Whatever Love is, Paperback
3 out of 5 (1 rating)


What would happen if Jane Austen's MANSFIELD PARK was set in the twenty-first century? When Frankie Price goes to live with her wealthy cousins, she finds herself part of a social scene that she'd only read about in magazines.

Shy and overwhelmed, she retreats into her own passion: writing - pouring out her feelings into her short stories.

But when the entire family is rocked by scandal, and her mate Ned comes under the spell of the beautiful but manipulative Alice, Frankie realises that she has to fight for the life she wants.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Templar Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Romance
  • ISBN: 9781848121577



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I think Rosie Rushton is very clever at adapting Jane Austen's novels for young readers, but even to my thirty-something awareness, her dialogue still sounds dated! I loved her take on <I>Emma</I> (<I>Secret Schemes and Daring Dreams</I>), but was a little less enamoured of <I>The Secrets of Love</I> (her treatment of <I>Sense and Sensibility</I>), and I think her most recent reworking of <I>Mansfield Park</I> falls into that same three-star rating. Perhaps because <I>Emma</I> is my favourite novel, whereas MP falls to the bottom of the pile, but I found her updated characters almost cartoonish, and the heavy handed moralism of Austen's tale is back in spades.Frankie Price is the poor little rich girl, daughter of a bipolar mother and an absentee father, who is sent to live with her middle-class cousins. Much is made of the fact that Frankie's mother is adopted, and I wondered why, until twigging that falling in love with your first cousin is no longer the acceptable romantic failsafe that it was in Austen's day! I did like some of the modern twists - Mr Bertram is head of a fashion chain which employs Mexican sweatshops, instead of being a plantation owner, and the shocking play becomes a music festival, but I'm not sure that the rest of the story would appeal to any reader not looking for parallels with Austen's novel. Frankie is still a priggish killjoy, Ned is now a social worker, Alice is an out-and-out cow with no complexity of character, unlike Mary Crawford, and Aunt 'Nerys' is a fairy godmother compared to Mrs Norris. A lot of the subtlety of the original story, though far from popular with me, is lost in translation here, I'm afraid, though kudos to Rosie Rushton for even attempting to update nineteenth century social etiquette into a modern day equivalent.

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