Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
At the ages of 24 and 25, Elizabeth Bennet and Will Darcy are probably the oldest freshmen attending Meryton College this year, and both have had some serious reasons to put getting their degrees on hold. With her mom on a downward spiral and emotionally unstable since her divorce, Elizabeth delayed college to support and take care of her mother. And with his father’s sudden illness following so closely after his mother’s passing, Will Darcy left college to take care of his dying father, assist with running the family company, and look after his younger sister. Of course after a terrible first encounter Will and Elizabeth want nothing to do with each other, but what happens when they both start to feel an undeniable attraction, and their impassioned arguments with each other turn into something more?
Oooh! Such an interesting setting for a modern adaptation, isn’t it? I absolutely love the idea of Darcy and Elizabeth as older college students returning to college with baggage, family trauma, and maturity. And even though their backgrounds and situations are different from each other, it was interesting to see how their ages, more serious natures, and experiences “adulting” place them on some common ground. I enjoyed that this creative angle was not only carefully thought-out and clever, but also well-executed. I really appreciated how Rosalie Stanton reinvented many aspects, characters, and plot events of Pride and Prejudice to fit her story and setting. This story had its own path and direction, and I found the reinvented sequences – like Jane “falling ill” at Netherfield and Wickham’s history with the Darcy family – incredibly inventive and skillfully updated.
My second favorite aspect of this modern adaptation is the author’s reincarnations of Darcy and Elizabeth. I adored their characterization in this story. Elizabeth is brash and argumentative at times; she can be brutally honest and is full of quippy comebacks. But I admire her confidence and fearlessness to speak her mind and her fierce momma-bear protectiveness of Jane. Because of her parents’ messy divorce and the shock of her father’s actions, Elizabeth doesn’t believe in love and has no desire for a relationship of any kind. And it is very hard for her to place her trust in someone else because she doesn’t want to give anyone the power to hurt her again. With these kinds of hang-ups and past experiences, it was interesting to witness her reactions to Will and observe the evolution of her feelings towards him.
And now a paragraph devoted to the über dreaminess that is Will Darcy. *sigh* I really enjoyed this reincarnation of Jane Austen’s most iconic hero. He perhaps isn’t as haughty or prideful as Jane Austen’s character, but he definitely suffers from frequent bouts of foot-in-mouth syndrome. Especially where Elizabeth Bennet is concerned! He has all the admirable qualities of Mr. Darcy – he is responsible, tenderly attached to his sister, and generous towards others, but he also has issues with trust/relationships because most women he encounters want him for his money and name. I loved seeing him constantly get caught off-guard around Elizabeth, and I loved, loved, loved observing his thoughts about Elizabeth, especially when he realizes he is falling love. Talk about melting into a puddle! Did I mention he is incredibly sexy? Oh yeah, reserved and respectable on the outside, but ardently passionate behind closed doors! (smelling salts may be needed, where’s Hill?!)
The unexpected interactions, brilliantly-charged tension, and emotional discoveries between Will and Elizabeth in this story made for a wonderfully riveting and fresh read. But this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to the frequent use of strong language and more explicit intimate scenes. I’d recommend previewing the sample on Amazon and reading the full book description to help decide if this is the right book for you.
Sharp, stirring, and sensational – A Higher Education is a perfect choice for readers who love seeing Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in a contemporary setting. Brava to Rosalie Stanton for her praiseworthy, inventive, and skillfully translated adaptation! I sincerely hope we see more Jane Austen inspired works from her in the future!
In conjunction with her visit to Austenesque Reviews on Monday, Rosalie brought with her ONE ebook copy and ONE paperback copy of A Higher Education for me to give away to TWO lucky readers!!
To enter this giveaway leave a comment about my review!
- This giveaway is open worldwide (ebook only, US only for paperback). Thank you, Rosalie!
- This giveaway ends July 23rd.
To double your chances of winning read Rosalie’s guest post from Monday and leave a comment! (If you haven’t already!)