Jun 192017
 

A Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins Bromance!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Epistolary Novel

TIME FRAME: 1791 through early 1798

MAIN CHARACTERS: Mr. Collins and Mr. Bennet

SYNOPSIS:

In Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennet says “I would not give up Mr. Collins’s correspondence for any consideration.” What if that were true? It is quite conceivable to imagine they would continue to correspond, isn’t it? After all, Mr. Collins did initially have the desire to “heal the breach” and extend an olive branch to Mr. Bennet. Even though they didn’t become in-laws to each other, Rose Servitova shows readers that Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins did indeed continue to correspond for many years, and that their relationship would develop, grow, and evolve in unexpected ways!

WHAT I LOVED:

  • A Spotlight Secondary Characters: How clever to take two minor characters and tell a whole story about them! Other secondary characters such as Georgiana Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Charlotte Lucas, Kitty and Mary Bennet all have several novels about them, but for Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins there is a scarcity! It was a unique experience to see certain events through the eyes of these two characters, and to witness the budding relationship between them. While the Darcys and Bingleys are mentioned and readers are given updates on their lives, this story centers upon those who live in Hunsford, Rosings, and Longbourn.
  • The Letters: Having read and loved several Austenesque epistolary novels (A Visit to Highbury, Dear Mr. Darcy) I was so happy to see that this book was fully comprised of letters between Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins! I appreciated how the letters for each year were divided by a brief summary of what took place that year, and how easy it was to tell Mr. Collins’s correspondence from Mr. Bennet’s (Mr. Collins’s letters were in all italics, Mr. Bennet’s were not).
  • The Humor: With Mr. Bennet’s sardonic wit and Mr. Collins’s absurd pomposity, these exchanges will certainly make you chuckle, smirk, and roll your eyes! I especially thought the funniest bits were when Mr. Collins would gently reprimand Mr. Bennet in his way “I know you to be a gentleman of excellent etiquette and therefore, I will assume that you are quite ill and have been so indisposed as to make the writing of a letter impossible…” (page 32) and when Mr. Bennet would have his little jests at Mr. Collins’s expense “But your own nose, Mr. Collins, being bulbous, adds plenty of character to your face and suits you perfectly for if a person takes on look at your face, cousin, they have your character in an instant…” (page 102)
  • The Tidbits: Through the correspondence of these gentleman we learn the fates of other P&P characters such as Anne de Bourgh, Kitty Bennet, and Mary Bennet. It was interesting to see what become of them and the new characters introduced to these story-lines. There was more than one surprising development. 😉
  • The Evolution: It was heartwarming and touching to see how both Mr. Bennet and Mr. Collins matured and evolved. Mr. Bennet’s letters went from ironically stating “We none of use would rob Charlotte Lucas or any of the Lucases one moment of pleasure in your company…” (page 22) to “Come at once, if you please, my heir and friend.” (page 182) I loved seeing how both men softened with time, how they would bond over gardening, how Mr. Bennet took a special interest in Mr. Collins’s children, and how Mr. Collins would share his concerns and fears with Mr. Bennet like a son would. It was a splendidly satisfying evolution and Ms. Servitova skillfully and gradually brought these two characters closer together than ever before.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

If anything, I wanted more. 🙂

WHAT I WISHED WAS EXPLAINED: I was curious as to why the author chose 1791 as the year Pride and Prejudice events began. Most often P&P stories are set between 1797 and 1813.

CONCLUSION:

With great perception and ingenuity Rose Servitova delivers an excellent debut novel filled with humor and heart! I love that Ms. Servitova went where no one has gone before, and I sincerely hope we will see more from her in the near future!

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  36 Responses to “The Longbourn Letters – Rose Servitova”

  1.  

    I wasn’t going to read this, and yet… your review has, at least made me consider it. Well done Meredith. Excellent review. I may consider it.

    •  

      I shall look upon it as a personal victory if you do….so let me know if it ever happens and tell me how you found it…Rose 🙂

    •  

      I do hope you give it a try, Jeanne! It doesn’t have a lot of Elizabeth and Darcy, but it is a lovely focus on a different kind of relationship – one that seems unlikely and unexpected.

  2.  

    Great review. Makes me want to read this now. Wasn’t sold until I read your review. Thanks.

  3.  

    Thank you for a great review. I’m so proud of my two men… they are very pleased.

  4.  

    Meredith,I loved this collection of charming,witty,sarcastic yet deeply satisfying collection of letters exchanged between Mr B,a character who holds a special place in my heart,and Mr C,who doesn’t!!
    I agree that it was a pleasure to see how these two men’s relationship evolved through the passage of time and the various fates that befell Rose’s secondary characters.
    I loved the fact that each man’s voice was clearly discernible through their unique use of words,sarcasm and word play!!
    I highly recommend this wonderful selection of letters and I’m delighted that you loved them too,Meredith!

    •  

      Mary, thanks for taking the time to comment and I’m thrilled you loved it. It makes me so happy & glad that I sat down to write, what has to be one of the strangest ideas for a book ever….but these gents seem to be working their magic..thanks again. Rose

    •  

      I just read your review, Mary! Wonderful! I’m glad you loved it as much as I did! I t was deeply satisfying on all counts, a great balance of new and familiar, funny and serious. Very well done!

  5.  

    I would never imagined such a story like this, WOW, now that you speak about it I find the premise very interesting. And, like you, I enjoy epistolary novels so I´ll put this on my TBR. The fact that Mr Bennet and Mr Collins end up being friends (or some kind of friendship) makes me smile and laugh at the same time 😉
    Thanks for the review, Meredith. You put it 5 stars!

    •  

      Thanks Teresa for the vote of confidence. I hope you find it fun and get a few laughs. I love them and hope I’ve brought out the best in their potential relationship.

    •  

      Thanks for reading my review and sharing your thoughts, Teresa! It is true, I don’t think many of us have thought of these two characters being paired off and having their own story together! So glad the idea came to Ms. Servitova! I hope if you do read this one that you love it as much as I do!

  6.  

    Lovely review. A book to add to my TBR Lost.

  7.  

    I’ve heard this one is delightful, and it’s good to get your confirmation! I love the language in your quotes. Looking forward to it! [P.S. Debbie, I do hope your TBR is not actually lost, LOL!]

  8.  

    interesting plot twist for a variation

    denise

  9.  

    I loved your review! I have had this on my wishlist so I hope to move it to my TRB list soon! Thank you!

  10.  

    Thank you all again..

  11.  

    Wow I love the sound of this. I have a soft spot for Mr Bennett and it’s sooooo nice to see a variation of two other characters of P&P rather than Darcy and Elizabeth. I’ll definitely give this one a whirl.

  12.  

    I had my head buried in the sand so I missed it when it came out. I think this sounds like a blast to read with these two characters as the correspondents.

    Great review, Meredith!

    •  

      Thanks Sophia Rose!! I laughed the whole time writing it. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Rose

    •  

      It was a blast! I would love to read more stories like this that spotlight two secondary characters that aren’t usually paired together…I trying to think what would be another good combo… 🙂

  13.  

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Teresa. I hope you enjoy it…minor characters are great fun. There are several books in Lady Catherine too, I think!

  14.  

    Thanks for yet another delightful review, Meredith! This sounds like great fun and as others have already said, I would have missed it were it not for you. Best wishes, Rose Servitova, and thanks for writing this story. I can’t wait to read it!

  15.  

    Thank you Joana! I wrote it to amuse myself, that others find it amusing makes me so glad that I took my quill out to start with. Enjoy

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