A Contrary Wind

Written by Lona Manning
Review by Susie Pruett

A Contrary Wind: A Variation on Mansfield Park continues the story of the delicate and over-emotional Fanny Price, my least favorite of all the Jane Austen characters. But Lona Manning gives Fanny more of a backbone making her a more interesting character.

We meet many of the characters from Mansfield Park. We learn more about the true nature of Tom Bertram, and we watch the Bertram sisters, Maria and Julia, pursue the unprincipled Henry Crawford. The indolent Lady Bertram pops awake periodically, and the annoying and critical Aunt Norris continues her harangue of Fanny. We also see more of Fanny’s sisters, the redoubtable Susan and the adorable Betsey.

However, the plot turns when Fanny’s childhood friend and true love, Edmund, makes a foolish decision permanently altering his life. Fanny watches helplessly as Edmund falls in love with the scheming Mary Crawford, and decides to abandon the safety of the Park.

A Contrary Windis 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. Manning ends the book with a few loose ends, and I look forward to the sequel coming out this year.