Nov 242010

A Pride and Prejudice Western Adventure

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Don your best gingham dress, dungarees, or Stetson and saddle up for a rip roarin’ adventure with the gang from Pride and Prejudice!

Ever since her brother died while fighting for the Union, Beth Bennet has vowed to blame, suspect, and hate anyone associated with the Confederate Army. When her father moves Beth’s family from Ohio to their own farm in Rosings, Texas, Beth finds herself surrounded by those she swore to forever hate. Although Beth eventually accepts and befriends southerners like her sister’s fiancée, Dr. Charles Bingley, and Charlotte Lucas, the sheriff’s daughter, she cannot help but despise and think the worst of William Darcy, a former Captain of the Confederate Army Texas Legion.

Elizabeth’s abhorrence of William Darcy is strengthened by family friend George Whitehead (Wickham), who makes many negative allusions to Darcy’s character, past, and family. During the war, George Whitehead helped command a prisoner of war camp for the Union Army and he is even more devious and nefarious than Jane Austen’s George Wickham! True to character, George Whitehead does unspeakable and scandalous deeds both during and after the Civil War. While in Rosings, George Whitehead is attempting to make his fortune by scamming resident farmers with his cohorts, the indomitable Catherine Burroughs and corrupt bank manager Billy Collins. With such perfidious and heartless villains in residence, do the townspeople of Rosings even stand a chance?

Readers will find this variation of Pride and Prejudice to be distinctive and unique for many various reasons. One aspect that makes this novel unusual is that it was written by a man. While several men have penned Austen-Inspired novels in recent years, to find one that does not include zombies, sea monsters, or vampires is a rarity. Because Pemberley Ranch is written by a man, it does have a bit more of a masculine feel to it (which I found quite intriguing). There is much more action and adventure in this novel, and readers should expect some danger and violence. But don’t worry, there is still plenty of romance!  (Darcy as a cowboy? *swoon*)  Another difference in Pemberley Ranch is the setting of Post-Civil War Texas and the fact that many characters earn their living from the agriculture industry. All the men are out herding cattle and working the fields while the womenfolk are busy churning butter and canning vegetables. Instead of a world of society, luxury, and pleasure, Pride and Prejudice is transported to a time of hard work and simplicity.

I was enthralled by this remarkable and adventurous variation of Pride and Prejudice! I found it to be a spectacular integration of romance, war, history, adventure, and conflict. Not to mention a brilliant blend of Civil War prejudices and Jane Austen’s moral guidance. Mr. Caldwell is a skilled story-teller and his debut novel, Pemberley Ranch, is sure to entrance and excite lovers of history and the Old West. I eagerly anticipate reading more from Jack Caldwell, and look forward to his next release, The Three Colonels, due out in 2012!

Note: I would recommend this novel for Mature Audiences.  There is one intimate scene and some mild profanity.

Coming Soon:  Interview + Giveaway with Author Jack Caldwell on December 1st!

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  10 Responses to “Pemberley Ranch – Jack Caldwell”


    I just finished this one and enjoyed it too , though not as much as you did. I would however read another one written by him.


    It seems you liked it a lot, Meredith. It is certainly one of the most orginal re-telling of P&P with a certain gone-with-the-wind appeal. I’m actually curious to read it. Thanks for your inspiring review.


    This is on the top of my TBR pile. Happy Thanksgiving.


    I particularly like Jack’s steamy scenes. Are there any here?

    My Darcy Mutates


    Yes, Enid. There is just one! Thank you for reminding me I should put that in my review!


    I’m really looking forward to reading this, as I am always intrigued by male-authored, authentic (no monsters) Austen adaptations,and because it is set in an era (and area) of great personal interest to me. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. The report of one steamy scene wont deter me!


    I agree with you (I finished it a few days ago). I was very pleased with the way he handled the history of the era and how it was so seamlessly woven into the story. (I am a history nerd, though my husband is the Civil War expert, so I really hate it when an author gets the history wrong). I also wasn’t upset with the little bit of steaminess (one was a dream, after all). I just hate renditions which seem to only concern sex. (There is one author in particular who I will never read again because of that.)


    I am quite interested in reading this book even more then before. At first was interested based on the fact a man wrote it. Now the fact it has action I am more eager to read it…


    This is interesting. P an P retold by a male author, is something that ignites my curiosity. I would certainly like to get hold of this 🙂


    I would love to be immersed in the setting especially!

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