If you pop in here regularly then you’ll know that I am a big Austen fan and love reading books based on the worlds she created, so I was over the moon when The Other Miss Bates was brought to my attention.
Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.
So I have to admit that today I am a bad book blogger, I haven’t completely finished this book yet, and I do feel terrible for it but this is such a busy time of year and I rather overestimated my reading capabilities. As such I will be reviewing based on what I have read so far and I won’t be providing a rating today but you can be certain that I will be updating this once I’ve finished the book.
I am really enjoying The Other Miss Bates, I loved Mrs Bates of Highbury because it was a return to characters that I wanted to get to know, this book though has a bit more drama and adventure. We get to know a lot more about Jane Bates who is on her way to the highly diverting Brighton, here we meet some more familiar names, Churchill and Fairfax being, of course, the most interesting.
There are a lot of new characters to get to know and what I like especially is that there are some that you can tell are going to cause trouble, it does make this book that little bit exciting than the first in the series. Of course, the Bates family remain firm favourites, I especially like that every now and then we get news of Highbury through the letters that Hetty writes. It gives me some of the nostalgic feeling of the original story even though this is a new direction altogether.
It’s safe to say that even though I am not quite finished reading it I would highly recommend this book, I have been totally engrossed whenever I have picked it up and I find I am looking forward to seeing where the characters will be left at the end of this book.
This one definitely had a lot more drama, I loved the scheming and the heartbreak I just couldn’t put it down.
I loved that Jane got her adventure and was really happy with how her story turned out, even though at the end it is very sad, I can certainly see how events lead on to the original story. This is also true of Mrs Bates, I felt terrible for her and even though I knew that she would probably never have the happiness that she deserves I couldn’t help but hope.
I loved this book and I am at the same time looking forward to the next one because I want to see what’s in store for Jane Fairfax but I am also not looking forward to it because it’s the last book in the series. I have highly enjoyed being transported into the world of these characters so far and would definitely recommend you giving this one a read.
There are lots of stops that you can visit over the next few days.
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series.
Reviews of other Allie Cresswell books