Friday, 27 December 2013

His Uncle's Favorite by Lory Lillian

Elizabeth could not be certain how much time had passed before Mr. Bennet decided to interrupt Wickham’s discourse. “Mr. Wickham, I greatly appreciate your talent at entertaining us with little, amusing stories of your misfortunes. However, if you say another word against Mr. Darcy, I shall ask Mr. Bingley to drop you at the next inn. Travelling by post is not so bad, after all…” -L.Lilian

This story begins with Jane and Elizabeth journeying to their aunt Gardiner's house at Christmas, after the Netherfield ball. Mr Gardiner having passed away two years prior (oh how sad I was) leaves Mrs Gardiner a widow, however due to her husband's circumstances before he died, she is now mixing in the highest of circles (do I hear a jealous Caroline choking some where). Receiving a dinner invitation from a good friend and the business partner of the late Mr Gardiner, She takes Elizabeth and Jane along; this friend is none other than Lord Matlock!!! Let the fun begin.

As I started to read this book I was slightly disappointed, not because it was not good but because I had read it straight off the back of the author's previous book, Remembrance of the Past. It was a highly entertaining read with high drama at every turn, so naturally I thought this was going to be a roller coaster of a story too. As I continued to read, I came to realise that it's merits lay in its intelligence. I concluded that Lory wanted a story that addressed many of the issues that we may have wanted to read in the original P&P. For instance when Wickham marries Lydia and they visit Longbourn, Lizzy and Wickham have a conversation where she tells him that there was a time when sermon making was not so palatable to him. Well I for one wanted her to tell him "I know you to be a scoundrel of the worst kind, oh I know it all!" Well this book does something similar at every turn in the story. Lory seemed to be addressing such issues, much to my satisfaction and it was only at the end that I could see the authors complete vision.

Elizabeth forced a smile. “Miss Caroline Bingley… I confess I had lost any hope of meeting you again after we waited in vain for you to return my sister’s call. It seems fate wished for us to renew our acquaintance. And Mrs. Hurst…so nice to see you.” Caroline was lost for words in the face of such impertinence, and she failed to notice Lady Selina’s chuckle. How could she respond to Eliza’s preposterous suggestion that she should have called on them in Cheapside? - L.Lilian

As per usual with Lory she creates characters you will absolutely love, Lord Matlock is hilarious and a cracking bloke with no airs and graces, a stark contrast to his sister lady Catherine. Lord Matlock's daughter, the Colonel's sister, Selena, is also a delight and the fact that She does not like Bingley's sisters only lends more credit to her character. Although the same could not be said for Darcy to start with, at first I did not like him at all, but then again that should come as no surprise!
Yet what was a surprise for me, was that through Lory's story I could understand why Wickham was the way he was! 
Mrs Gardiner is always a favourite of mine, she is so wise and her manners and morals are impeccable. It was such a shame Mr Gardiner had to die, but Mrs Gardiner's story did not end there and I enjoyed that she featured frequently throughout.

But please allow me to question the behaviour of a man who does not hesitate to share with you intimate and painful information about his life at your very first meeting and prefers to meet the earl during the early morning in the park because he has not enough courage to stand up for himself and confront the earl’s family.” - L.Lilian

Mr Bennet makes a few appearances and I do like Mr Bennet, he and Darcy get to know one another and I love stories that follow along that path. 
Dear sweet Georgiana gave her brother a mild and gentle reproach! Well I never! But this pushed Darcy in the right direction.
Caroline's set down by Lord Matlock was really funny and worth the read alone. There were many original P&P lines that were twisted or said by others, which was great; even Catherine's speech to Elizabeth was better coming from a rival instead. The influence is definitely 1995 P&P which meets with my whole hearted approval. If you would like some of the subjects in P&P discussed more fully, with openness and heart to heart conversations, then you will love this P&P 'what if'

Embarrassed at her intrusion, Miss Darcy slowly retreated, closed the door behind her and propped herself against the wall, catching her breath. Then she joyfully ran through the halls as she did as a little girl. For the first time in her life, she had dared to mock and scold her brother—and with so much success! It seemed that Fitzwilliam Darcy had already made the proper amends to rectify his error. He had always been a man of action—no doubt about that. - L.Lilian

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