This book came to my attention when Meryton Press were offering some of their books for free, this was to coincide with the Los Angeles Festival of Books. Need I say more, as you can imagine I did not hesitate at the chance to read a P&P 'what if', not to mention the premise looked promising. Thank you Meryton Press!
This story had my interest from the start because I like it when authors dare to make major changes, however I would come to regret this, when my dislike of Mr Darcy developed with a fierceness even I was unprepared for.
Mr Bennet has sadly died leaving his estate to his eldest daughter Jane, yes I know he did not leave it to his wife, Mr Bennet is certainly a very clever man indeed. Jane has had to take on a lot of responsibility and becomes very much the protective sister, a complete role reversal to the usual Elizabeth and Jane dynamic we are used to. The action starts nearly straight away with Elizabeth falling and striking her head against a rock. Mr Darcy and Mr Bingley come across an unconscious Elizabeth on their way to Netherfield park, the house Bingley has recently leased. Transporting Elizabeth to Netherfield, she remains unconscious, while her sister Jane not knowing why Elizabeth has not returned, is out of her mind with worry. It takes days for the gentlemen to find out who Elizabeth is and make their way to Longbourn and when Bingley meets Jane it is love at first sight. Bingley is not the only one with an interest of the heart, Darcy has been going against propriety and sitting at Elizabeth's bedside praying for her recovery, in her unconscious state he is half in love with her already.
When Elizabeth finally awakens she and Mr Darcy really get along. When she is finally well enough to leave her bed and take an assisted stroll, the book takes a sharp turn for the worse and Mr Darcy enters into my bad books. Down by the rocks at the stream Mr Darcy kisses Elizabeth and shortly after, he makes a precipitous departure without giving notice or saying goodbye!!!!
I knew Darcy was haughty, arrogant, proud and a little dishonest, (when he withheld from Bingley about Jane being in town, in the original P&P) but to leave Elizabeth broken hearted and possibly compromised (if someone had seen them kiss), had me furious beyond belief "how dare he!" I screamed, infuriating man!!!!!
"My son, you must choose wisely. The Woman you marry will determine the measure of happiness or despair that you will experience in this life . It is difficult to know matters of the heart beforehand. My only advice is this: Marry your equal. Wed yourself to a woman of beauty, rank, and fortune. She must be possessed of a worthy family whose society will be advantageous to you and by whose interest your fortune and influence will be promoted. Do not be carried away by the violence of emotions that some would call love. Attach yourself to a woman who will not disappoint and with whom you can be seen with pride on all occasions. Do not let passion interfere with your future," - Lewis Whelchel
It is time to switch to pleasanter topics, Mr Bingley is great in this, he does not care about what anyone thinks and kindly shows his sister Caroline the door. No one is going to stop him marrying Jane Bennet and they get married without delay. Around the time of the wedding a Mr Grinly comes to stay at Longbourn, a widower with a daughter who is close in age to Lydia and Kitty, he is a friend of the Gardiners and it does not take long for Mrs Bennet's matchmaking ways to begin. Mr Grinly falls for Elizabeth and asks for her hand in marriage, with the encouragement of Jane (which I disapproved of), Elizabeth hopes that one day, her heart will cease loving Mr Darcy!
Meanwhile Darcy is in London paying attention to another young lady, in the hopes of finding a wife and at this point in the book I could not have cared less what he did. The last time I was annoyed with Mr Darcy was in To Have His Cake (and Eat it Too), but this Darcy had my blood boiling how dare he do that to Elizabeth. Luckily Georgiana could not be tainted by association and she was as lovely as ever. When Darcy finally wakes up to the fact he can no longer run from his love for Elizabeth and wants to make her his wife, I was honestly done caring "Let her marry Mr Grinly" I thought, he is truly the gentlemen and I really liked him. However Elizabeth was in love with Darcy and I couldn't ignore that, so begrudgingly I kept my fingers crossed.
Georgiana had been young when her father died and so knew nothing of his opinion of marriage, but to deny love for reasons of money seemed incomprehensible. "You once told me, on an occasion when you were not hiding your feelings, that you wished to be loved for who you are and not what you have, yet you insist on marrying a woman who has wealth and property. You insist on marrying someone for what she has, not who she is? Are you not rich enough? Does fortune and consequence bring you that much pleasure that you would turn your back on a woman that you so fully love?” - Lewis Whelchel
This book had an interesting premise and kept me reading. I enjoy seeing Darcy try to court other women because it highlights what a great person Elizabeth is and that everyone else pales in comparison. The author did a wonderful job of making you like Mr Grinly, I really pitied the man. Overall I must say that I do enjoy a book that stirs the emotions, even if those emotions meant I wanted to chuck Mr Darcy into the Rocks in the Stream!
|This book is worthy of 3 hearts Mr Bingley |
As always I welcome any comments!