Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Begins around seven months after the Hunsford Proposal
SYNOPSIS: With Mr. Darcy coming home to Pemberley one day later and purposely avoiding Mr. Bingley’s and Jane Bennet’s nuptials, our dear couple has not crossed paths for quite some time. Both have reflected much on what took place that day in Hunsford Parsonage and both feel have had some moments of despondency and dread. But due to a coincidentally coinciding visit to Kent, unexpected delays, and a threatening snowstorm Darcy and Elizabeth once again cross paths at a coaching inn, and Mr. Darcy gallantly comes to Elizabeth’s aid (read: forces her to begrudgingly accept his aid). But even after after some time together (and some delicious moments alone) Darcy and Elizabeth continue to misconstrue each others’ feelings…
WHAT I LOVED:
- Everything At the Cottage: What a smashing beginning to this story! Filled with some drama, danger, and some discreet flouting of propriety…I have always loved situations where Darcy and Elizabeth are forced alone together and I greatly enjoyed seeing the author’s wonderful execution of this type of scenario. I loved how capable Elizabeth was and how Mr. Darcy was everything gentlemanly and considerate.
- Unexpected Encounters and Coincidences: Very similar to Jane Austen’s style Ms. Altman has found some clever scenarios for Darcy and Elizabeth to re-encounter one another. Every time it happens it makes my heart stop! LOL! I love the surprise – the rush of emotions, the confused and awkward conversations, and the internal fretting. I love that fate continues to bring these together…looks like they needed the help! 😉
- A Sentimental and Persevering Mr. Darcy: *sigh* Mr. Darcy valiantly tries to make his peace (repeatedly) with the absence of Elizabeth in his future. As much as he loves and cherishes her, he wants her happiness more than his own. I loved how thoughtful Darcy was in this story – the little touches, the way he listens and remembers. He is on a mission to show Elizabeth that he can be a gentleman and that she is a woman most worthy of being pleased, And just when he thinks it is over and he should give her up, he is induced to persevere and try once more! I loved the moments when Mr. Darcy went after what he wanted!
- Old Friends, New Developments: I greatly appreciated some of the subtle changes Ms. Altman implemented in this story – especially those concerning Wickham, Lydia, and Mr. Bennet. It is refreshing to find an alternative route for some of these characters, and I always love it when Mr. Bennet takes an interest in his daughters’ lives and suitors… 😉
- The Bingleys: I really enjoyed the lovely and positive portrayal of this couple. They are happily married, helpful, and assured of themselves. Also, I really loved seeing Mr. Bingley be magnanimous! I like that he kept his own counsel and proved to be quite capable at making decisions and perceiving the needs of others.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Pacing: There were a few abrupt departures and hastily-made assumptions combined with lengthy long periods of self-imposed misunderstandings and blindness. I would have loved for some scenes to be lengthened and for some of the misunderstandings/periods of blindness to be resolved a tad sooner.
With her thoughtful developments, compelling conflicts, and skillfully-crafted prose Ms. Altman is an author from which we definitely hope to see more! To Conquer Pride is a most praiseworthy Pride and Prejudice variation – a perfect choice for readers who enjoy seeing Darcy and Elizabeth conquer their own misconceptions and doubts.