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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel by Alice McVeigh grants a fresh look at some of the characters of Jane Austen novels in their earlier years. Recently expelled from Mrs. Ansruther's school, sixteen-year-old Susan Smithson returns to London, only to find herself embroiled in yet another scandal. After vehemently rejecting a marriage proposal made by an older gentleman named Mr. Hawthorne, Susan places herself under the tutelage of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who accompanies her when she is sent to live in Kent County with her relatives. Reunited with her favorite cousin Alicia Collins, Susan inadvertently becomes the center of attention again when she joins Mrs. Inchbald's play. In the meantime, Alicia's blossoming romance with the Johnson family heir, Henry, threatens to create a major scandal.
Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel is a delightful rendition of Susan Smithson's earlier years that is bound to entertain fans of Jane Austen novels. Alice McVeigh's book is filled with romance, mischief, gossip, and drama that makes you breeze past the pages with absolute relish. I found the characters colorful and thoroughly entertaining. The dialogue is witty and laced with humor. Alice McVeigh writes with a flow and eloquence that makes the narrative as smooth as melted butter, and it perfectly captures the era that the book is set in. Susan's inner thoughts and her scheming with Alicia were some of my favorite aspects of the book. I had a wonderful time reading Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel. I will recommend it to readers who love books set in this era.