Seeking Mansfield

Seeking Mansfield

by Kate Watson


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Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend and godparents' son, Oliver Bertram. Since Finley moved in with her godparents after the death of her father, she and Oliver have grown close. If Finley could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater. But when teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move across the street from the Bertrams, they shake up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Finley realizes that Harlan’s attention is shifting to her. She discovers she might have feelings for him too. Or, is she only interested in Harlan because Oliver is taken? Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart—and keep her own—she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635830026
Publisher: North Star Editions
Publication date: 05/16/2017
Pages: 312
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kate Watson is a young adult writer, wife, mother of two and the tenth of thirteen children. Originally from Canada, she attended college in the States and holds a BA in Philosophy from Brigham Young University. Seeking Mansfield is her first novel, with a companion novel to follow in 2018. She is also a contributor to Eric Smith's WELCOME HOME adoption anthology (JFP 2017).

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Seeking Mansfield 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
KittyKat4 More than 1 year ago
*This book was received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* *Actual rating 3.5/5 stars* This book not only had a good romance, but also explored deeper issues including divorce, fame and death. As for the main characters, both Finley and Oliver, Finley's best friend and godparents' become much more mature throughout the book. It was especially enjoyable to watch Finley gain confidence and pursue her dream of joining the Mansfield Theater. The romance within this book was quite cliche with a second love interest Harlan Crawford moving in across the street from the Finley and Oliver's (Finley moves in with her godparents after her father's death). Not only is there a love triangle but Oliver is famous and plays into the 'bad boy' stereotype. I actually enjoyed the love triangle, however as Finley questions whether she only likes Harlan because Oliver is dating someone else. Overall, this was an interesting read with a good plot and interesting characters.
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: a refreshing story of hesitant dreams and riveting romance If I’m honest, this book was much…more than I expected. It elapsed over more time, delved into more characters, tackled more issues, was written with more life, and was simply…more. I loved it. SEEKING MANSFIELD is an expertly crafted work full of romance, family, and life’s tough throws. But what makes this book stand particularly high on the scale is its unwavering and undeniable grounding in reality. From complex characters to twisting plot lines, this story is one that will captivate you with both its enchanting reaches and its gritty roots. Choosing Mansfield Park as inspiration for writing a contemporary adaptation of a classic is an interesting and refreshing choice. It’s far less overdone than some of Austen’s other works, namely the beloved Pride and Prejudice. This was a cute romance indeed but it never failed to feel real. Alongside humor and tangled romantic webs worthy of Shakespeare, there were plenty dark realities explored within the story. Divorce, death, fame, disease, guilt, addiction, abuse,… It made this book more than mere fluff. It was charming with just the right amount of grit to make it feel grounded and realistic. And it’s not too much. It doesn’t overshadow the cute moments or the romance that is the thriving current of the plot. **Read my FULL review on my Wordpress site: Pooled Ink
quibecca More than 1 year ago
Well, welcome to the writing world Ms. Watson! Your debut novel is amazing, and has been a pleasure to read and review! Let's take a moment to visit the characters of this book. Finely - has had a horribly hard life. It started to look up when the Bertrams took her and her brother Liam in after their fathers death. At first she is quiet and reserved, and only trusted the Bertram's son Oliver. Liam - Finley's older brother who is on the search for a professional soccer team to play for. He's kind, and compassionate. He has a soft spot for his sister, and misses her terribly when he is gone. Oliver - is yummy. Right from the very beginning he is just yummy. He cares for Finley like an over protective guard dog, but he is finding it harder and harder to fight his feelings for her. Juliette - is Oliver's evil sister. I don't think I have much more to say about her. She's just evil. Emma - teen movie star who moves in next door to the Bertram's. Emma is not my favorite person. She acts like a spoiled princess. Of course she usually gets her way because she is famous. She gets the "dislike" (in my eyes) because she has her eyes on Oliver. Harlan - sounds like your typical teenage throb. He's famous and he knows it. He is known for all the shenanigans he puts on. Let's just say Harlan is my least favorite person in this book. He is a great guy to hate :). Finley likes to be in the background. She has only ever really trusted one person in her life and that is Oliver. He constantly lifts her up, and watches over her. Finley believes she might have feelings for Oliver other than friendship and then the Crawford's move in next door. Ruining Finley's dreams of being with Oliver. Oliver really likes Finely but doesn't quite know how to tell her. Then a distraction in the name of Emma moves in next door to him, and he doesn't have to focus so much on Finley any more. He is constantly concerned for her, but is able to put his