Apr 102019

One of Jane Austen’s Most Happily Married Couples!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Prequel

TIME FRAME: Begins around thirteen years before Pride and Prejudice

SYNOPSIS: What circumstances brought Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner together? Was it love-at-first sight, a marriage that grew into love, or did they experience their own rocky road to a happy understanding? Perhaps it begins with Mr. Gardiner joining his brother by marriage as he travels north on family business… Accompanying the two men on this expedition are the two eldest Bennet daughters – Jane (age eight), and Elizabeth (age seven). But due to one of the sisters falling ill, the journey north is unexpectedly paused in the city of Lambton…


  • The Romance of A Favorite Couple: Many readers consider the Gardiners as one of Jane Austen’s best examples of a happily married couple in her novels. The few scenes we see between them in Pride and Prejudice show their mutual regard and respect, as well as their easy companionship. With so many married couples that are mismatched (the Bennets, the Palmers) and indifferent (the Bertrams, the Hursts), seeing one so happy in their union is rare. I absolutely loved seeing the whole courtship between Madeline and Edward – everything from their first encounter to the wedding day, the sweet stolen moments alone and the tender blossoming of regard.
  • Adorable Younger Versions:  It was such a pleasant surprise to encounter Jane, Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, and others as children in this story! I loved how Ms. Clarkston portrayed their younger personalities, she did so with much thought and attention to the adults they would become.
  • So Much More Than Courtship: As mentioned above this story features a lot of other characters we know from P&P, and I particularly enjoyed how some relationships were explored and fleshed out in this story. Such as between Fitzwilliam and his father, or Fitzwilliam and a new friend. I also enjoyed seeing some scenes feature other characters such as Mr. Bennet and Lady Catherine…especially the one scene where they are present together!
  • The Gardiners: Not only was it lovely to see the love story between these two characters, but it also was lovely to spend more time with them. They both are such admirable and likable characters. I loved seeing the endearing ways they both interacted with children, (especially Edward’s gentleness with both Jane and Lizzy). In addition, I love how both dreamed of a marriage that would be like an equal partnership – one that perhaps is a little unconventional for their time period. (I loved that Madeline had such an interest for numbers and business, it makes her such a perfect fit for Edward!)
  • The Charms of Lambton: I loved spending more time in the village of Lambton! Ms. Clarkston does a wonderful job of introducing some townsfolk to her story (such as Mr. Fairbanks – Madeline’s dad and Mrs. Porter – the innkeeper’s wife) and illustrating the ways of life there. I enjoyed feeling a sense of community in Lambton, especially during and after the hailstorm.


  • I might say I missed having some sort of antagonist, but truly, I don’t think I did!


In The Courtship of Edward Gardiner, Nicole Clarkston delivers a thoughtful, endearing, and thorough prequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that is a pure delight to read! Even if the Gardiners aren’t of much interest to you, I still recommend you give this enchanting book a try!

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Thanks to the lovely Nicole Clarkston I actually have a second paperback copy of The Courtship of Edward Gardiner in my possession! Since I don’t need two copies, I’m offering the second book as a giveaway today!

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!

  • This giveaway is open to US residents.
  • This giveaway will end April 17th.
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  56 Responses to “The Courtship of Edward Gardiner – Nicole Clarkston + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    Sounds like a wonderful story and one unlike anything I’ve read before as I’ve never read a book where the Gardiners were the focus. Thanks for your review and giveaway.


      I’m so glad Nicole wrote this book! I know of one other by Riana Everly that spotlights the Gardiners, I hope to read that one soon too! Thanks for checking out my review!


    I love finding JA variations that feature lesser known characters. Congrats, Nicole, on your new release! Thank you, Meredith, for the lovely, as always, review and giveaway opportunity.


    I love anything Nicole writes and I have this book. I have not had time to read it yet, but I will. Thank you for the lovely peek into the story.


    I’ve never been much into the before stories but I do love the Gardiner’s. Excellent example of a functioning happy couple when compared to the Bennet’s. I can imagine Jane and Elizabeth noticing the differences between their Aunt and Uncle’s interactions and their own parents’. Sounds like an interesting read.


    I really enjoyed this story – I originally read it for free, then bought the e-book when it was on sale. Would love to have it in paperback as well, thanks for offering the giveaway.


    This book has been on my Must-Read list for a couple of years — not sure why I haven’t purchased it yet but would be delighted to win a PB copy! Just finished NC’s No such thing as luck so am ready for another of her excellent stories. Especially eager after your glowing review, Meredith.


