Nov 282016

Twilight of the AbyssDuty, Disgrace, and Despair

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

What if instead of delivering his infamous insult, Darcy requests a dance with Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly…

What if instead of sketching Mr. Darcy’s character as arrogant and proud, Elizabeth astutely detects his discomfort in new company and attempts to put him at ease…

What if instead of a barely-civil relationship filled with provoking verbal sparring matches, Darcy and Elizabeth decide early on in their acquaintance to be friends…

Even with an amicable relationship between our dear couple, Darcy still struggles a bit with his growing feelings of admiration and affection for Elizabeth Bennet. And just when he decides he could overcome his sense of duty and her inferior connections a member of his family does something terribly scandalous! Darcy has no choice but to help diminish the scandal and restore his family’s tarnished reputation. To further risk damaging his sister’s prospects by making an imprudent marriage at this time is unthinkable. Darcy just hopes that it is only his heart he is breaking by staying away and not Elizabeth’s as well…

Oh what a poignant and heart-wrenching tale our dear beloved Darcy and Elizabeth! There are many variations that create a torturous situation for Mr. Darcy, and there are several that give Elizabeth a healthy dose of suffering and yearning. But this scenario put both of them in despairing states as they are both in love and both understand the impossibility of a future together. Poor Darcy and Lizzy! My heart went out to them and I felt my emotions engaged from the very first chapter! I loved seeing the cute moments where they were friends and playful with each other. And I thought the author did a remarkable job of depicting the wretched of their heartache and emotional pain. It was so tangible and sensitive, I was brought to tears several times.

In addition to a wonderfully ardent and emotive Darcy and Elizabeth, I greatly enjoyed Ms. Childers portrayal of Mr. Bingley and Jane. This Mr. Bingley is definitely one to earn everyones’ respect because he thinks for himself and isn’t easily persuaded. I especially love seeing him in the role of protective brother and I love to see him take Mr. Darcy to task! Jane is wonderful with her compassionate care and sisterly devotion towards Elizabeth, but I also love how she became Elizabeth’s defender and wasn’t quick to forgive or like Mr. Darcy.

Some may feel that this portrayal of a despondent and heart-broken Elizabeth is a little too out-of-character for Jane Austen’s spirited and independent Elizabeth Bennet. But I thought her change in behavior and character to be believable. Like Marianne Dashwood, I think Elizabeth feels things deeply. Sure she may laugh and make jokes instead of being open about her feelings, but I think it plausible that Elizabeth would find intense heart-ache and disappointment difficult to overcome. I enjoyed such a passionate and expressive portrayal of dear Elizabeth.

While I adored the tension and emotional journey this variation took me on, I must admit I thought the conflict dispelled a little too quickly and easily. After such an emotional struggle, I thought I would see a little more of climatic high-point. And therefore felt the falling action and resolution were a little weaker and less satisfying compared to the first half of the story.

Written with beautiful poignancy and expressive prose, Twilight of the Abyss is a wonderful choice for readers who love emotional turbulence and hard-won happily-ever-afters. If you loved Jan Hahn’s A Peculiar Connection and Joana Starnes’s The Subsequent Proposal, you may definitely want to give this Pride and Prejudice variation a try!

Note: The print in this book is rather large. And even though the paperback is 290 pages, this story almost feels as short as a long novella. I think the amazon price of $19 for this paperback way too high!

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  23 Responses to “Twilight of the Abyss – Casey Childers”


    Meredith, I have been waiting for your review on this and I was not disappointed! This is not on Kindle and has been languishing on my wishlist for sometime. I agree that the price is too high and that is the main reason I have not bought it to date. Maybe, someday it will be available on Kindle.


      Hi Carole! I’m so glad my review didn’t disappoint, but that’s such a shame about it not being available on Kindle! I thought it was. Hopefully it is only temporarily unavailable.


    Thanks for this review Meredith. I like the sound of this book as I like to read about Darcy and Elizabeth as friends. I am curious about the scandal and why it’s so bad that he can’t marry Elizabeth. I will put this on my wish list and hope it comes available for kindle at a price I can afford.


    I love the sound of this one and your review so I bought a used one shipped for $3.99.


    Looks like the Kindle version is not currently available due to source file issues that Amazon is working to resolve.


    This definitely sounds worth checking out! Hopefully the Kindle version becomes available again.


    I also went to Amazon only to find that there are issues with the published copy so it is not available at present. C’est la Vie! Sounds intriguing. Good review, Meredith.


    It has been a long time since I read this one and your review brought back fond memories of it. I remember adoring this Mr. Bingley. Wow, that’s a steep price. I know I didn’t pay that much for it so it must have gone up in the last few years.


      He was so wonderful, wasn’t he?

      Yeah, I normally don’t comment on prices but thought I should make mention since the font of the books was rather large. I wouldn’t want someone to spend that amount and be unpleasantly surprised!


    I read this one pretty early on in my JAFF life, and it’s definitely one of the most emotional ones out there (in my opinion). I’d love to re-read it sometime. I’m glad you liked it, too!


    What an intriguing and moving premise! Thanks for the review, Meredith, and the lovely mention too 🙂 This sounds like a must-read and I can’t wait to get hold of a copy!


    Great review. This one is completely new to me, which is interesting to me, apparently since I purchase Austen variations exclusively in e-format the books offered in paperback only do not cross my radar. But this story sounds really good so it’s going on my wish list, in hopes that the editing problems are resolved soon. Thanks Meredith!!!

    p.s. You know, what I really need to do is go back and read all your older reviews for the JAFF I have not yet read. I get so distracted on the internet though, and so much in my TBR, that I hope you never take them down. 🙂


      Thank you, Michelle! This one was published in 2009, so I imagine with the abundance of Austenesque books published each month these older ones become a little less visible.

      Oh don’t worry about that! I don’t plan on taking my reviews down. 😉 I hope they help you find some new reads!


    Thanks for bringing a new-to-me author to my attention, Meredith. This sounds almost as angst-ridden as one of Joana’s books and I don’t mean that in a bad way either! I love me some (OK, quite a lot of) angst in my JAFF. I’ll have to keep an eye on Amazon’s listing for this book.

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