so seriously.
One of my favorite aspects of the book is the theme of the importance of family. Darcy stands by his brother Rupert even when society may dictate he exile Rupert. It made me love and respect Darcy all the more because of it. Amelia and her family are also tight knit, and they become even closer as they are thrown into the unfamiliar world of the British aristocracy. The bond and camaraderie between the Cavendish siblings is truly lovely-they may tease, bicker, and squabble, but they are there for each other and support each other unquestionably. There are different kinds of love, and the love between family members and friends can be just as vital and sustaining as romantic/passionate love.
Maya also does a good job of laying the groundwork for future pairs/books in the series. Bridget’s sister Amelia gets her story next, and I have my suspicions as to who brother James will end up with!
In Lady Bridget’s Diary, Maya had written a book that checks off everything I’m looking for in a romance-humor, lovable characters, warmth, engaging and well-paced plot, and witty prose. This book is laugh out loud funny. Literally. I was reading this on the train on my way to work, and kept cracking up. Yes, I got strange looks from my fellow commuters. No, I regret nothing.
I highly recommend Maya’s new release, and I can’t wait for Amelia’s book, Chasing Lady Amelia, coming out July 2016!