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.
WHAT I LOVED:
- 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
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- 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!
24 out of 30!