Oct 172012
 

What if Elizabeth Was Jane’s Determined Champion?

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

In her latest Pride and Prejudice alternate path, P. O. Dixon asks the question: What if Jane was too dejected to follow Bingley to London? What if Jane lost hope, lost her spirit, and was in the process of losing herself…

Elizabeth, filled with anxiety and concern, takes Jane’s place in London determined to find Mr. Bingley and tell him of her poor, lovelorn sister’s state. She is certain that this misunderstanding is the result of Mr. Bingley’s pernicious sister and her self-serving manipulations! Elizabeth will not let Caroline Bingley, Mr. Darcy, or the bounds of decorum get in her way…

While I applaud and admire P. O. Dixon for creating so daring a divergent path for Darcy and Elizabeth to traverse, I must admit to finding bits of the premise a little implausible. (You all know I can suspend my disbelief and that I’m relatively open-minded when it comes to Pride and Prejudice variations and alternate paths). However, as much as I tried, there were some elements of this novel that I just couldn’t get behind, such as Jane Bennet – for her to be so bitter,sullen, and absorbed in her own pain seemed too drastic a personality alternation. She was almost unrecognizable. Moreover, other aspects like Elizabeth naïvely thinking Darcy had nothing to with Bingley’s departure, Darcy forced to intimately tend to Elizabeth when she falls ill, and Darcy being so immovable to Elizabeth’s requests (even after he acknowledges his feelings for her) asked me to suspend my disbelief a little too much.

I found other aspects of this short novel a bit more to my liking, such as Elizabeth’s relationship with Mary. I always love seeing authors do more with Mary, she has the potential to be both clever and comical! In this novel, Elizabeth asks Mary to look after Jane during her absence. I enjoyed seeing Elizabeth interact with Mary more (instead of completely ignoring her) and I had to laugh out loud at Mary’s chiding yet inquisitive correspondence with Elizabeth:

“With that being said, in no way do I pardon your decision to seek out the gentleman from Netherfield Park to ascertain the workings of his heart as regards our eldest sister. I, like Jane, believe his actions speak to his purposes.

My feelings on the matter, however, in no way preclude my curiosity in hearing of your success in your undertaking…”

Moreover, I took great pleasure in Lord Latham and Lady Gwendolyn, who are some original characters created by P. O. Dixon. I thought they were well-drawn characters that added an intriguing new twist to the story. Lady Gwendolyn, just like Miss Bingley, has had her eye on Mr. Darcy for quite some time, but unlike Miss Bingley, she is actually a very likable character who befriends Elizabeth. And even more unlike Miss Bingley, Mr. Darcy considers her a marriageable prospect. It is always fun to see what drama is produced when yet another woman enters the “Mr. Darcy is Mine” arena!

Even though Bewitched, Body and Soul isn’t my favorite work by P. O. Dixon (that title belongs to He Taught Me to Hope), I still enjoyed my time reading it. In my opinion, P. O. Dixon writes some of the most inventive and original alternate paths for Pride and Prejudice. Regardless of my quibbles over this novel, I remain an admirer of Ms. Dixon’s work and I greatly anticipate reading her newest release, Matter of Trust: The Shades of Pemberley, which is now available!

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14 Comments on "Bewitched, Body and Soul – P. O. Dixon"

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MonicaP
I didn’t mind Darcy caring for Lizzy. I thought it was cute when he made her tea. But it did seem odd that there was not a housekeeper or even one maid there at the time. I guess I just assumed that although a house was “closed up” that a few staff would still be there. I felt like there could’ve been more drama in the whole Darcy/Lady Gwendolen situation. I can’t wait to hear what you think of A Matter of Trust. I just read it this past weekend and I liked it but I havent reviewed it. Reading… Read more »
Meredith

I loved the part about Darcy caring for Lizzie…and her just falling into his arms – *swoon* I just didn’t care for the intimate part of it.

Wow! 5 books in 2 days! I would so be mixing them up with each other! Where do you post your reviews?

MonicaP

When I actually do get around to writing them, I just put them on Amazon and B&N. Goodreads doesn’t work well with my phone for some reason so I’m not on there. I try to jot down things while I’m reading or just after, but sometimes the more I think about things, my opinion will change. I overthink everything lol.

I loved when he saw her sleeping. I’m a sucker for that every single time, whether it’s him watching her or vice versa.

Meredith

I get behind on my reviews too! I’ve just started to write down my thoughts on a pad and it has proven to be very helpful! I’ll have to look you up on amazon!

Yes – the whole sleeping and carrying her thing always makes me melt too! 😉

Ceri

I enjoyed this one although I felt the Lady G storyline could have been a bit more drawn out, I would have liked for it to have been developed more.

I don’t know how you managed your reading marathon, Monica, if I read too many close together I mix up aspects of the stories and confuse myself!

Meredith

I agree with you about Lady G – I would have loved to see her receive more page time.

Sophia Rose

I look forward to reading this one, but I do understand and share your point about taking a character so far out of character that you don’t recognize them. I’ve read two other authors who have done with Jane and I confess it struck me as wrong too.

Enjoyed reading your review!

Meredith

Thank you Sophia Rose! It wasn’t an easy review to write – I ended reading the book twice to be sure of my feelings and that I was being fair. Like I said – I’m fine with liberties being taken and personalities being altered, but this time, I guess I felt it was too far.

suzan

great review. I loved reading the comments on here too. I’m with the rest of the pack 5 in 2 days – ouch. I do sticky notes usually while I’m reading or at the back of my book but i’ve got a couple I didn’t do that with and now I hardly recall a thing. So frustrating.

Meredith

Thank you, Suzan! I’m starting to forget things about books I’ve read years ago. So many different takes on Pride and Prejudice, it’s hard to keep them all straight! 😉

Jakki Leatherberry

I really enjoyed Lord Latham and Lady Gwendolyn! Though I would have liked to have seen more of Lady G.! I just love original characters, and Dixon does a great job with them! 🙂

Meredith

She sure does! I love how they fit in so well! It would have been interesting to see more of Lady Gwendolyn and I was intrigued by Lord Latham and his affair…

AngieK

She had me at rain. Swoon!

Meredith

Yes – I love rain scenes too!

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