Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Author
Austenesque anthologies seem to be all the rage at the moment! I love that authors are writing Austenesque-inspired short stories, and novellas – not every plot bunny can be fleshed out into a full-length novel! And these shorter works are great for readers who may be looking for a quick dip into Jane Austen’s world or who perhaps only have brief bouts of reading time available. I think it is wonderful that Ms. King challenged herself to write these more compact stories and I’m so pleased she published them all together in one collection! As a reader, I love that all the stories are together in one volume (and that it comes in paperback!)
Since there are three stories, I thought I’d breakdown my review and talk about each one individually. I hope you find it helpful!
THE LIBRARY: A Pride and Prejudice Novelette
The Premise: What if Darcy, instead of completely ignoring Elizabeth while they both sat in the Netherfield library reading, was caught staring? And what if amiable conversations, revealing concessions, and changing perceptions were the results of these two being left alone in the library undisturbed?
What I Loved: That the development of such a sweet romance took place in a library! As soon as Darcy is frank with Elizabeth, their relationship begins to evolve and it was very pleasing to witness these two reach an understanding of each other so quickly. I also loved reading the footman’s thoughts about the residents of Netherfield and I especially loved his part in the epilogue! In addition, I thought it creative that all the chapter titles began with the letter C. This short work was very clever and charming!
MARRIED: A Pride and Prejudice Novella
The Premise: What if Elizabeth, traveling by stage from London, noticed the odd and distressed behaviors of her traveling companions and decided to intervene? What if Elizabeth’s kindhearted and courageous actions landed her in a dilemma that could cause damage to reputation?
What I Loved: How Colonel Fitzwilliam easily saw how perfect Darcy and Elizabeth were for each other and conveniently used Elizabeth’s dilemma as reason for them to marry with all haste! It is always interesting to see how Darcy and Elizabeth fall in love after marriage, and this tale showed how easily and effortlessly it can be between these two. I thought the development of Georgiana’s character interesting and greatly admired Elizabeth’s actions towards her and towards her husband. I also greatly enjoyed Lady Matlock and her support and love for her family. This variation had a lot of family drama and I found it equally eventful and exciting!
RAMSGATE: A Pride and Prejudice Novelette
The Premise: The Bennets are taking a sea-side holiday in Ramsgate with the Gardiners, what if they befriended Miss Georgiana Darcy and she came to them in distress about the actions of George Wickahm?
What I Loved: Seeing Georgiana and Elizabeth as friends before Elizabeth even met Mr. Darcy! I thought it was hilarious how Colonel Fitzwilliam and the Bingleys also showed up and how the couples paired off with each other! Darcy’s actions were very sweet and endearing in this tale.
I loved reading these heart-felt and beautiful scenes of romance between Darcy and Elizabeth! These delightful tales is a perfect way to satisfy your Darcy and Elizabeth romance fix as the stories are very Darcy-and-Elizabeth centric, full of swift understandings, and usually include very brief courtships. Besides her thoughtful and tender approach to our beloved couple, what I enjoy most about Ms. King’s style of writing is how she illustrates her scenes with descriptive prose and the use of similes. I look forward to reading more works by J. Dawn King in the future, whether they be short-story, novella, or full-length novel!