Brightsea
Jane Gillespie
amazon.com (out of print)
160 pages 1987
St. Martin's Press, New York ISBN 0-312-00111-8


        Review by Linda Waldemar,  June 5, 1997
Characters from Sense and Sensibility appear in this short, lightweight story. Lucy (Mrs. Robert Ferrars) and Nancy Steele are major characters and Mr. and Mrs. Palmer make brief appearances.

Nancy Steele, now 40 years old, is silly and ignorant and spends all her time visiting with relatives and friends. When no one else will take her, she stays with Lucy. At the beginning, she and Lucy argue so Nancy informs the Palmers that she will be visiting them. She overstays her welcome.

Mr. Palmer is acquainted with Mr. Retford, an old man who is frail and ill and does not like to have his life changed in any way. His heir and granddaughter, Louisa, is 16 and just finished with school. Mr. Retford does not want her to live with him, so he has his housekeeper set up a residence for her, for the summer, in Brightsea, a new and fashionable seaside resort.Young Miss Retford must have a companion, so, in order to get rid of her, Mr. Palmer recommends Miss Steele who decides to take the situation.

The story is very slow until about two-thirds of the way through the book. It then picks up for a few chapters, but slows down again at the end, which I did not find satisfying. Louisa Retford, our heroine, has little to recommend her. Miss Steele is annoying. Lucy Ferrars visits Brightsea with her children, but her character is not very interesting. In fact, most of the characters are tiresome and the plot is thin and predictable.

Since I think that each person should form her/his own opinions, if you should happen upon this book, you should give it a try. I do not, however, think that it is worth making any special attempts to find it or buy it.