Mansfield Letters
by Paula Atchia
The Book Guild ISBN 1857761189

        Review by Rike, July 28, 2000
Thirteen years after the events of Jane Austen's novel, widowed Fanny lives with her young son
at Mansfield Park. A letter from Tom, who is traveling in Italy, brings a shock: He has
re-encountered Mary Crawford and married her. Fanny must now face meeting Mary and, which is even more confusing for her, Henry Crawford, who has spent the last years in India and is an utterly reformed character . . .

I liked the book a lot: Fanny's thoughts and development are portrayed in a convincing manner,
and the reader really feels with her. Henry has lost some of his charm together with his
rakishness, but he is still a likable character. Mary is as heartless and to the point as ever. Lady
Bertram reveals some unexpected depth, but in keeping with the way Austen portrayed her. Two
very minor things annoyed me: Fanny's love for Edmund is somehow devalued as just sisterly
(can't a woman love two men in the course of her lifetime?), and she is very ready to blame
herself for Henry's seduction of Maria as stemming from her rejection of him (in my opinion: what
else should she have done? After all, she honestly did not want to marry him at the time!).

All in all, Mansfield Letters is a very pleasant read written in elegant style.