Uncompleted, Sandition was the last of Jane Austen’s work.
Another delightful short read by Austen. I can’t say enough about how much I revel in these brief , yet brilliant works. Sandition brought me the light read and humour I desperately needed after the meatier books I last dove into.
Sandition, is the name of a new beach resort village in its coming of age. Because it is a relatively unknown area in need of new residents, travelers and reputable people-the then local entrepreneur, Tom Parker, starts up the story on a tour in search of a physician for his new community. Along the way (and due to a small injury) he must stop for help in a town – and lucky for him, the people are very welcoming and readily available for help. Mr. Parker and his wife, appreciating the warmth and kindness of these accidental hosts, as a gesture of appreciation, offer to take the daughter of Mr. Heywood (the main man who helped and hosted them) a Miss Charlotte Heywood, back with them as a guest in their home in Sandition.
Charlotte is the heroine of this story and everything is pretty much seen through her eyes. In Sandition we meet such colourful characters as the very rich, elderly and twice-widowed, Lady Denham; her niece and nephew by her second husband, her cousin Clara- a beautiful and demure young lady. But- the funniest of all characters are Mr. Parker’s siblings who have endless ailments (all of them purel y made up). One of these, Diane (Parker’s sister) is on a mission to ‘fill up’ the town and in doing so, she is constantly busy and bustling around , leaving Charlotte to wonder if the illness isn’t but an act.
Sadly (for me), the story ends abruptly with the arrival into Sandition, of the dashing Mr. Sidney, Parker’s brother . I say sadly because I was just getting into it- just when the characters started coming together for the meshing of a story line…Sandition has got me wondering how this one could have turned out. The characters are delightful and true to Austen’s originality and good sense of build up to a story that would surely have become another of her great masterpieces. It also saddens me to think that it was during this very year of writing Sandition that Jane Austen passed away.
This is my 5th of 6 Austen reads, for the Everything Austen Challenge.
Does anyone know if there’s an Austenesque sequel to Sandition by another author? I’d love to see the take on this one.