feelings for her aside, as he seeks out a relationship with Emma. Finley feels a little jaded over the whole thing, because now she is forced to spend more time with Harlan, who seems to always be around when Emma is around. She loathes him. She thinks he's superficial and arrogant. Harlan decides he must win Finely over, and while doing so he volunteers to help her with her theater group, and volunteers for Oliver's passion called M.A.D. While doing this Finley finds out there is more to Harlan than meets the eye. Slowly he wiggles his way into her life, and Finely accepts him as he is. (which was a horrible idea...just FYI ;)) The relationships in this book are messed up :). In a way you cannot put the book down because it's like a train wreck, you just cannot turn away. I love the writing in this book. I love the setting, and the characters. They come to life with Watson's words. You feel their joys and their pains. It was like watching a movie while reading the book. Fantastic. There are so many wonderful things in this book. Life lessons, acquired love and finding healing in the most unlikely places. This book was written by a good friend of one of my nieces. I have been following her journey to see her dream come to life in this published novel. If you like love stories, with amazing characters and writing, you will love this book. Watson is a very talented writer and it has been fun to see her dreams become a reality. Source: I bought this book for myself. I was n
KatyAnne More than 1 year ago
I loved this charming retelling of Mansfield Park! There were so many clever nods to the original, and yet the story stood on its own. My sister has never read Jane Austen and this is enough to make her want to read the original! Now for the details: I love romance, but this is quite a bit more than that. More than anything, this is the story of a damaged girl with nothing but dreams and inner strength trying to bring that strength out. Watching Finley do that is immensely satisfying. Her traumatic past is at times haunting, yet the author does a great job of making the dark parts never overtake the light. It's definitely not an Issues book, but it's a book where a character with real issues is able to take center stage in spite them. Or through them, maybe. Finley is impossible not to root for. I also loved her friendship with Emma. I know some people have been saying that they think Emma is vain or shallow--and she is--but she's also loving and loyal and strong and pretty fabulous. I adored watching her and Finley become friends. Now for the dudes. Oliver and Harlan. I honestly struggled with who I liked better for half of the book. Best friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes, as is enemies to lovers. So the fact that this book has a love square (I normally really dislike love triangles, but that's not quite what this is) gave me the best of both worlds. Harlan wanting to reform for Finley made my heart go pitter patter and ache at the same time. Then there's Oliver, wanting to do right by Finley and realizing the ways that he has held her back in the name of "empowerment." His realizations hit hard and I loved seeing him gain greater self-awareness. I laughed, cried, and swooned in this delightful book. It's probably my favorite YA contemp of 2017.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I was quite excited for this book. I loved the synopsis and the hint at BFF to more. Sadly I was either bored or annoyed while reading. Finley is a decent enough character. She has a traumatic past and that definitely plays into her actions. It was nice to see her grow and branch out and find her voice. Oliver definitely had potential, but I was irritated by his inner monologue and how most of his decisions are based on what he thinks Finley means. Harley and Emma and Juliette were clichéd spoiled brats who demanded things constantly go their way or pouting/temper tantrums would ensue. Plot wise, it was a lot a lot a lot of miscommunication and reading way too much into glances or outfit choices and the like. I struggled to care because it felt like if there would have been just a hint of honesty, some of the drama would have been avoided. I kept reading because I wanted to see how it all worked out, but i probably should have DNF'd. I doubt I'll be reading the next book. **Huge thanks to Flux for providing the arc free of charge**
15897257 More than 1 year ago
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
Finley rubbed one of the small circular scars branded into her right shoulder. She was on her computer with Mansfield Theater Youth application pulled up. She felt she was stupid to even submit the application then Oliver her godparent’s son knocked on her door then Oliver started filling out the rest of her application Then his sister Juliette and her boyfriend Raleigh came in Finley’s room. Finley father had been an actor and was dead. Finley lived with her godparents and was grateful for all they had done for her. Oliver’s aunt Nora was forever reminding Finley how much she owed her godparents and what Finley would be doing to pay them back. Almost as if belittling and hurting Finley. Then for the last month Nora had left Finley alone. She didn’t know why unless her Godparents had said something. Be very victim ut for whatever the reason Finley was grateful. I couldn’t really get into this story it just didn’t keep my attention
TAMCL More than 1 year ago
Absolutely delightful! I could not put this charming book down and started and finished in the same day. As a Jane Austen fan, I was so impressed with this modern-day retelling of Mansfield Park. I found Ms. Watson's characters more likable and relatable than the original. The book was fun and light at times and I liked the depth that a more serious storyline gave the book and the characters. I just loved it and can't wait to read more from Ms. Watson!
