‘Regency Love’ is a delightful journey through Regency England, a period familiar to readers of Jane Austen. This is a most original and entertaining work, carefully researched and attentive to detail, and still absolutely captivating in its delivery of the story of Anne Frithringham.
The characters are vivid and animated, drawing the reader into their world and playing their roles to perfection. The author has created original personalities consistent with the world and era in which they live, and who are concerned with the things that ladies and gentlemen of the time would definitely have had to deal with. Their interactions and dialogue are witty and engaging, keeping the reader deeply involved with their experiences and welfare.
The plot is carefully structured and well developed, so that the narrative flows naturally. The end result is a book that is very hard to put down once started, and which leaves the reader completely satisfied at the end.
Written for a considerably less conservative audience, this story deals with subjects that Austen could only ever hint at, yet it does so with language and style that remains tastefully consistent with Austen’s world.
‘Regency Love’ is deliberately not Austen, but it does feel like Austen. This reader is confident that, had they met, Anne Frithingham and Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet would have got along famously.
Lona Manning’s historical romance novel ‘A Contrary Wind’ is an excellent variation on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, and now stands as the first book in The Mansfield Trilogy.
‘A Contrary Wind’ is not new to this blog: the book was awarded a Gold Acorn review in January 2019, and won a silver award in the annual Golden Squirrel Awards in the same year.
That a second and third book have been written to follow and further develop Fanny’s story will delight all who have read the first instalment in the series.
This is a series that even devoted fans of Jane Austen will enjoy for its consistency with the language and style of Austen, even though the story does divert from that of Mansfield Park and follow its own original path.
What other reviewers have said about ‘A Contrary Wind’:
“…Excellent.. it’s a novel which certainly deserves a place on the bookshelves of a Jane Austen fan.” — Jane Austen Centre, Bath
“Manning …. emulates Austen’s writing style so well that she often seamlessly incorporates exact passages from the original into her narrative…. Many try to emulate Austen; not all succeed. Here, Manning triumphs.” —BlueInk Review Starred Review
“Highly recommend it. Extremely well written, extremely clever, the way she incorporated details from the original Mansfield Park.” — First Impressions podcast
“Brava to Lona Manning for her thoughtful twists and skillful execution in this variation. This story was in no way predictable and it kept me guessing almost until the end!…. – Meredith Esparza, Austenesque Reviews
“A Contrary Wind is well-written, keeping close to the style of Austen. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. I never lost interest and enjoyed the occasional comic relief.” — Historical Novel Society