    What a lovely review, Meredith. I always enjoy reading what you have to say about a book. I agree with your thoughts completely on this one. It was such a delightful read. The interaction of Darcy, Lizzy, Jane, Bingley, and even Wickham, as children was so neat. This whole story felt like it fit completely with what was to come. The Gardiners are such favorites of mine and this story of their courtship felt real. Delightful in all ways. I’m so happy that you like the book too and found it enchanting. Nicole is one of my favorite authors.


      Thank you, Janet. That is so kind of you to say. It really was interesting to see the children’s interactions with each other! So typical for their later selves too!


    I too loved this book Meredith. Mr and Mrs Gardiner are my favourite secondary characters and the fact that this story involved the young Darcy and Elizabeth was a wonderful bonus. The characters of all were so true to my expectations 🙂
    Please don’t include me in the giveaway as you know I’m in the UK!


    I have read and enjoyed this book. I do love Nicole’s stories. Don’t enter me in the giveaway but thank you for sharing your review with us.


    So glad you enjoyed this book! It has been on my list to read for a while–definitely need to read it soon! (I own a copy of the e-book, so no need to enter me in the giveaway.) Thanks, Meredith!


    So thoroughly enjoyed this when Nicole was gracious enough to send my way! Everything about it was superb. And, I am a huge fan of the side characters in all of Austen’s work. They ground the main characters so well!


    I love Nicole’s books but haven’t read this one yet. Thanks for the review!


    I loved this book so much and agree with everything you said about it. The words you used; lovely, sweet, tender, endearing, wrap it up beautifully. No, there isn’t an antagonist but there are obstacles to overcome. But oh my, this book is like a hug and a kiss to the forehead from someone you hold dear. I’m currently reading a 20 hanky, so much angst book right now and I think I’ll need to reread The Courtship of Edward Gardiner as my next book. I’ll read anything Nicole Clarkston writes…..probably many times over and still not get enough. She’s an absolute treasure to JAFF. Whoever wins the giveaway has a beautiful read ahead of them. Thanks so much Meredith, I was truly looking forward to your review of this one hoping you would like it.


    Your comments were spot-on about this book. I read the kindle version some time ago and remember that the Gardiners, as described by Nicole, were people that I wanted to know. Anything Nicole Clarkson writes is well worth the time to read. She is one of my favorite JAFF authors. Thanks for entering me in the give-away.


    This is one of the more creative story lines in JAFF today. Among many that are just shades different than each other, this plot is truly original. The review is spot-on.


    Thank you, Meredith, for such a lovely and heart-warming review! And thank you to everyone else who took the time to comment. This book was a sweet bit of chocolate to write, and I fell in love with Edward and Madeline. I so appreciate everyone’s kind words and support of this little book!


    I love Nicole Clarkston and this is the only one of her books I haven’t read. Thank you for your review, I will check out this book.


    I loved that she wrote this one. The Gardiners are such an adorable couple. I’ve still got this one to read at some point- treat for me!


    Great review as always. I love this story and the fact that the Gardiners got some much deserved page time in JAFF. They are one of my favorite characters besides Colonel Fitzwilliam.


    Lovely review. I already have this book so don’t include me in the giveaway. I just wanted to support Nicole and I highly recommend this story for a feel-good read. [Hello to your Mr. Bingley]


    I’ve been reading her hilarious but serious story Nefarious over at Austen Variations. I’d love to read her take on the Gardiners, everyone’s favorite aunt & uncle, your description of a the young nieces sold me.


    Great review and one of my favourite books! Don’t enter me in the giveaways as I have my own copy!


    sounds like a lovely book – looking forward to reading it, regardless of whether I win a copy


    Sounds like a lovely read, sometimes it’s nice not to have an antagonist. Would love to win a copy.
    Thanks for charming review and for hosting the giveaway.


    I love the Gardiners and look forward to reading more of this book. I always envision Jane and Elizabeth being influenced by their aunt and uncle as an example of a good marriage. Thanks for the giveaway. –Leslie


    thanks for your review. I would love reading about the Gardiners whether or not I win.


    Oh I can hardly wait to read this! As far as not having an antagonist,I understand that that’s normally necessary however, sometime it would be nice to have pure peace and joy to me.


    A lovely sounding tale 🙂 Thank you for the chance to win a copy.

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