Dec 222018
 

Seven Splendid Stories Stocked with Seasonal Celebrations, Surprises, and Christmas Spirit!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

It truly is difficult to decide what I love most about Yuletide: A Jane Austen Inspired Collection of Stories. Is it the fact that it’s a 7-in-1 Jane Austen/Christmas inspired collection? Is it the diverse slants of each story that are written in both the Regency period and modern times? Is it the continued collaboration of favorite authors and a most talented editor? Is it knowing that the proceeds from this anthology are being generously donated to Chawton Great House. Or is it for all these reasons combined together?!? Yep, going with that last one!

Since there were only 7 stories, I thought I’d give a little breakdown. I hope you find it helpful:

THE FORFEIT – Caitlin Williams (variation)

  • The Premise: Mr. Darcy is snowbound in Meryton and Elizabeth begrudgingly invites him to stay at Longbourn until the snow clears.
  • What I Loved: Seeing Mr. Darcy interact with the Bennets in close quarters for long periods of time! LOL! And also: the wager made between Elizabeth and Darcy, their new understandings, and Mrs. Bennet’s erroneous assumptions! One of my faves!

AND EVERMORE BE MERRY – Joana Starnes (sequel)

  • The Premise: From Georgiana’s prospective we witness the Christmas celebrations at Pemberley several years after the close of Pride and Prejudice.
  • What I Loved: Seeing such festive joy at Pemberley – snowball fights, bullet pudding, snap dragon, and singing. Such warmth and merriment! But also brilliantly tempered with some past reflections on a period of discord and how it resolved.

THE WISHING BALL – Amy D’Orzaio (modern)

  • The Premise: Through some inexplicable Christmas magic Will Darcy sees various scenes of a possible future.
  • What I Loved: Christmas magic!!! The scenes and “memories” Will sees are so moving and beautifully described. I loved seeing his reaction when he meets Elizabeth, how the Wishing Ball knew all, and how the Wishing Ball continued to play an important role in their lives. One of my faves!

BY A LADY – Lona Manning (sequel)

  • The Premise: The Darcys visit Rosings for Christmastide and Elizabeth is determined to befriend Anne de Bourgh.
  • What I Loved: That Elizabeth reflected on her past behavior towards Anne de Bourgh and wished to rectify it. I also loved that Anne has a secret – and such an interesting one too! This story ended with a promise of something more, and I like to imagine the new possibilities for Anne!

HOMESPUN FOR THE HOLIDAYS – J. Marie Croft (modern)

  • The Premise: F. William Darcy has some difficulties with the locals of Meryton as he tries to buy a one-of-a-kind homemade item his sister desperately wants.
  • What I Loved: Homespun and Meryton! I want to visit/live there! Ms. Croft created such an endearing yet authentic atmosphere with this tale. I loved all the descriptions of the characters, décor, and various homespun items. Not to mention the simmering attraction between Darcy and Elizabeth and the puns!! So clever! One of my faves!

THE SEASON OF FRIENDLY MEETINGS – Anngela Schroeder (variation)

  • The Premise: Elizabeth makes the acquaintance of Colonel Fitzwilliam while spending Christmastide with Mrs. Long and her nieces in Yorkshire.
  • What I Loved: The frank conversations between Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam, and how very adept he is at steering their conversation and strategically forcing Elizabeth to analyze her previous judgments! Clever, smooth, and sympathetic Colonel Fitzwilliam is the hero of this story for sure!

MISTLETOE MANAGEMENT – Elizabeth Adams (sequel)

  • The Premise: Married just one month, the Darcys host some of Mr. Darcy’s family (no Lady C) for the holidays where some matchmaking and mischief ensue!
  • What I Loved: Seeing Elizabeth employ some matchmaking manipulations like her mother…lol! And speaking of manipulations…it was hilarious to see Darcy and Elizabeth with their hands full of misbehaving guests! Also, I loved how, even though this story is brief in page count, so much happens and it never felt underdeveloped or rushed.

