Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Can you imagine what would happen if Elizabeth didn’t travel to Kent? No interactions with Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, no proposal, no letter revealing the truth about Wickham…? When Elizabeth encounters Darcy again while she is traveling in the north it has been seven months since they last saw each other. And instead of Pemberley, much of our story takes place at the neighboring estate of Chenowith, where Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth are invited to spend some weeks by Mrs. Gardiner’s dear friend, Mrs. Anderson. Mr. Darcy just happens to be at Chenowith as well – being the responsible and dependable person he is – he is helping a friend in need with the harvest. What happens when Lizzy and Darcy are unexpected thrown together and spend more time with each other…?
As you might expect, Elizabeth continues to try and sketch Mr. Darcy’s character, and she realizes that her first impression and the reports she has heard about him may not be a true representation of the man he is. I really enjoyed seeing Elizabeth analyze and comprehend Darcy’s character, and I like that she starts to question Wickham’s past background all on her own (attagirl, Lizzy!) It shows that she isn’t as fallible in her judgement of character after all.
In addition, Darcy views this unexpected re-encounter with Elizabeth as an opportunity to follow his heart. He tried ignoring it for seven months, but that got him nowhere. Now he is prepared to act in a way that will secure his happiness. The only thing is, Mr. Darcy knows Elizabeth mistakenly believes that he doesn’t have any interest in her and only finds her ‘tolerable.’ Now he must try and convince her otherwise!
One of my favorite things about The Goodness of Men was its inventive deviation from the Pride and Prejudice course. This is Pride and Prejudice without its middle! So many significant events happen in the middle! It was interesting to explore how our main principles interact without having a failed proposal and truth-bearing letter between them. I also enjoyed how Mr. Darcy had different reasonings for some of his actions and a different (albeit more tragic) past.
However, my favorite part of this story was witnessing how adorable Darcy and Lizzy were together! His flirting and more overt attentions are just too much! He clearly tries to make his affections known and I felt a swoon coming on every time he would say something only for Elizabeth to hear and understand! Moreover, since Elizabeth is seeing a new side of Mr. Darcy, she is finding some of Mr. Darcy’s good qualities difficult to ignore, such as his thoughtfulness, kind concern for others, and the fact that he is undeniably handsome! I loved seeing Elizabeth respond more favorably to Darcy and how she grew to welcome his attentions and company!
While there was plenty to enjoy and admire in this delightful Pride and Prejudice variation, there were a few moments or instances that I wasn’t as fond of. Some of which were how sometimes characters seemed to be a little more open or forward with their language and behavior. In addition, there seemed to be a trend of speaking your thoughts out loud in an empty room and sure enough you were overheard. Lots of eavesdropping going on! And lastly, while I really did enjoy the different twists with Mr. Wickham and his story, not all of his actions felt believable, but that might just be my opinion.
Regardless of these minor quibbles, I was able to enjoy this charming new variation for its creative approach, inventive new twists, introspective characters, and enchanting romance! Not too mention witnessing an adorable Mr. Darcy attempt to woo Elizabeth Bennet!
In conjunction with her blog tour Anngela is giving away one autographed hard copy (US mailing address only) and 2 kindle copies (Open to international winners) of The Goodness of Men to some lucky winners!
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