Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
(Note: Potential readers should be made aware that this novel is a sequel to Brinshore, which is a sequel to Emma and Elizabeth, and while it is standalone, more pleasure may be derived from reading all novels in their intended order.)
For those that may be unfamiliar with Ann Mychal and her series – The Watson Trilogy – they are a set of books that take inspiration from Jane Austen’s finished and unfinished works: Emma and Elizabeth (Book 1) is a captivating and compelling development of Jane Austen’s abandoned manuscript – The Watsons. Brinshore (Book 2) continues with the next generation and their adventures in the seaside resorts of Brinshore and Sanditon.
In Laura Place (Book 3) readers are taken back to Bath a couple years after Sir Walter Persuasion concludes. Lady Dalrymple and her daughter Miss Carteret are still making Bath their home in fashionable Laura Place and just happen to be neighbors to the newly arrived Allershams and Mrs. Beresford (Lady Allersham’s aunt). The two titled families are thrown together often and develop a relationship with each other. Lady Allersham – who has attempted and blundered terribly with her matchmaking efforts before – is very intrigued by Miss Carteret. She thinks Miss Carteret might be hiding a secret and is torn between wanting to discover what it is and wanting to find Miss Carteret a worthy suitor to marry…
It was such a delight to continue on with these entertaining and engaging characters from Ms. Mychal’s Brinshore. Lady Allersham, once again, very much reminds me of Emma Woodhouse in this story with her matchmaking attempts, but also a little bit of Catherine Morland, as she does have a very active imagination. And similar to both characters, Lady Allersham has a penchant for getting herself into predicaments. Lord Allersham is everything kind and understanding, but as the unexpected new master of Allersham Park, his time is greatly taken up with demands there. I loved seeing the moments where Lord and Lady Allersham were together and I also appreciated the realistic portrayal Ms. Mychal gave to their marriage – both characters have moments of uncertainty and worry.
Another story-line I equally adored was the one concerning Miss Carteret – who in Persuasion is only regarded as plain, awkward, and uninteresting. I loved how this story explored some of Miss Carteret’s past as well as displayed her experiences with new friends and would-be suitors. Ms. Mychal creates a very satisfying and unexpected story-line for this character, and I loved how her experiences felt reminiscent of another beloved character.
What I continue to enjoy so much about this series is how Ms. Mychal masterfully crafts her stories – how she plausibly brings about encounters, how secrets are unraveled, how she orchestrates connections and developments in such a skillful and unpredictable way. Between Jane Austen’s characters and Ms. Mychal’s original creations – there were plenty of new introductions and relationships to develop. And I marvel at this author’s talent, creative forethought, and organization to bring them all about. I especially enjoyed seeing Lady Dalrymple grow fond of certain acquaintances, the discovery of some family secrets, and the gossip surrounding Sir Walter Elliot!
My only quibbles about this story would be that with so many characters, relationships, and storylines, the focal points of the story perhaps didn’t always command as much attention as they should. There were a few characters and relationships I wish we saw more of, and a few scenes and developments that felt less essential. Also, with so many characters and relationships, it perhaps would have been beneficial to have a character list to reference.
All three stories in The Watsons Trilogy are remarkable and praiseworthy additions to the Austenesque genre filled with a diverse array of characters, witty repartee, decadent descriptions, and entertaining developments! Laura Place is a splendid, culminating conclusion to this fabulous series. Readers who enjoy compelling stories written with Jane Austen’s style, tone, and humor will adore The Watson Trilogy!
Ann Mychal is generously giving away 3 PAPERBACK copies of Laura Place to 3 lucky winners in conjunction with my review! Woot woot! 🙌🏼
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review, these characters, or The Watsons Trilogy!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Ann!
- This giveaway ends June 11th!