Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Begins the day after the Netherfield Ball
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS:
- Lizzy Brandon is a new author for me, and I’m always game to try new authors!
- The excerpt I read on Amazon stopped at such a surprising cliffhanger and showed that this story was taking a new direction, I was curious to read more.
- To be honest, I love the lyricalness of alliterative titles! 😉
WHAT I LOVED:
- Unique Premise: In this story something terrible unexpectedly happens just after the Netherfield Ball and it sends our characters on a whole new course. It was interesting to see how this change affects not just our central characters, but the lives of many secondary characters as well. One of the first changes it produces is that Darcy and Bingley do not immediately leave for London and instead remain in Meryton.
- Some New Developments: With a premise that instigates a lot of change, there were some surprising new developments in the lives of Charlotte Lucas, Mary Bennet, and Lydia Bennet. I really enjoyed these new alterations and paths. Some I did see coming, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment – I instead enjoyed the novelty of these changes and how skillfully and plausibly the author executed them.
- Mr. Darcy: A protective Darcy who rescues Elizabeth?!? Be still my heart! But Darcy’s heroic actions are not the only thing to love about him in this tale… And I can’t decide which I loved most – Darcy’s inner thoughts filled with admiration and yearning for Elizabeth, his playful and revealing conversations with Elizabeth where he refers to himself as ‘the villain’ and tells about a magic rock, or his adorable awkwardness as he attempts to scowl less and become a more sociable man. I loved him for all the reasons above!
- Reflection and Comprehension: I enjoyed how this variation focused on how people often make mistaken judgments about each other. Lizzy is the most guilty of doing this, and I liked seeing her eyes open about the different people in her lives. She isn’t just wrong about Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham. I admire how she learns to look at people with “new filters” and realizes that she shouldn’t judge people based on their actions because she doesn’t always understand or know the emotions and thoughts that underlie those actions. I enjoyed seeing Lizzy do a lot of soul-searching and admired her ability to acknowledge her own failings.
- Titular Themes: I loved how the author subtly and seamlessly alludes to the words in the title. She does it frequently throughout the book, and it never feels forced or too blunt. My greatest compliment to the author is that her clever and apt use of title and theme is very much in the style of Jane Austen.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Some Tiny Quibbles: I enjoyed a lot about this story, but just a few aspects that prevented me from giving it 5 stars such as Lizzy doubting/misinterpreting Darcy’s thoughts/feelings one too many times and the inclusion of some conversations from Jane Austen’s original text that didn’t completely feel like belong (i.e. Lizzy teasing Darcy about the Meryton Assembly after he already apologized and explained his actions).
What a terrific debut release for Lizzy Brandon! With an original premise, some surprising twists, strong thematic motifs, and admirable character development this is a Pride and Prejudice variation I think many readers will enjoy! I am all anticipation to see what Ms. Brandon will write next!