Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 17 December 2013
In all honesty I found this book a little bit of a chore. In all Pride and Prejudice variations we expect the happy ending but for me, this one lacked the passion and feeling of many of the other books by this author. I suspect that some of this may be linked to this tale being more in keeping with the times and therefore the obstacles faced by the characters more realistic. The relationships between them all were difficult and fraught with difficulties and objections.

Generally this tale is more in keeping with the times and does not have the sex scenes that can feature heavily in other variations. Mr Darcy finds himself being slapped around the face for attempting to steal a kiss!

I struggled to like so many of the characters in this book which perhaps says something about how well this book is written. However Aunt Augusta is fantastic and I wish we had seen more of her.

All in all a pleasant read but lacking in excitement and adventure!
11 Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 23 October 2013
I did enjoy this book - completely different story to the other "what if" variations. Had lots of twists and turns and I was glad that Jane had a happy ending too but quite shocked that Georgiana actually had a child to Whickham who was brought up by family relatives and no-one ever knew about it. There were a few loose ends which Abigail Reynolds did not tie up at the end but overall I would recommend this book .
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I am so obsessed by Pride & Prejudice that I'm of the belief that I could happily read anything that even hints at being a retelling, variation, vagary, etc. Since the original was over too soon and I just loved this 'what if' story that took me back into Darcy and Elizabeth's world. What if Darcy had never been able to propose and what if Elizabeth's father had died?

I wasn't sure what to expect as I haven't read this author before but I lapped it up! I loved Darcy and his attempts to see Elizabeth again, I loved the misunderstandings, I loved the new setting and most of all I loved the outcome!

Highly recommend!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 November 2010
I don't know where to begin with this book!
It is yet again, another fantastic "what if" scenario from Abigail Reynolds!!
All of Reynolds' novels have been fantastic to read but this one...it had so much emotion! Imgining Elizabeth being demoted to living with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner in Cheapside it hard enough. Then you have the proud Mr Darcy standing up to his family. I mean, most of Reynolds' books have a predictable ending, normally with Lizzy and Darcy getting married, but this one was unmistakably brilliant!! I read the whole book in a matter of hours, it grips you from page one!
You are so emotionally linked to this book that by the middle of the book you are so happy for the couple you could cry. Yet, more unfortunate circumstances drive them apart. Fistly, Lizzy wrongly interprets Mr Darcy's proposal of marriage for one to be his mistress! Then disaster strikes with Lydia who has not eloped, but is pregnant!
The characterisations are fantastic, even the upbeat Mrs Bennet who continues to swoon with her nerves and the polite Jane who marries a much older shopkeeper to secure the family. Lizzy's character is also extremely special, she continues her witty banter despite her cercumstances. The characterisations are also good of Mr Darcy's family, including new characters such as the sister of the fomer Mrs Darcy who is hilarious!
It is however, slightly more erotic than Reynolds' normal scenarios of "what if's". There are multiple references to mistresses and the taking of young working girls virginity as amusement. This however, only emphasises Darcy's love for Elizabeth who bluntly refuses his uncle's attemps to find him a suitable mistress. This uncle, who bluntly attempts to sabotage Darcy's wedding later in the book but is only left being embarassed himself.
Parts of this book make you want to cry, laugh and scream in frustration all in one go!
One part i particularly like was Reynolds' introduction of Mr Bingely, even though Jane Bennet is already married and expecting a child. His emotional termoil was devastating as he continues to blame himself for the Bennet's change in social status. He continues to emotionally injure himself while leaving town to return to his family business in Scarborogh, hoping silently for Jane to leave her husband. fate however, intervenes!!
I'm not going to say anymore becaue i am giving too much away! All I am going to say is that if you love Reynolds' other interpretations then you have to buy this book!!!
0Comment| 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 15 March 2012
It is a truth universally acknowledged that P&P derivatives are usually complete tosh, and unbearable excpet accompanied with a big glass of white. One occasionally feels the urge to go read one and comes away with the sicky feeling in the stomach reminscent of snaffling a MacDonalds and then remembering why you stopped eating them when aged 14.

And then up pops this novel. The plot sounds hopeless, you fear it'll be badly written, but you've got a Kindle voucher and decide you're damned well going to use it.

And what you get is a well-paced, well-written novel with a delightful story at its heart taking familiar characters and pushing them into different circumstances to which they react like the characters you know and love.

I read it and then went back and read it again. Praise doesn't get higher than that. Give it a go (big glass of white optional)
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 December 2010
I was thoroughly enjoying this novel during the first stages because of the interesting approach of changing the Jane Austen version of events to have Mr. Bennet die. Those of us who are familiar with Pride and Prejudice understand what a profound impact that situation would have had on the story line. Here, Mr. Bennet has died and Charlotte and Mr. Collins have taken over Longbourn, Mrs. Bennet and the girls have moved in with her sister in Meryton, Jane has married but still lives in Meryton and Lizzie is living with the Gardiner's in their home in Cheapside. Darcy tries to stay away from Lizzie but then discovers that she goes out for a walk early each morning. He contrives to meet her.

This story is presented primarily from the viewpoint of Darcy with only small segments of it from Elizabeth's perspective. Still, I was enjoying the story which gave me an indication of how much Darcy loved Elizabeth and how much he fought against that love, for reasons of family pride and social standing. Then it all began to devolve into a fairy tale with improbable new characters who were allowed to act in completely unrealistic ways for the times. There were evil relatives counterbalanced by worthy and kind and good urchins and servants. Lydia was still her same selfish self but with a problem that Darcy could solve. In fact, Darcy solved every problem for every single person in this story. It's a wonder the poor man didn't find himself on the verge of bankruptcy. He handed out money like it was water. And if Darcy wasn't giving out money then another good relative was sprinkling the fairy dust over situations right and left to make them come out with a perfect Happily Ever After emblazoned with sparkling lights and twittering bluebirds of happiness. There is nothing really wrong with all of this creativity unless you like for your Austen continuations or adaptations to stick closer to the original, which is the side of the fence I find myself on.