V-Rundell More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars for this contemporary re-telling of MANSFIELD PARK Finley Price is sixteen and living with her godparents, the Bertram’s, now that her famous actor father has died and her abusive alcoholic mother is in jail. The Bertram’s have three kids, Tate, Juliette and Oliver—who is Finley’s best friend—even though he has a giant crush on Finley. Juliette is mean and petty, and their aunt is spiteful and awful, pretty much telling Finley she ought to behave like a servant in the Bertram household. Finley is a theater aficionado, and been working stage crews for years. Her deepest desire is to be a part of the Mansfield Theater Program, but she lacks the confidence to apply—and to ask for help. Oliver wants to send the application in for Finley, but listens to his father’s advice on the subject. Oliver just wants what’s best for Finley—and for her to seek it for herself. New neighbors, Emma and Harlan Crawford arrive, and their status as teen movie stars is exciting to everyone but Finley. She’s used to blending into the background, and is afraid Harlan will make things difficult. He once starred in a movie with her father. New friendships and relationships develop, with power-brokering happening too. Emma is sweet on Oliver, but she recognizes that Finley needs to be a priority in his life. For me, it seems manipulative, and the blurb gets it right that Harlan pursues Finley mostly out of boredom and the desire for a challenge. That said, Finley isn’t easily won over, and there are lots of peaks and valleys in the myriad love stories that are taking place. It's kind of a love-square (as opposed to a triangle) situation and I know that's not cool for all readers. For me, the love angles can be summed up thusly: if you can’t be with the one you love…(honey)…love the one you’re with. I really liked Finley, and those who’ve read Mansfield Park all agree that she’s a far more interesting and strong heroine than her model (Fanny Price). Finley’s survived a lot of challenges, and she faces new ones with compassion and strength. For all the love stories in the book, this is a clean read with just kissing on the page. That said, there are allusions to off page sexcapades, which form the base of the final conflict. As a YA book, it felt accessible and interesting. I think teens will be interested in the theater aspects and celebrity issues, which update the plot for modern readers. The HEA comes on the closing pages, and it seems like there could be more of this story to tell. I received a review cipy via NetGalley.
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
Finley Price is in love with her best friend Oliver, but doesn’t have the self confidence to see that he also loves her. A victim of child abuse, Finley has a tough time speaking up or being the center of attention. She lives on the fringes of life, trying to contribute as much as possible to Olivers family who has taken her in after her father dies and her mother is incapable of raising she and her brother. When two famous teenage actors move in next door, Finley watches Oliver fall under the spell of Emma, and is forced to spend more time with Harlan, Emma’s brother, than she’d like. Added to that teenage friction is the fact that Finley’s father was a famous actor, and that industry is in her blood. Seeking Mansfield uses the situation of teenage love and pain as an engine for Finley to grow within herself, face her fears and go after the life she wants, which is an admission to prestigious Mansfield Theater. I was totally surprised by the depth in what looked at first glance to be a lighthearted romance. Finley has a lot of inner demons she needs to work through so at times this book was pretty dark. The storyline revolved around alcohol, physical abuse and broken hearts, but the story did balance those dark moments with laughter, a loving brother, and solid friendships. Her relationship with Oliver changed very slowly and I’ll admit that I got a little impatient with how the author used misdirection to make us believe that they had moved on from their feelings. Finley had suffered so much up to the start of this book, that once I found out her back story I just wanted to see her happy. Harlan, as her love him/hate him relationship didn’t ring true, so I had trouble buying into it, but he was a fun character to read, and an integral part to how Finley grew in this book. For that reason I’ll forgive this author the time she spent on that plotline. This novel is the first book in the series, so I can only hope the next one follows Finley on her education at Mansfield Theater, because she was a fascinating character and I want to know more about her! I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, and it was honest!
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
I would like to preface the review with the fact that I haven't read the original Mansfield Park but I am familiar with the plotline. Now, Seeking Mansfield is a modern retelling of Mansfield Park, and on the whole I was very much impressed with it. It takes the storyline of MP and gives us Finley, a parental abuse survivor who is living with her godparents and throughout the book, learns what it means to stand up for herself and where to allow people to support you. It retains much of the original storyline, and involves a complicated love rhombus or something, and is a good retelling. Finley's situation with her godparents is such that she feels indebted to them, and always thinks first of their comforts than her own. Now, with the exception of their daughter and the aunt, they are all good to her and protective about her. But the aunt - yeesh! She is a terrible woman, and constantly makes Finley feel like an orphan. The star siblings, Emma and Harlan are snobbish but charming, but kind of controlling, which Oliver and Fin, respectively, take some time to understand. Both of them have feelings for each other but run's into the respective siblings' arms because they think it is a safer choice. In case of Finley, specifically, Harlan brings out a different, more confident side of her, but ultimately she can't take his betrayal. The story delves into relationships and how they change a person, and to what extent leaning on someone is healthy, and when protectiveness becomes suffocating. The writing is fluid, and shifts well enough between the two perspectives of Finley and Oliver. The author also spends good amount of time building up the relationships and showing how it worked and how it did not. It touches upon PTSD, addiction, and morality in relationships, as well as how intense family can be. Recommended, especially, for contemporary fans and Austenites alike.