The Other Miss Bates
by Allie Cresswell
Jane Bates has left Highbury to become the companion of the invalid widow Mrs Sealy in Brighton. Life in the new, fashionable seaside resort is exciting indeed. A wide circle of interesting acquaintance and a rich tapestry of new experiences – balls at the Assembly rooms, carriage rides and promenades on the Steyne – make her new life all Jane had hoped for.
While Jane’s sister Hetty can be a tiresome conversationalist she proves to be a surprisingly good correspondent and Jane is kept minutely up-to-date with developments in Highbury, particularly the tragic news from Donwell Abbey.
When handsome Lieutenant Weston returns to Brighton Jane expects their attachment to pick up where it left off in Highbury the previous Christmas, but the determined Miss Louisa Churchill, newly arrived with her brother and sister-in-law from Enscombe in Yorkshire, seems to have a different plan in mind.
The Other Miss Bates is the second book in the Highbury Trilogy. It is just as delightful and charming as the first book. In this book, Jane is now in Brighton as a companion to Mrs. Sealy. Some new characters enter the fray, but we still get to catch up with old ones.
I love the way the book is written, and as with the first book, some of my favorite portions are the letters Jane writes home. Cresswell gives readers a deeper insight into Jane, such as her dreams and desires. I have so enjoyed watching her mature and change. The other characters that are introduced are also well-developed as well.
I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen, and I have been since reading her for the very first time in high school. I like to get my hands on anything that has to do with her as she is still one of my very favorite writers. For my fellow Austen lovers, Cresswell doesn’t change the plot of Emma, yet this book, like the first one, is unique and original. She gives us a minor character, Jane Bates, in Emma, and gives her a book and voice of her own. I think this idea is brilliant as well as Cresswell’s writing. If you are a fan of Austen like me, you really need to read this series. I have adored both books in the series, and I’m looking forward to the next one. She did a fabulous job of setting readers up for the third book in the epilogue!
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.
She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.
She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages. Nowadays Allie writes full time having retired from teaching literature to lifelong learners.
She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.
The Other Miss Bates is her eighth novel and the second in the Highbury series
Social Media Links – www.allie-cresswell.com