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!
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!