Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation, Novella
TIME FRAME: Begins with the Meryton Assembly
SYNOPSIS: In this Pride and Prejudice variation two very significant aspects of Jane Austen’s beloved story are altered. Mr. Darcy is a second son who, after years of bravery and duty, has advanced to the status of Captain in the Royal Navy. Not close with his older brother, Captain Darcy has not returned to Pemberley in years and instead visits his friend Charles Bingley while he recovers from a recent malady. In addition, Mr. Bennet who contracted pneumonia, is not in the best of health and sadly, his family does not expect him to live for many more months. This changes things for Elizabeth and Jane. Their dreams of marrying for love are relinquished as they adopt more practical aspirations and focus on ways to ensure their family’s future security. Although it is in almost every way unpalatable, Elizabeth feels her only option may be to marry her father’s heir, Mr. Collins…but what if there was another way?
WHAT I LOVED:
- Captain Darcy: Starting off with the most obvious! I loved the uniqueness of seeing Mr. Darcy in a profession. As expected, he is everything that is honorable, dutiful, and admirable, and I found his disciplined, forthright manner and admitted discomfort conversing with women endearing! His selfless care for others yet surprise when others show care and concern for him made my heart melt. <3
- Friendship: While Elizabeth does question some aspects of Captain Darcy’s behavior and manner, their relationship is not fraught with the usual pride, prejudice, and infamous first impression. Instead it blossoms into a friendship as Captain Darcy seeks Elizabeth’s help with his sister, Georgiana. After that first initial request, Darcy and Elizabeth start to grow close as they are both facing serious predicaments in their lives – Elizabeth with her father’s failing health, and Darcy with what to do for his sister and stepmother. To see these two interact in a mutually beneficial and amiable relationship is a rather dynamic change, but one I enjoyed thoroughly.
- A Heroine of Strength and Fortitude: In this tale, not only does Elizabeth acts in a manner to save and protect her family, which already earns her our admiration and respect, but she goes to great lengths to protect and ensure the safety of those under her custody. I loved seeing Lizzy’s fearlessness – how she stands up to those who threaten her and cleverly devises schemes that thwart their objectives. It is all the more equally admirable because she is thrust into a situation that she wasn’t quite prepared for, yet handles it competently and gracefully.
- Correspondence: I love to see letters exchanged! In this story we see quite a few and I love how the author conveyed the importance of these letters to those that serve their country away from home – even when all they do is communicate the mundane affairs of home life. It was lovely to see some feelings develop during these exchanges of letters and I adored learning that one correspondent possesses some hidden skills as an artist.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Left Me Wanting More: I truly loved so much of this unique story, that the only thing I would want is to add a few chapters more! This tale does move at a faster pace, which was well-suited. However, I would have liked a little more time at the resolution to digest all that took place. In addition, I did find myself wanting to hear more about Jane, Bingley, and the rest of the Bennets before the Epilogue.
Fair Stands the Wind is a remarkably imaginative Pride and Prejudice tale that has our beloved characters traversing some treacherous seas, navigating through unchartered waters, and adjusting their sails to weather life’s unpredictable storms. I delighted in seeing a nautical-inspired Pride and Prejudice and dearly hope we will see many more novels published by Catherine Lodge in the future!