Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
If you weren’t already aware, To Refine Like Silver, is a Pride and Prejudice variation that includes themes of a spiritual and religious nature. Similar to authors Robin Helm and Debra White Smith, Jeanna Ellsworth has crafted a story filled with faith, prayer, and the importance of developing a relationship with God. This kind of religious integration with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice might not be everyone’s cup of tea. (Just like paranormal novels aren’t everyone’s cup of tea!) But if you enjoy inspiring tales of finding faith and spiritual journeys, read on…
In this variation of Pride and Prejudice Georgiana does not easily recover from her experiences in Ramsgate. Three months later finds her in a very dark place emotionally and mentally, a shell of her former self, and suffering from deep depression. While visiting her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in their newly inherited estate near Lambton, Elizabeth Bennet meets Fitzwilliam and Georgiana Darcy and immediately recognizes and understands the deep sadness she sees in Georgiana’s eyes. It is then she realizes her true reason for being in Derbyshire is to help Georgiana through the darkness and share her own experiences and journey.
What impressed me most about this novel was how author Jeanna Ellsworth capably tackled the serious and difficult subject of depression with such bravery, skill, and honesty. She wanted to send an important message with this story to people who suffer from or have had experience with depression and I felt she chose her character and premise perfectly. (It makes sense that Georgiana would feel this way after having such a traumatic experience with Wickham) And the emotional sadness and difficulties Georgiana faced were portrayed in my opinion realistically, with great understanding and sympathy. But before you think this story is filled with darkness and hard subjects, let me just say that Ms. Ellsworth includes just as much light, uplifting joy, and healing. Brava, Jeanna Ellsworth! I’m sure writing this wasn’t easy to do!
As mentioned above, this story stresses the importance of having a relationship with God. A message that Elizabeth knows and shares with both Georgiana and Fitzwilliam. As with other Christian-inspired Austenesque novels I read, I enjoyed the spiritual content and themes Ms. Ellsworth highlighted in this tale. I personally, did not find them to be heavy-handed or preachy… Some may feel that Darcy’s spiritual journey received too much focus, but I enjoyed seeing Darcy go through these unique and different set of obstacles for a change. His determination to heed Elizabeth’s words and make himself a better man was inspiring to witness. Darcy was, as usual, adorable and irresistible, I loved seeing his love for Elizabeth and Georgiana. The only thing I would want to quibble over is that Darcy did steal some of the focus from Georgiana and her healing midway through the novel…but too much Darcy is not the kind of thing one really complains about. 😉
If you are familiar with Jeanna Ellsworth’s works than you know she has a penchant for using symbolism and metaphors to help carry her themes across. I loved the refining silver metaphor! What a perfect representation how and why we are given trials. I enjoyed seeing Darcy challenged with the passage in Malachi 3:3 and observing him learn all he can about mining silver and the refining process. It was enlightening for me too! In addition, I loved Elizabeth and her frogs! So adorable!
To Refine Like Silver is an inspiring and thought-provoking tale of three Pride and Prejudice characters and their walks of faith. This story is filled with difficult trials, inspiring words, heart-fluttering romance, and an uplifting message that brings peace. For fans of Christian Fiction and Inspirational Romance this is not one to you will want to miss!