Hello fellow readers, Today I have the pleasure of reviewing 'The Elizabeth Papers' by Jenetta James as part of the blog Tour! Kindly brought to you by Leatherbound reviews in conjunction with Meryton Press.
When I found out Jenetta was releasing another novel, I was excited! In reviewing her first novel ‘Suddenly Mrs Darcy’ what stood out, was Jenetta’s succinct style of writing, as she has a way of telling the pertinent facts without the lengthy detail. I never tired of her no-nonsense Mr Darcy, a man of very little words, and his confessions of love, were melt worthy.
To my delight this book was no exception, Darcy’s character is very similar to what I imagine it to be following canon, ‘in essentials, I believe, he is very much what he ever was’. ~ Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Charlie Haywood is a London-based private investigator who has made his own fortune—on his own terms. Charming, cynical, and promiscuous, he never expected to be attracted to Evie Pemberton, an emerging and independent-minded artist living with the aftermath of tragedy. But when he is hired to investigate her claims to a one hundred and fifty year old trust belonging to the eminent Darcy family, he is captivated. Together they become entwined in a tale of love, loss, and mystery tracing back to the grand estate of Pemberley, home to Evie’s nineteenth century ancestors, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy.
How could Evie know that in 1817 Elizabeth Darcy began a secret journal? What started as an account of a blissful life came to reflect a growing unease. Was the Darcy marriage perfect or was there betrayal and deception at its heart? Can Evie and Charlie unearth the truth in the letters of Fitzwilliam Darcy or within the walls of present-day Pemberley? What are the elusive Elizabeth papers and why did Elizabeth herself want them destroyed?
Many of you know that I prefer Regency JAFF over Modern. However, this book had a good balance of Modern vs Regency to keep me happy. One thing I like about moderns is working out who's who and I had a lot of fun deciphering who I thought the modern characters in this story represented. Some were obvious, some not so, fortunately for me, the modern Colonel was easy to identify. His red trousers confirming my suspicions and making me laugh out loud, considering he was attending the Theatre!
The modern part of the story felt like a mystery novel, with the search for Elizabeth’s papers becoming a mystery to unravel. Equally the Regency parts had a mystery to uncover, but in a different way. The blurb reads “What started as an account of a blissful life came to reflect a growing unease. Was the Darcy marriage perfect or was there betrayal and deception at its heart?” Any true Janiete, who believes they know JA’s Darcy and Elizabeth, know that, betrayal and deception, could never occur between Darcy and Elizabeth in marriage. Therefore the reader feels safe in that knowledge and knows that, whatever happened in the marriage, it cannot be that bad. However, through reading Elizabeth’s papers, we are led on, a sometimes dark, ambiguous and angst filled path and the real mystery lies, in where this growing unease will lead. Jenetta seems to create a different type of angst in her novels, it is an angst from a place very deep and personal in the Darcy marriage. At times I felt melancholy and despair, reading of Elizabeth's anguish. When we recall the following passage...
“She longed to know what at that moment was passing in his mind; in what manner he thought of her, and whether, in defiance of every thing, she was still dear to him. Perhaps he had been civil only because he felt himself at ease; yet there had been that in his voice which was not like ease. Whether he had felt more of pain or of pleasure in seeing her, she could not tell” ~ Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
It is therefore easy to see, how an author could make you believe Elizabeth might doubt Darcy’s love for her, even though your shouting at book ‘Never, never in a million years, never!’. However watching the unease grow within the story, has you drawn in, you trust the author will do right by Elizabeth and Darcy and uphold the principles of Pride and Prejudice. Yet they have you on the edge, constantly thinking they are about to derail the Darcy marriage! And the next thing you know you’re holding your breath, with a turn of the page, or swipe of the Kindle.
Although I like Darcy’s stoic personality in this, I would have liked more from Darcy’s point of view, however this is not a criticism, but a request for the next novel, pretty please. As I believe, Jenetta writing Darcy's POV, could be special. I did not connect with the modern characters as much as I did the Regency, but I did enjoy following Charlie and Evie's adventure and seeing where it led. At times, some of the scenes did not feel authentic, in regards to describing the atmosphere of London, however some scenes were spot on. particularly the theatre. I could relate to the little descriptions that made Charlie stand out as a true gentleman. For instance, pre ordering drinks ready for the intermission, in order to cater and anticipate Evie's every need, is definitely a Darcy trait and believe me, getting drinks in the intermission, is a mission in its self!
Darcy’s one liners and simple declarations of love and admiration, often left me bookmarking the page, so that I could re-read the passage again, at my leisure. Elizabeth's papers, were emotional and touching and at times brought tears to my eyes. Darcy and Elizabeth's story of marriage, is captivating and certainly reason alone, to read this book! Congratulations Jenetta, on another wonderful story.
|This book is worthy of 4 & half Hearts ~ Mr Bingley & Mr Darcy!|
~The Elizabeth Papers Blog Tour Schedule~
5/30: Guest Post & Giveaway at My Jane Austen Book Club
5/31: Excerpt & Giveaway at Romance Novel Giveaways
6/1: Review at Tomorrow is Another Day
6/1: Guest Post & Giveaway at Liz’s Reading Life
6/2: Review at From Pemberley to Milton
6/3: Guest Post at Moonlight Reader
6/4: Review at Babblings of a Bookworm
6/5: Review at Just Jane 1813
6/6: Guest Post & Giveaway at Austenesque Reviews
6/7: Excerpt & Giveaway at So Little Time…
6/8: Character Interview at More Agreeably Engaged
6/9: Author Interview at Savvy Verse & Wit
6/10: Review at Diary of an Eccentric
6/10: Excerpt & Giveaway at Skipping Midnight
6/11: Review at My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice
6/12: Review at Margie’s Must Reads6/13: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars
I was given an ARC copy of this book for my honest review.
As always I delight in hearing your thoughts!
As always I delight in hearing your thoughts!