Sep 272013

17883681A Thoughtful and Discerning Sequel About the Darcys 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

Inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and her most beloved and romantic couple, debut author Joana Starnes takes up her pen to tell the story of what happens after Elizabeth and Darcy say “I Do.” Taking us through the first couple years of marriage, Ms. Starnes astutely illustrates all the adjustments, transitions, and challenges a young bride experiences upon marriage, as well as the joys and blessings. In addition, this sequel also displays the trials, ceremony, and excitement of a young lady’s first season as readers witness Georgiana’s coming out. While there is plenty of Darcy in this sequel, the primary focus of this tale is on his womenfolk – Elizabeth and Georgiana.

Will Elizabeth be able to master her new role as mistress of Pemberley despite the fact that half of Darcy’s family disapproves of her? Will Georgiana be able to conquer her timorous nature and accept the attention and addresses of her various suitors? You must read to find out…

What I loved most about this Pride and Prejudice sequel (besides how the author reverently and skillfully handled Jane Austen’s characters) was that it felt exceedingly realistic! Elizabeth faced a lot of struggles and obstacles as Mrs. Darcy, such as: a housekeeper who treats her with “frosty civility,” key members of the Fitzwilliam family still opposing her marriage, and a new sister who is a little reticent and hard to draw out. I loved that Elizabeth’s transition into her new role wasn’t perfect and that everyone wasn’t instantly in love and accepting of her. I appreciated how Elizabeth had to earn people’s respect and work hard to prove herself.

Another aspect of this story I greatly enjoyed was witnessing Georgiana coming-of-age and falling in love. I admired how Joana Starnes portrayed Georgiana in this sequel – she didn’t immediately warm up to Elizabeth or transform into a mini-Elizabeth with a lively wit and penchant for teasing. She stayed very true to self – sensitive, shy, and still slightly scarred by her past. I enjoyed seeing her interactions with her suitors (she has such a caring heart) and her analyzation and comparison between her current suitors and feelings with those she experienced in Ramsgate with Wickham.

While several sections of this story are low-key and slower in pace, other sections are much accelerated with drama, tragedy, and tension. I very much enjoyed both the low-key moments and the high drama, but I kind of felt the sometimes abrupt shifts in pacing were a little disjointed. In addition, there were some leaps in time that occurred in the middle of the chapter which were sometimes a little bit awkward and hard to follow.

And although I loved how Ms. Starnes included more of the Darcy-side of the family tree (Yes! Darcy does have relatives on his father’s side!), I was in desperate need of a family tree or some sort of diagram describing how everyone is related (especially since there are multiple generations, titles, and not much use of the surnames ‘Darcy’ or ‘Fitzwilliam.’)

What a wonderful debut novel from Joana Starnes! I found Ms. Starnes narrative voice to be very similar to that of Jane Austen’s and I greatly appreciated her convincing developments of these beloved characters! Definitely looking forward to more from this author!

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pride-prejudice-bicentenary-challenge-2013-x-20026 out of 30!



Joana generously brings with her today 2 ebook copies of her book, From This Day Forward – The Darcys of Pemberley for me to give away to 2 lucky readers!


 To enter this giveaway leave a comment!

  • This giveaway is open to residents worldwide.  Thank you, Joana!
  • The giveaway ends October 2nd.

**To receive an extra entry for this giveaway comment on Joana’s guest post from this Wednesday! 

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  54 Responses to “From This Day Forward – Joana Starnes”


    Thank you very much, Meredith, for agreeing to read ‘From This Day Forward’ and especially for the wonderful and very detailed review! Much, much appreciated! It was a joy and a great honour to feature on your fabulous site, amongst the great and the good! Thanks again for your kind welcome and for all your help!


    I already own and have read and enjoyed From This Day Forward, so no need to include me in the giveaway, Meredith, but congratulations to Joana on her debut novel. It is currently being passed around the female members of my family!!!

    Enjoyed your review, Meredith!!


    I really enjoyed reading this post and look forward to reading From This Day Forward. Thank you so much for the giveaway!


    Her voice in the story being similar to Jane Austen’s is a big sell, but I also like the idea that Elizabeth and Georgiana’s challenges were realistic. Sounds great! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


      Sometimes when an author has a lot of narration going on I find myself thinking it is too much and wish there was less dialogue. That definitely wasn’t the case here. I loved the narrative bits – found them entertaining and successful in moving the story forward. 🙂


    Great review! Sounds like an interesting read! I will definitely be putting this on my list 🙂


    I love the portrayal of Georgiana as being more true to the character that Jane Austen brought us – also, rich with detail and likely more true to the times – definitely a “to read” for me!


      Georgiana was such a dear in this story! I loved how she was completely caught off guard when suitors started paying their addresses and proclaiming their admiration. 🙂


    Would love to win a copy, but will be going on my TBR list anyway….love seeing more of Georgianna, she is one of my favorites..


    I’m always pleased to see new authors. Your novel sounds delightful and I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the review.


    Glad to see that Georgiana’s character is being developed and that the affection that she and Elizabeth which is stated in Pride and Prejudice is continued.


      Yes, Vesper. The relationship between Georgiana and Elizabeth is very sweet! It starts out at a gradual pace (which I very much liked) but Georgiana relies upon and cares for Elizabeth very deeply. Very strong sisterly bonds develop.


    This novel seems a delightful read. I would like to read more on Darcy’s father’s side of the family since I think not many JAFF authors wrote on that part. Good review as usual, Meredith.


    Thanks, Cassandra, much appreciated! Great to hear that other ladies in your family are reading it too 🙂


    Thanks, Susan, for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts. Good luck 🙂


    Thanks, Sophia Rose! I do hope you’ll like it. Best of luck with the giveaway and thanks for stopping by!


    Hi, Shannon. You’re very kind! Thanks for your comment and best of luck!


    Thanks, Stephanie! Georgiana is absolutely adorable (but I guess I’ll always be picturing a very young Emilia Fox whenever I’m thinking of her :)) She features heavily in the story because she’s such a major part of Darcy’s life, and therefore Elizabeth’s. I do hope you’ll like it!


    Thanks for your kind words, Leslie! Best of luck, and I hope you enjoy it!


    Thanks, Vesper! I absolutely adored the line in Jane Austen’s epilogue that mentioned Georgiana listening “with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her [Elizabeth’s] lively, sportive manner of talking to her brother. He, who had always inspired in herself a respect which almost overcame her affection, she now saw the object of open pleasantry.” Hope you’ll like my take on Georgiana. Best of luck with the giveaway!


    Thanks, Luthien. Somehow, it all started from Miss Bingley’s reference to the portrait of Darcy’s ‘great-grandfather, the judge’, displayed at Pemberley. It seemed like a good idea to bring in relatives that were not all on the Fitzwilliam side, partly as a means to show Elizabeth’s confusion at being thrown in at the ‘deep end’ with new people popping in her life, left, right and centre 🙂 My only regret is not having added a family tree (Meredith’s so right about that!!!)


    I can’t wait to read this story!


    Hi, Mary Beth! Thanks for stopping by and good luck!


    I too look forward to reading how the relationship between Elizabeth and Georgianna develops and like that it grows over time.


    Hi, Lynn. I imagined Georgiana would start by being intimidated by Elizabeth’s personality, so different from her own but, as they get to know each other better, they become as close as Darcy would have liked them to be. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


    Always look forward to reading an author’s debut work! Her perspective on Elizabeth not “seamlessly” fitting right in with the running of such a prestigious estate sounds both interesting and accurate.


    Can’t wait to read! I am starting a Jane Austen Book Club where I teach at an elementary school in DC because some of the new staff and I realized we all had such a love, love, love for Austen and all the fun sequels we JUST had to meet weekly to chat about it!


    Thank you, Regina! I just thought it must be such a steep learning curve for her. Not that she wouldn’t rise to the challenge – Elizabeth can do anything 🙂


    Betsy, you’re so lucky! I haven’t managed to find anyone near me who’d meet up to talk Austen – which is why I’m so grateful and glad to have found the online community! Nothing beats being able to talk to like-minded people!


    Look forward to reading, even if I don’t win the giveaway!


    Thanks, Cheryl! Thanks for dropping by and best of luck!


    I’ve added this to my wishlist, thanks for posting your review!


    Hi, Jean! So very sorry, I seem to have missed your comment first time round! Thank you so much for your interest and for appreciating the background detail 🙂 Best of luck in the giveaway!


    Hi, Kimberly! Thanks for adding my book to your wishlist! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!


    Thanks for putting this book on my radar! I’m curious to see how she handles the characters.


    Sounds like a great read! I love Georgiana, and I always wished there was more about her. I’ve always had this idea that Austen was fond of her even though she does not mention her a lot. Cannot wait to see how it all turns out!


    What a delight to be given Joana’s book for the giveaway! I finally figured out the Smashwords website and finished reading her book today. I wholeheartedly agree with the review and actually would give it a 4.5 star review because Joana wonderfully captured Jane Austen’s voice and tone. I have read dozens of P&P post books and it is rare indeed to hear Jane’s voice so clearly. I love the depth she added to characters like Georgiana and Col. Fitzwilliam as well as the new characters like Lord Davenport. I must say, and I was pulling for him at first…Joana, please keep writing – I want to read everything you write! Loved this book and can’t wait to share it with my book club!


      How lovely you are, Betsy, to come back and share your thoughts with us! Congrats on the giveaway! I’m so glad you enjoyed Joana’s novel! I was pulling for Lord Davenport too!! Yes, complete agreement on that! Joana definitely needs to continue writing! 😉 Hope your book club loves this story as much as you did!


    Betsy, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! I’m so happy you liked it, and thanks a million for coming back to let me know! You’re wonderful, and I hope that something or someone pops up in the VERY near future to bring you as much joy and fuzzy-feeling-happiness you brought me today 🙂 Have a great day!

    Sandra and Meredith – thank you both SO MUCH for telling me to come back to look! I though it was a finished topic and I very nearly missed Betsy’s wonderful words! [DUH!!!]


    I just have to say and it may sound mad but the end of your review had me laughing because I actually drew the family tree! It was taking too much time flicking back and forth through the pages to remind myself who was who.

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