Hello fellow readers,
Today I am delighted to welcome 'Sufficient Encouragement' author, Rose Fairbanks to my blog. If, like me, you delight in talking about Pride & Prejudice and JAFF, then you'll enjoy reading Rose's guest post, I know I certainly did!
Hello Rose and welcome!
Thanks for having me!
Guys vs. Girls by Rose Fairbanks
In another guest post on this blog tour, I discussed my recent trip to Washington DC to meet fellow JAFF authors Zoe Burton, Cat Gardiner, Pamela Lynne and Victoria Kincaid. While there we were invited to a JASNA panel to discuss JAFF. One of the readers there asked me privately, do I write more out of love for the guys or the girls? As a reader, she confessed to reading for the men. We all love to drool over Darcy! As a writer, however, I admit that what I love about Pride and Prejudice is the women.
Before reading Pride and Prejudice, my literary love was Little Women. So, I was familiar with nineteenth century prose about a house full of women. I continued to reread Little Women and its sequels even in high school. The librarian recommended Pride and Prejudice to me as a story about five sisters. I never tried it out. I had four sisters. Why did I need five?
My final year in high school, Pride and Prejduice was required reading, and I instantly found myself in love with Austen’s humor and wit that Alcott did not have. I also liked that P&P was about adults and was not child/young adult oriented. However, I did think there were many similarities between the books and viewed P&P as more of a “coming of age” story. So, I was blind sided when Darcy actually proposed.
P&P became my favorite book, and I reread it several times a year. I didn’t find JAFF until 2013, and I have to say, I’ve been a bit amazed at how much it’s entered the common psyche as not just a love story, but the most romantic love story. That being said, I absolutely love what JAFF has done in that department.
Another thing JAFF has done for the story of P&P is to write from Darcy’s point of view. We often get to see him interact with other men, follow him to various clubs and manly activities of the era. All of it is wonderful as we want to read about a man that is young, vital and well to do. He’s a bit of Prince Charming to us while we read next to laundry that needs folding, dishes that need washing or are pinned down by a sleeping toddler.
But, is it really about the man, then? Aren’t we actually writing for women then? Even the male authors in the genre seem to meet this expectation. Not that a man can’t enjoy P&P or JAFF, but we do know the majority of the market is women.
I would say Austen wrote for the female audience as well. It’s just our needs in a book have shifted. Elizabeth Bennet desired a man that valued her independence and personality, not just her beauty or what she could financially do for him. Our modern day Elizabeths want a man that can let us have our independence but also take over some of our needs. And if we’re talking about the ultimate fantasy, he should look hot in a cravat doing it.
But, there’s still that non-male component to Pride and Prejudice that needs to be filled. Women of the 21st century still spend a lot of time with other women. So, I think my valuing the female characters and their relationships over the male characters remains valid. Twist P&P up however you want, but even moderns and futuristic tellings give Elizabeth a female best friend or two.
And more than all this, what I love the most about P&P is Elizabeth’s evolution. I was right at 17 to think of it as a coming of age story. It is. Elizabeth learns the world is not what she thought it was. And that part remains true in every P&P retelling as well.
So, while I agree that I love the romance we’ve added to Austen in JAFF, I also love that we’ve kept the female interests alive.
I tried to hit all the bases in Sufficient Encouragement. It’s got lovely romantic moments, Darcy-centric scenes and Elizabeth getting support from female friends.
Now, I’m asking the readers. Do you read Austenesque stories for the guys or the girls?
Thank you Rose, your question gave me much to deliberate on. If I may be so bold, as to answer your question first, I would say, I read for both Darcy and Elizabeth, although I feel I read more for Darcy, so I think my answer would be a guy. However, I would only read, if Elizabeth was in it. It is also important, for me to know what Elizabeth is thinking and feeling. I can live without knowing what Darcy is thinking, but not, without knowing Elizabeth's thoughts on the matter, therefore my answer would be girls.
Thank you Rose, it was a pleasure to have you here again, good luck with the Love Blooms Series.
Sufficient Encouragement Blog Tour Schedule
4/16: Excerpt & Giveaway at Stories from the Past
4/17: Excerpt at My Jane Austen Book Club
4/18: Excerpt & Review at The Ardent Reader
4/19: Excerpt & Giveaway at Diary of an Eccentric
4/20: Interview & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
4/21: Review at Half Agony, Half Hope
4/22: Guest Post at Babblings of a Bookworm
4/25: Review at Just Jane 1813
4/26: Guest Post at More Agreeably Engaged
4/28: Guest Post & Review at From Pemberley to Milton
4/29: Guest post at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
We are all fools in love…
Some say a lady’s imagination is very rapid. Such is the case when Elizabeth Bennet overhears that Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy admires her eyes. She thinks nothing for herself, but immediately considers her dearest sister’s growing attachment to Mr. Darcy’s friend. If Elizabeth spurns such a wealthy—and proud—gentleman, he might do everything in his power to separate his friend from her sister.
Raised in a world of expectations and pedigree, Darcy knows Elizabeth Bennet can offer him nothing of material value. As his attraction for her grows, he becomes increasingly convinced his feelings are nonsensical. Still, he might forsake it all if only he had true encouragement.
Misunderstandings lead to betrayals, and the couple soon learns falling in love takes courage but staying in love requires forgiveness. Traversing from the groves of Hertfordshire to the drawing rooms of London to the complexity and danger of Luddite revolts in Yorkshire, Sufficient Encouragement follows Darcy and Elizabeth’s journey of love and forgiveness.
*This story contains a scene of nonexplicit sexual violence.
About the When Love Blooms Series
“Love is like a flower, for it is well worth the toil to cultivate it.” She shrugged her shoulders, “Love is beautiful.”
Take a stroll in the garden of love and enjoy the unique blooms of the intersecting lives of the Bennet, Darcy, Fitzwilliam, de Bourgh and Bingley families. Sufficient Encouragement follows Darcy and Elizabeth as they fight to save their love from an unexpected frost while Jane and Bingley’s love grows strong roots. The companion story, Renewed Hope, adds depth to the bouquet with the love stories of Darcy’s cousins and Miss Bingley. The third book in the series, Extraordinary Devotion, follows Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage while their younger sisters experience a London Season.
As always readers, please feel free to share your thoughts on Rose's guest post, Guys vs Girls.