Aug 132013
 

Memory Volume 1Sweet Memories Can Sustain You Through Hard Times

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Alternate Path, Mature Audience

TIME FRAME: A couple of months before the death of Mr. Darcy (senior) – 1807. Several years before the beginning of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Jane Bennet, Charles Bingley, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Lord and Lady Matlock, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Viscount Layton, Mr. Harwick, Mr. Stewart, Georgiana Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Anne de Bourgh, Caroline Bingley, George Wickham

SYNOPSIS: Over the course of two years Darcy and Elizabeth keep catching small glimpses of each other around London. They exchange looks and smiles, but never seem to be able to talk. In these two years, both experience a lot of sadness, heartache, and stress. During such dark times, they live off of the precious memories of each other and hopeful dreams of meeting again. Will the reality live up to their dreams? What stands in their way of happiness?

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Sweet and Sentimental: I adored the premise of Darcy and Elizabeth knowing just little crumbs and tiny scraps of information about each other, yet falling deeply in love. I loved how they kept private journals that held all their romantic notions and secret longings. And I loved how they both tried to learn about each other from other sources! Such adorable romantics!
  • The Relationships: There are soooo many heart-warming and inspiring relationships in this novel! Some of my favorites include: Elizabeth’s relationship with Mrs. Gardiner, Darcy’s relationship with his father and Lord Matlock, and Darcy’s relationships with his friends and cousins. Such excellent examples of friendship, guidance, and love!
  • The Original Characters: Some charming possible suitors for Elizabeth and Jane, a couple reprobate Fitzwilliam cousins, and the wives who put up with them – I greatly enjoyed meeting these well-drawn, engaging, and entertaining characters! I hope we see more of the Stewarts, Harwicks, Laytons, and Singletons in Volume Two and Three!
  • Jane and Bingley: Linda Wells daringly chose to portray Jane Bennet as having some more flaws! At first, I wasn’t too fond of seeing Jane display some jealousy and vanity, I thought it was out-of-character. But then I realized that no one is perfect, not even serene and beautiful Jane Bennet! I enjoyed seeing Jane go through a little struggle and character development. As to Mr. Bingley – he was just too cute! I loved seeing the beginning of his relationship with Darcy, how he referred to Darcy as his “advisor,” and how he earnestly attempted to play matchmaker between Darcy and Elizabeth. <3
  • A Saga of Epic Proportions!: It’s a 500 page volume! With two more installments! I must admit, I was worried I’d find the story’s pacing too slow or the prose too wordy. Nope! Negative on both accounts! It is a very eventful story and instead of summarizing what happens each day, Linda Wells allows her readers to witness it all. I liked being privy to all of Darcy and Elizabeth’ encounters and found myself very satisfied with the leisurely pace of this novel.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • The Loathsome Mrs. Bennet: (This is just a small quibble) As always Mrs. Bennet is vulgar and full of histrionics and gossip. In this novel these traits are accentuated and coupled with verbal abuse and neglect. I don’t find these changes implausible, but I do find Mrs. Bennet’s character to now be entirely loathsome! I know she is a silly character and we are supposed to find her exasperating, but I hope she receives some redemption or reform later on in this series like Mr. Bennet did in Volume One.

WARNING:

  • Some intimate and romantic scenes

CONCLUSION:

So far, I find this series to be “excessively diverting!” I took great pleasure exploring this inventive premise and spending some quality time with these charming characters! I wonder what kind of adventures and excitement await in Volume Two: Trials to Bear!

 

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22 out of 30!

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  17 Responses to “Memory: Volume 1, Lasting Impressions – Linda Wells”

  1.  

    I’ve been wanting to read a Linda Wells book forever and now I want it, that much more! I have Imperative on my kindle but when I think how long it is, I keep pushing it back lol.

    I love the premise of them secretly liking each other and hoping to meet again, and I also love stories where Jane is not so sweet and perfect.

    •  

      LOL! Monica! I’ve heard great things about Imperative. I’m looking forward to reading book 2 in this series and Linda’s other books (some day!)

      Yes, this was a very interesting portrayal of Jane – she definitely got fleshed out!

  2.  

    Why did you not give this book all 5 stars?

  3.  

    This trilogy was one of the first Austenesque reads I attempted and I loved how it brought Darcy and Lizzy together earlier and gave more page time to many of the secondary characters.

    •  

      Aww! Lovely, Sophia! Our first JAFF’s are special, aren’t they? I know I didn’t mention it much in my review (I had soooo much to say!) but the romance is simply lovely! I’m greatly enjoying Darcy and Lizzy together and how they give each other strength and support. 🙂

  4.  

    I’m so glad that enjoyed the first book, Meredith, and hope that you feel the same when you come to the end. It’s very much a story about family, the good and the bad.
    Thank you!

  5.  

    great review

  6.  

    I enjoyed this volume. I liked the way that they were different because of being that bit younger, but Jane was so different that I could not see her ever becoming P&P Jane. I suppose this is another of the variations. The other quibble I had with it is that people were very open with each other which didn’t strike me as likely for the times and there were times when there was too much affection shown in front of other people. I think in this era people would have held back more. It’s very romantic though, I love how they finally meet properly /sigh! I started volume 2 of this but I ran out of steam with it. I’ll get back to it one day I’m sure 🙂

    •  

      I understand what you mean about the open affection, Ceri. At the time period I don’t think Darcy would have been able to get away with stealing so many kisses and holding Elizabeth’s hand…but my romantic heart liked it! <3 Their almost meetings and when they finally do meet were so much fun! I enjoyed that part a lot!

  7.  

    I have read all Linda’s novels and I love each and every one. I understand she is adding a volume to Memory and Imperative sometime soon, cant wait!

  8.  

    This sounds like a good one. I’m always interested in how these authors put their own spin on Austen’s characters.

  9.  

    This is one of my favorite authors. I love all her books!

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