Saturday, 9 August 2014

Leaving Bennet Behind Vol 1 Chosen by Sarah Johnson

I won this book in a giveaway and it is the first book I have read that is part of a series that I am aware, is INCOMPLETE! Why am I using shouty capitals? Well because I do not start stories that are unfinished as I simply cannot take the suspense. I have the patience of a saint but not when it comes to my beloved books. I live in theses stories and am transported into another world, so to be left bereft of a conclusion is no fun at all!!!

However, this book has left me surprisingly curious rather than inpatient. Whenever I read a P&P JAFF I always assume that it's all about Elizabeth and Darcy. Yet I have a suspicion that said Bennet in the title, is not Elizabeth, although E&D seem to be the main characters, so does everyone else, Intrigued? Yes me too. (This may be a appropriate moment to share that I dislike reading blurbs, I detest any sort of hint, yet I write and read reviews, oh the irony!)

As a result of life changing events we are met with a very different P&P characters. Following a carriage accident Mr & Mrs Bennet are a changed couple and so are the Bennet daughters. Finally Lydia is being brought into line, so refreshing! I love this new and improved Mr & Mrs Bennet and there are lots of wonderful insights into their relationship, including Mr Bennets fallout with his cousin, Mr Collins's father.

"Elizabeth could not help but smile as she replied, "on behalf of my sisters, I thank you sir, but it is not necessary." "Necessity is not always the force which pushes us into action, though is it?" he said with a smirk." - Sarah Johnson

Georgiana has been severely injured, yes you guessed it, at the hands of Wickham! As a result, Darcy enters the neighbourhood of Meryton, a very different man indeed! I like this new and improved Darcy, more compassion, less pride. Mr Bingley is a man on a mission, he is definitely the master of Netherfiled and I continually enjoyed watching him bring his sister Caroline to order! Can you believe that he left and went to the Meryton ball without her, ha ha ha! She was seething and poor Mr Hurst had to witness her outburst. Yes I did say poor Mr Hurst, I really liked him, in fact you will love everyone in this story bar Caroline. Viscount Primrose (Alex) is Colonel Fitzwilliam's older brother and just like Darcy, he is great! 'Swoonworthyness' must run in the Fitzwilliam bloodline. Someone has caught Alex's eye but unlucky for him he's caught Caroline Bingley's, If she cannot have Darcy he is the next best thing, oh dear!!

"He counted himself lucky that, although he did not know his wife well before they were married, he had ended up with the better of the two Bingley sisters. He was not sure what he would have done with himself if Caroline had been the bride his father had chose." - Sarah Johnson

Occasionally Mr Hurst's and Bingley's discussions in regards to Caroline seemed incongruent and I felt they were a little foolish, would they really behave that way? I would have liked the pace of the story to have been a little quicker, however as a result of the slow pace you learn a lot more about the characters.

There is no real angst in this story (except a deep dark secret that may jeopardise Darcy and Elizabeth's betrothal!). It is a story that proceeds down a happy and contented path. By the end of the book I was convinced this is a story about Mary Bennet. I love Mary in this, apart from the fact she has been made as blind as a bat, poor thing, will she ever catch a break? Well I certainly hope so, but I am going to have to wait 'pouting' until the next instalment comes out!

This book is worthy of 3 & half hearts! The Colonel & Mr Bingley!!!

As always your comments are most welcome!

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