This book was truly a surprise, I have been reading JAFF for over a year and recently another blogger, Warmisunqu Austen alerted me to the term "book hangover". I knew what is was but did not know it had a name.
I often experience this hangover, but with this book it was more than that.
I had come across this book before and while I was reading it, I kept trying to think why I had not purchased it (apart from the obvious bankruptcy issues that come with purchasing soooo many books!). It was not until the end that I realised I had been asking the wrong question. What I should have been asking was "why now?". I am a firm believer in the hidden messages in life, the ones that are there to teach us to grow. This book indeed had several for me. This book was more than a Darcy & Elizabeth story it was thought provoking, insightful and very deep in retrospection, which is right up my street, so to have it combined with the Darcys' was a bonus. I read this book at the right time and for the right reasons! (Okay I will share with you one of the obvious reasons, it was that I need to get chickens! Yes chickens!! My other half has been going on & on about getting chickens for over a year and this book has convinced me, I need to give way).
I apologise that I have digressed but this book really stirred me in an unexpected and delightful way!!!
The premise for this book in a nutshell, is that due to Wickham and his scheming ways, Darcy & Elizabeth must marry if her reputation is to be salvaged. A winner with me already, as I love these storylines, I like to see Elizabeth fall in love with Darcy, when she is oblivious to the fact she is already married to the very best of men. Now comes the Promise, Mr Darcy upon misinterpreting Elizabeth's tears in the carriage on their wedding day, promises not to demand his rights as a husband in regards to the conjugal bed. What ensues is a wonderful and unwitting courtship at the beginning of their marriage. The author weaves in riddles (the chickens), life lessons, mystery, drama and a whole heap of misunderstandings.
"He relished the sight of her lovely form in a simple day gown. And now I can see her every morning! For the first time ever he thought, thank you, Wickham, for being so evil to allow me this pleasure!" -Jeanna Ellsworth
Both Darcy and Elizabeth are constantly trying to guess what the other is thinking or feeling and their misunderstandings had you on the verge of always wanting to know what was going to happen next. Surprisingly I thought I would get frustrated with them not working things out sooner but the author very cleverly avoided you feeling that way. I literally could not put this book down! Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Darcy and Wickham had a public show down over Wickhams acusations? Well you are in for a treat!
"Bingley laughed so loudly that the ladies at Longbourn were sure to have heard. “Charming? You had best keep the cock fighting to a minimum if you expect to be charming, my dear friend.”- Jeanna Ellsworth
There was a realism to this story that although fictional, is what makes it so captivating. There was humour, humility and romance. This Elizabeth was lovely and you could really feel she was a good hearted person, no doubt a reflection on the author herself. I really think this has to be one of my favourite JAFF Darcys, he wasn't over the top with sentimentality or someone that it is hard to fathom even exists, he felt real in his actions, words and manner.
Colonel Fitzwilliam was as he aught to be, not overly funny but a jovial military man and a cousin Darcy clearly respects. Georgiana was such a darling and I often felt very sorry for her.
I have found it really hard to write this review because I sincerely do not know how to do it justice. Some books are easy, you comment on the quality of writing, what happens, but to convey how a book makes you feel can be tricky. Yes there were some inconsistencies and grammatical errors but I am not Jeanna's English literature teacher, so I am at liberty to overlook such things. I feel this book is probably understated, because all such observations need to be sweep aside in order to fully appreciate that the author has put her heart and soul into it. The author has really thought about what she wants to convey and the desire to be a better person and help others is where this author's vision is directed. I urge anyone to read this book with an open mind and heart and let the author teach you a thing or two about relationships (and promises lol!).
"Well, I suppose I will need to put a little more heart into it. She gripped the ladder before stretching out her leg and kicking hard against the shelf. The ladder rolled easily some fifteen feet away at great speed, making her hair catch in her open, smiling mouth. Elizabeth laughed, pulling her hair back before she did it in the opposite direction. This time she went even further. She continued to do this, learning along the way that she needed to hold onto the ladder with both hands or risk falling to the floor when it jolted to a halt. She had nearly taken a tumble, but now found herself enjoying the challenge of making it all the way to the end. She was absorbed in attempting to go further and faster when she was interrupted by a voice. “I believe that is yet another thing you have found at Pemberley that I have yet to do,” Mr. Darcy said. She looked down to see him smiling impishly at her. “William! Oh dear, how long have you been watching me?” . . . and seeing that unladylike behavior? She started her descent down the ladder." - Jeanna Ellsworth
The biggest hangover I have had in a while. This book has affected me in a positively satisfying way! I can not thank Jeanna enough for this little treasure of book and have wasted no time in purchasing her new title Pride and Persistence. Even if I had not liked this book, I should have liked it anyway, as my name is featured :)
|This book is worthy of 4 hearts - Mr Bingley|