Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility Variation
TIME FRAME: Jane and Elizabeth’s stay at Netherfield through November of the next year. Plus a lovely epilogue that takes place twenty-eight years later.
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Charles Bingley, Jane Bennet, Kitty Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Colonel Brandon, Marianne Dashwood, Mrs. Jennings, Georgiana Darcy, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner
When Elizabeth and Jane are unexpectedly called home from Netherfield to assist with an ailing Mr. Bennet, a concerned Mr. Darcy lends them some much-needed aid by calling for his London physician. Darcy also helps the Bennets out in another big (and secretive) way…but this kind and magnanimous gesture isn’t one they would thank him for if they knew… After months of inner turmoil and conflict, Darcy realizes that he is hopeless without Elizabeth and sets out to maker her an offer. But he may be too late, there might already be another who has won her heart…and his secret good deed might be something he earnestly regrets.
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Skilled Storyteller: This is the third novel I read by Joana Starnes I’ve read this past year, and I find myself very much in love with her writing. The expressive tone, the thoughtful and reverent approach to Jane Austen’s characters and plots, the playful narratives, the winks at social commentary – Joana Starnes is a brilliant writer.
- Mr. Darcy Feels Deeply: Just as with The Subsequent Proposal, Ms. Starnes portrays a very emotional Darcy – full of turmoil, his head against his heart, brimming with ardent devotion and strong affection. *sigh* I love my Darcy’s like this! Definitely a bit of a Byronic hero in this novel!
- Lovely Relationships: I just adored seeing the characters of Sense and Sensibility interact with the Bennets and Darcys! Mrs. Bennet being besties with Mrs. Jennings (could that relationship BE any more perfect?!?), Marianne Dashwood befriending Georgiana with their shared interest, Colonel Fitzwilliam paying a visit to Colonel Brandon – it all worked so well! I especially loved the bit where Elizabeth draws out Colonel Brandon and rumors and expectations start to fly about them! (uh oh, Darcy!!)
- Lovely Relationships Part Two: (That’s right, there’s more!) With Jane and Mary married earlier in the book, Elizabeth and Kitty become a lot closer. I loved seeing these two sisters share some walks and talks together! And as always, I enjoyed the brotherly love, teasing, and interference of Colonel Fitzwilliam. His support and protection for Darcy are unparalleled. In addition, I enjoyed seeing a more decisive Mr. Bingley, who proves his loyalty to Elizabeth and a stronger Jane Bingley, who speaks her mind to Mr. Darcy.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Maybe Too Much Going On: This variation definite has more twists – Mr. Bennet falls sick, Bingley has more resolve and marries Jane, Mr. Collins marries Mary, the Bennet’s move to Devonshire and meet the Dashwoods. Sometimes it felt like there might be too much happening and too many characters to follow. Especially when some characters and story-lines seemed to fade away – I really enjoyed Kitty’s budding relationship with Elizabeth in the first half of the book, but I was sad to see that they hardly had any interaction with each other in the second half.
I was completely swept up by this evocative and gripping variation! I love Ms. Starnes’s emotive and imaginative prose, and I greatly appreciate her faithful and perceptive renderings. Ms. Starnes’s passion for Jane Austen and her talent as an author truly shine in each of her novels.
Because she is super awesome and generous, Joana Starnes has set me up with ONE ebook copy of The Second Chance for me to give away to ONE lucky winner!
To enter this giveaway leave a comment below!
- This giveaway is open to residents worldwide. Thank you, Joana!
- The giveaway ends June 23rd.