Sep 092013

Memory Volume 2Marriage is a Learning Process…

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Alternate Path, Mature Audience

TIME FRAME: After Darcy and Elizabeth marry and return to Pemberley. (Darcy is 24, Elizabeth is soon to be 18)

MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Jane Bennet, Charles Bingley, George Wickman, Lord and Lady Matlock, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mary Bennet, Georgiana Darcy, Lydia Bennet,Captain de Bourgh.

SYNOPSIS: Through the first year and a half of marriage Darcy and Elizabeth learn together their roles as husband and wife as well as Master and Mistress of Pemberley. They forge some turbulent waters and face some terrifying evils, but with the strong support of their loyal friends and their fervent love for each other, Darcy and Elizabeth can survive it all.


  • Pleasing Development and Alternate Futures for Jane and Mary: I loved seeing the further character growth and new directions for both Jane and Mary Bennet. I found Linda Well’s portrayals of these two characters to be thought-provoking and plausible. Jane continues to grow and mend her relationship, while Mary blossoms and begins a sweet friendship with her brother Darcy!
  • Excitement and Action: With an attempted robbery and assault, an unconventional birthing, and a harrowing near-death experience – the Darcy’s have had quite an eventful marriage so far! I enjoyed the added drama and conflicts Linda Wells introduced in this novel. I would have loved to seen some more!
  • It’s a Story About Love and Family: Teasing cousins, guiding siblings, steadfast friends, and supportive aunts and uncles – it is heartwarming to see Darcy and Elizabeth surrounded by such a wonderful circle of friends and family. I enjoyed seeing the amicability, camaraderie, and rapport between everyone – especially Darcy and Elizabeth! <3


  • Poor Georgiana!: Thirteen-year-old Georgiana is sure getting herself into a lot of trouble! Flirting with older men, spying on her brother, needing attention and lacking occupation. It bothered me a little that she was acting like such a troubled teen. It just didn’t feel congruent with her character.
  • Meddlesome Busybodies: Everyone seems to know each other’s private affairs in this series! They gossip, pry, meddle, matchmake, and bring up personal matters without any qualms. It sort of felt unnatural and intrusive for Austen characters to discuss the pregnancies, personal dilemmas, and love affairs of their friends with each other.
  • A Bit Repetitious: Mrs. Bennet saying something hurtful to Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy reprimanding Mr. Bennet, Lydia being inappropriate, Lord and Lady Matlock being shocked by the openly displayed affection between Darcy and Elizabeth…it sometimes felt like we were stuck in some ruts or a repetitive cycle.


  • Some intimate and romantic scenes


While I admired and delighted in the first volume in the Memory series, I’m sad to say I didn’t feel the same with volume two. Maybe the reason for this is that it is the challenging-to-write middle book in the series and neither introduces the story or gives it closure. (Sometimes called “middle book syndrome.”) Here’s hoping I will like the third volume, How Far We Have Come, more!


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24 out of 30!

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  17 Responses to “Memory: Volume Two, Trials to Bear – Linda Wells”


    I had very similar feelings to you on this book. After enjoying the first book I kind of ran out of steam on this one and didn’t finish it. I also found it odd how open everybody was, when you consider how private many of the characters are in Pride and Prejudice, such as Jane and Elizabeth. I’ll be interested to see what you make of the third one.


      Hi Ceri! I so wished I could have loved this book as much as I did the first one! I did feel bothered by the openness especially about personal matters – it felt unnatural when these characters discussed their private relationships.


    I noticed the same things you point out in this one. It felt like reading a soap opera at times and it is very much a set-up book in the series. I lost patience with the repetitive action of Mrs. Bennet-Lydia stuff too.


    Haven’t read these yet but I didn’t realize Lizzy was so young – not even 18. Hmm. I know that isn’t so very young for back then but still, I don’t think I’ve read a JAFF where she was married so young. Interesting. Here’s hoping you find volume 3 a little more srimulating.


      Yes, I can’t imagine getting married that young! And to be a mistress of a great estate and have so many people as part of your household! My goodness that seems daunting! I can’t recollect any other JAFF that has Lizzy marry so young either…


    Linda Wells is on form again in vol. 2 of Memory. Her characters are eminently memorable, and stay with the reader long after the trilogy is finished. Plotting and pacing are taut. I didn’t find this repetitive but well developed: Lizzy’s perception of her disfunctional family changes as she matures, and it’s a reflection of how Darcy has enlarged her world, as those left behind don’t develop at all. Wells is among the very best of Austen writers.


    I agree with Alison, Meredith. I think you are judging the book forgetting that they are much younger than the original story. When we read Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, their characters are already formed. So I can excuse Georgiana’s behavior (she is just a child) and the busybodies because Darcy was not the Mr. BIG yet. To give this book only 3 starts I thought it an injustice. But so were 4 starts for book one (only because you didn’t like one character). You are quite severe on Miss Wells which I also believe (so far) the very best in JAFF. I don’t know as many authors as you do but I have not encountered such depth and creativity and passion quite like it both in Memory and Imperative. I could not put any of the books down and loved that they were so long and that I could live in that world for a good amount of time. Linda Wells does not deserve 3 stars. I am very sorry that you think so. 🙁


    I’m curious about Jane’s story but I don’t picture Georgiana like that at all. Though I really can’t imagine the characters that much younger either. Sounds worth giving a try!


      I loved Jane’s story so much in this series. It goes in quite a different direction, but I really loved her growth and development. I could tell a lot of thought went into her character. 🙂


    I was happy to see you review Memory by Linda Wells. I couldn’t believe that you gave the second book 3 stars, harsh in my opinion.
    If this piece is to be considered repetitious then I dare say that most of JAFF is guilty as charged. The same may be said in regard to this book being unnatural and intrusive. I would put forth that all JAFF could be considered as such. They all are attempting to invade, analyze, and examine what makes these characters tick.
    I would like to point out that Georgiana; the Duchess of Devonshire married the Duke on her 17th birthday. While Darcy is in no way a peer, he does marry a young, insecure Elizabeth.
    The best part for me is seeing how Elizabeth changes, grows, and matures into a confident Mrs. Darcy with Darcy by her side all the way.


    Thank you for your review, Meredith. I’ve had my eye on the first book in the series for a while, since several reviewers really enjoyed it. However, I think I’ll wait to see what the last one is like before I devote time to it at the moment.


      Thank you, Nancy! I loved the first book in this series (gave it a 4.5 star rating). I know opinions differ on this series, I hope you found the review helpful in making your decision.


    Thanks for the review, Meredith! The nice thing about reading novels is how each of us can walk away from the same book with different impressions and conclusions. Having different genres and sub genres is needed to meet the plethora of different tastes readers have. We find this even within Austenesque literature. Some people may love a book and some may not. We each are I titled to our own opinions, and neither is right or wrong.
    You brought up your qualms with the book and supported them. It is nice seeing so many Linda Wells fans come to her defense here; however, those are their own opinions as well. Again, neither right or wrong. It is nice seeing two ends of the spectrum here (though 3 stars really is more the middle). This will allow each new reader to form his/her own thoughts on whether or not s-he would like to read this book.
    Thanks for the discussion.

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