CONCLUSION:

With seven short stories inspired by the same novel, involving many of the same characters, and featuring the same holiday season, you may expect these stories to blend together or feel a tad similar. But they do just the opposite – like snowflakes, each story of this collection is wonderfully unique and distinctly beautiful! And the whole collection together is an enchanting and exquisite Christmas scene that truly is a generous gift to all!

*All proceeds to benefit Chawton Great House in Hampshire, former manor of Jane Austen’s brother Edward Austen Knight and now the Centre for the Study of Early Women’s Writing, 1600-1830.

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  28 Responses to “Yuletide: A Jane Austen-Inspired Collection of Stories – Edited by Christina Boyd”

  1.  

    I loved this review–so well laid out, with explanations of each of the seven stories! Thank you, Meredith!

    •  

      Thanks, Lona! I was debating for a bit which way I wanted to review it! So loved seeing more of your writing, Lona! Thank you so much for contributing to this collection!

  2.  

    “…like snowflakes, each story of this collection is wonderfully unique and distinctly beautiful! And the whole collection together is an enchanting and exquisite Christmas scene that truly is a generous gift to all!” My heart glows reading that, knowing you enjoyed these authors’ stories. I am proud of their efforts and the combined work of all who contributed to make this anthology come together in record time. We are encouraged by the initial royalty figures and so very hopeful for this project and the donations in perpetuity. As ever, thank you, Meredith, for your generous support of JAFF, indie projects, and the Austen community. Your dedication and enthusiasm is a year-round gift to authors and readers alike. I appreciate your purchase of this book and the copies you bought to gift to readers — every purchase helps in our support of Chawton House, all the work that must Ben done to maintain the Great House, and the research library for Early Women Writers. I hope your Yuletide is merry and your 2019 inspired. XO

    •  

      *must be done

    •  

      You should definitely be proud of yourself and these authors, Christina! What an amazing feat – and so quickly put together (which you really cannot tell, by the way!!!) Thank you so much for dreaming this project up and for making such a lovely gift to Chawton House!

  3.  

    Fabulous review Meredith for a fabulous collection of Christmas stories. I too loved them all! It brought together all the emotions I love at Christmas…love, laughter, tears, joy and family. What more could anyone ask for?!!!

  4.  

    fantastic review!

  5.  

    A must-have read for all lovers of Austen! Lovely review! 🙂

  6.  

    I bought the paperback of this book as a Christmas gift to myself….I loved it so much! You and I had the same favorites, but all of them were top notch.

  7.  

    A wonderful and so-very-thoughtful review of an obviously delightful anthology!! And I love that that proceeds all go to Chawton House!! I may have to purchase a copy for myself as an Epiphany gift! 😉

    Warm Advent and Christmastide wishes,
    Susanne 🙂

  8.  

    Excellent review, Meredith. Thanks for hosting and a special hello to Mr. Bingley. I grabbed my copy in order to help Chawton House. That was so generous of the authors. Man, I am so impressed. Blessings to all and I hope the final tally is amazing and the benefits are felt throughout the coming years. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

    •  

      Thank you. We expect our biggest donation to be the first one but excited that future donations will continue in perpetuity.

    •  

      Thank you, Jeanne! 🙂 Hoping you and your family are enjoying a very lovely holiday season together! It is such an impressive feat for Christina and her team! They deserve lots of praise!!

  9.  

    I would have bought and read this story anyway but the fact that it benefited Chawton made me not at all linger in purchasing it. The authors are favorites of mine and I have enjoyed the other anthologies sent our way by Christina Boyd. Excellent review, Meredith. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate such and Happy Holidays and a wish for a blessed New Year to all, also.

  10.  

    What a fabulous review, Meredith, and *what* a lovely and heartwarming thing to say: “…like snowflakes, each story of this collection is wonderfully unique and distinctly beautiful! And the whole collection together is an enchanting and exquisite Christmas scene that truly is a generous gift to all!” This is so beautifully put!! Thank you for your ever so kind words and your wonderful support for this project! Just like Christina said, my heart glows!

    Have a magical Christmas season and a New Year full of excitement, love and joy! xx

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