This wasn't a bad story, there were just too many different tales and strings that all had to be wound up into a ball to get the whole thing corralled for an ending. And all of that took too long. And what in the world was that with the way Bingley acted with Jane while her husband was on his deathbed? That was not the action of the kind, sweet, considerate Bingley from Jane Austen. That was a spoiled modern character who just wanted what he wanted and he wanted it right then. Who cares about Jane's reputation? Certainly not Bingley. My final assessment is that there were too many plots, sub-plots, and prominent characters in this story both from high society and low society. And for those of you who like to have this information, the story is completely chaste. There are no scenes of a physical nature between Darcy and Elizabeth except for several kisses. Personally, that is the way I prefer my Pride and Prejudice variations.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 October 2013
This was one of the more serious and at times distressing Pride and Prejudice variations I have read. This is due to the story line and the dramatically reduced circumstances the Bennet's find themselves in after the death of their father. 

The social divide between Darcy and Lizzy now seems so unsurpassable and yet Darcy still cannot imagine his life without Lizzy. I enjoyed seeing this side to Darcy. He was very sweet and caring towards Lizzy and all her family and in the second half the book he was truly the knight in shinning armour! Seeing the struggles the couple face and the misunderstandings and problems they must overcome before they can be together is heart-wrenching. There are times when it seems it really will be impossible to end with the happy ending we all know, expect and love (it does of course, don't fret!) 

Bingley had an interesting role and turn of character in this story. The situation and emotional state he ends up in because of Jane's marriage to another is very sad to see in the normally happy, cheerful and upbeat Mr Bingley. His journey through the story is an interesting one.  Georgiana too faces many problems to overcome after the incident with Wickham (to which there is an extra aspect in this tale) before she can mature into the young woman she truly is. 

There is a major theme through this book linked to what the supposed 'gentleman' of society and the 'ton' really get up to. I found all the talk of mistresses through this book and incidents revolving around the issue quite distressing (the main distress coming from Colonel Fitzwilliam's horrid father and brother) although it was an interesting and brave topic to expand on. I understand, however, how very relevant and true the issue of mistresses and maltreatment of servants is and it is clear the authoress has put a considerable amount of time into researching it properly for historical accuracy, to which she is to be commended. 

Although as I said at times I found the book distressing this is not a bad thing. I believe it actually made the book more compelling as I wanted to keep reading to see what was going to happen and how it would resolve all the issues. I am very pleased to say that all the problems and difficulties faced for so many of the characters all sort themselves out eventually, resulting in some very happy (and some very surprising (VERY surprising!)) endings. And also, although I talk of a more serious atmosphere to this variation, there are still many, many moments throughout which had me laughing, a lot! 

If you are interesting in a variation which strays dramatically from the original plot as well as a wonderful romantic tension between Darcy and Lizzy, some intruding new characters and a more serious spin on the classic then this is the book to read. 
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
In this variation, Darcy never proposes in Kent as Lizzy goes home from Kent early. Mr Bennet dies and to support her family Jane marries a shopkeeper, a drop in status for her. Lizzy goes to live in London with the Gardiners while Mrs Bennet and the other sisters are taken in by Mrs Phillips. The book deals with how Darcy basically just can't help himself, he knows that Lizzy is even further beneath his social status now and a marriage is a worse idea than ever but he can't stay away from her. He is struggling with his attraction to her and all the while he has to live with the fact that it's partly his fault... if he'd never got in the way of Jane and Bingley Elizabeth wouldn't have fallen so far socially. There is also a huge misunderstanding along the way. Will true love find a way or will Darcy put social pressures and family duty before his heart?

There were elements of this book that were quite unsettling, especially on the first read. The author shines a spotlight on the place of women in this society - women of the lower orders being sold by their parents to rich men, and those of higher orders are all just as much at the mercy of men's whims and under their power, makes you glad to be born now and have some say in your own life! I felt quite bad for Lizzy to be honest, as a woman she was so powerless but she behaves pretty much how I would expect Lizzy to behave in adversity. Also explored is the way that the high society had the morals of alley cats. Darcy's family are particularly horrible in this book, Col Fitzwilliam is nice, but the rest are pretty vile.

On the whole, an excellent read in my opinion, good style, good characterisation of Lizzy and Darcy, v. romantic. For those who like to know these things there are no sex scenes between Elizabeth and Darcy which I thought was fitting.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 January 2015
although not following the usual path I find this a very convincing, though troublesome, view of that period. Lizzy and Darcy thankfully have the usual trials, Lydia's disgrace is a little different but no less , but Jane, poor Jane, has to suffer until ...... well read for yourself - I couldn't see a way through for her for a while. A different but very interesting variation and recommended.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 September 2013
The concept wasn't bad however the execution was confused and incomplete which was a huge disappointment. I also found the ending rushed leaving a number of unanswered questions including: what was the big secret Lady Seaton held over Earl Matlock? How did Aunt Catherine feel about the Darcy's marriage? What happened to the Brownings shop? Did the two Mary's ever meet?

Deeply unsatisfying perhaps Reynolds has written too many of these variations.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse