Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy form Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Austen-Inspired Original, Novella
TIME FRAME: Modern-day
MAIN CHARACTERS: Dr. Katherine Roberts, Warwick Lawton, Dame Pamela Harcourt, Dan and Robyn Harcourt, Mrs. Soames, Doris Norris, Lily Lawton, Carmel Hudson
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
With her crew of lovable and endearing Austen-addicts, Victoria Connelly has taken readers to a Jane Austen conference in Hampshire, to a charming bed-and-breakfast off the coast of Lyme, and to the famed Jane Austen Festival in Bath. I have been in love with these characters and with Victoria Connelly’s descriptive and engaging style of writing since July 2011!
WHAT I LOVED:
- The Characters: It feels like these characters are very dear and beloved friends to the author. She writes about them lovingly and intimately. I loved seeing these old friends get together again for a very momentous celebration!
- Clever Nods to Jane Austen: With each installment I think Victoria Connelly gets more creative with her allusions and references to Jane Austen. I enjoyed witnessing these Austen-addicts make references to scenes and actors from many of my favorite Jane Austen film adaptations. (LOL! Warwick has a thing for Kate Winslet!) And I adored the wonderful Austenalia these characters owned like Robyn’s Pride and Prejudice mugs and Katherine and Warwick’s custom-made quote pens.
- Descriptive Writing: Victoria Connelly writes with such vivid detail that readers can see images and constantly popping up in their mind when they read. The wedding dresses, the streets of Bath, the table setting in Purley Hall – you will know precisely how everything looked, smelled, tasted, and felt. Such an artistic way of describing everything!
- Jane Austen Wedding: With the bridal party and guests dressing in Regency attire, an open-top carriage, white soup, and strawberries, part of me wishes I could go back in time and have a Jane Austen themed wedding! (I’m sure Mr. Bingley would have been fine with it!) Loved all Ms. Connelly’s creative touches and Jane Austen inspired wedding ideas.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- New Characters: (This really is a minor quibble.) The ONLY thing I wasn’t crazy about with this novella was the two new characters introduced – Carmel Hudson, a lonely wife looking for some riding lessons from Dan (and maybe more) and Lily Lawton, Warwick’s twice divorced sister who believes “happiness in marriage” is impossible. I love the idea of adding new characters to this mix, and these ladies both stir the pot and add some conflict (which is great!) But I guess I felt they were both a little cliché as characters. You knew their “type” and what they were after from the very first sentence written about them, they just felt a little predictable and one-dimensional.
NOTE: While it isn’t imperative that you read this series in order, I would recommend it.
CONCLUSION: Did Jane Austen teach you to believe in happily ever afters? Do you think love is “idiosyncratic, unpredictable as well as rather wonderful?” Then join this “small band of true friends” and come witness a perfectly happy union of true minds and loving hearts.
Austen Addicts Trilogy
A Weekend with Mr. Darcy – travel to Jane Austen’s home county, Purley Hall, and Chawton Cottage!
Dreaming of Mr. Darcy – travel to Lyme Regis, the Cobb, and a charming bed and breakfast!
Mr. Darcy Forever – travel to Barton Cottage, Bath, and the Jane Austen Festival!
Austen Addicts Continues!
Christmas with Mr. Darcy – return to Purley Hall for a special Jane Austen Christmas Conference
Happy Birthday Mr. Darcy – return to Purley Hall for a Jane Austen-inspired wedding!