Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy From Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Time Travel, Austen-Inspired Original
SETTING: Baltimore, Maryland in 2012 and London, England in 1812
MAIN CHARACTERS: Mr. Darcy, Christine (Chris) O’Malley, Georgiana Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Elizabeth Bennet
SYNOPSIS: When Elizabeth Bennet rejects his proposal at Hunsford Parsonage, rather than give up his dreams, Darcy decides to travel to the future to consult with an expert on Pride and Prejudice. (Darcy is aware of time travel and the science behind it due to his support and participation in science societies and lectures. And he is also aware of Jane Austen and the fact that his life is portrayed her novel.) Christine O’Malley (the Jane Austen scholar Darcy is advised to seek) offers to help Darcy get back on track with Elizabeth, and in order to save her beloved Pride and Prejudice, even agrees to travel back to 1812!
WHAT I LOVED:
- Brilliant Historical Tidbits: Mary Simonsen is a history buff and is extremely knowledgable about American and British history. Every time I read something by her I learn so much about the time period, culture, and way of life! But what I love most about Mary’s novels is HOW she introduces and intertwines the historical backdrop and information she wants to share. It doesn’t read like a text book or history lesson. She has a wealth of knowledge and easily inserts relevant tidbits and facts where desired.
- The Real Pride and Prejudice: I loved seeing Chris’s reaction to 1812 and the characters in Pride and Prejudice. Her physical descriptions of and exchanges with Colonel Fitzwilliam, Caroline Bingley, George Wickham, and Elizabeth Bennet were fun to witness. I also loved all the hidden truths and realities she uncovered, especially from Mr. Darcy!
- Colonel Fitzwilliam: What a great storyline this was! Instead of a romance with Darcy (he’s so unavailable!) Chris feels an instant (and mutual) attraction for Colonel Fitzwilliam! But Chris must guard her heart because she has a life in 2012 and has no intention of remaining in a time where she has minimal rights and liberties. And to add to it, Chris’s last relationship really crushed her, is she ready to open herself to the possibility of being hurt again?
- London in 1812: I love how when in 1812 London Chris was interested in seeing all the famous sights she couldn’t see in modern-day London. Vauxhall Gardens, Carlton House, Exeter Exchange – I admired how Chris knew so much history about these sites and how the city of London changed from 1812 to now. I especially found it fascinating because I happened to be in London the same time I was reading this! (Too bad we didn’t encounter Mr. Darcy on Rotten Row!)
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Emotional Connection: I found all the characters to be likable and well-drawn, but I’m sad to say I didn’t feel as emotionally invested with them as I usually do when I read a novel by Mary Simonsen. My heart warmed to see their friendships, but I didn’t feel a strong bond with them that engaged my feelings and thoughts. More so with Chris than any other character.
I feel like this isn’t the only time travel novel I’ve read by Mary Simonsen (even though it is!), when reading some of her Austenesque Historical Romances (When They Fall in Love, Darcy on the Hudson) I have felt as if I traveled to another time! Through Ms. Simonsen’s vivid descriptions and informative prose, I was able to see, feel, taste, smell, and breathe in 1812 in Another Place in Time. What a fantastic trip! Ms. Simonsen doesn’t need advancements in science or sophisticated technology, she can travel through time with her mighty pen!