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on 25 June 2013
It takes a very good writer to affect your emotions when you are reading a story, to draw you in to the extent that you are experiencing the ups and downs of the characters' lives as if you live and breathe alongside them. Ms Starnes took full charge of mine when I started to read From This Day Forward. I have laughed and smiled, shed tears - of both joy and sadness - and swooned as I have followed her story of life for Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy after they are married.

The story takes them from London to Pemberley and back, through highs and lows, chronicling their lives and those of their family and friends in a delightful continuation of one of the nation's best-loved novels, Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.
The original characters stay true to form, the new characters are well rounded and believable and the more minor characters from the original story are delightfully expanded upon. In particular, if you love stories about Georgiana Darcy, then this book is for you. In Ms Starnes' gentle hands she develops beautifully throughout the tale and by the time she finds her own happiness you will be smiling tears of joy for her just as I was.

This is a well-researched book that speaks with a true Regency voice and clearly was written by someone with a deep understanding of her subject matter, the period and her characters.

If you love a good read and you relish becoming emotionally attached to the characters in the story, then this book is for you!
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on 7 June 2013
The story is wonderful tale of newly weds. It is not overly dramatic just comfortingly domestic with a tear and a laugh along the way I really enjoyed it. Thank you for a good read.
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Although Elizabeth stated in Pride and Prejudice that since Darcy was a gentleman and she was a gentleman's daughter they were equal it wasn't strictly accurate; they lived in very different worlds. Darcy's estate was much larger than the Bennets' so even if Elizabeth was well-versed in the duties that she'd need to fulfil as mistress of a home being the mistress of a grand estate may well have been daunting. Also, Elizabeth had very likely never navigated London's fashionable circles, something she'd need to do successfully to ensure a good marriage for Georgiana as well as for any children that she and Darcy would have. I've often wondered whether she'd struggle or if it would be plain sailing.

Joana Starne's story picks up 9 days after Darcy and Elizabeth's wedding. When the story begins we find a few obstacles that Elizabeth has already encountered; the housekeeper at the London townhouse is unwelcoming towards her and Lady Catherine is not the only one of Darcy's Fitzwilliam relatives that is opposed to his marriage to Elizabeth. With the exception of Colonel Fitzwilliam, none of the Fitzwilliams are welcoming to Elizabeth. If Elizabeth had come from the same social circle as Darcy she would have been able to rely on the support of her own family but of course, this isn't the case, as her parents don't have the connections to be able to launch her into society. Luckily some of Darcy's more distant relations are more amenable and agree to assist.

The book follows the events of the Darcy household over the next few years. Darcy and Elizabeth are a very loving couple (although don't worry if you don't like sex scenes, there are none in this book). We see them settle into their roles as husband and wife, and see how much they come to rely on each other, particularly in the face of his family's opposition. Elizabeth breathes life into the rather staid Darcy household that has been missing since the death of Lady Anne. The growing relationship between Elizabeth and Georgiana is lovely to see, and Elizabeth really helps Georgiana grow and find confidence in herself, something that is vital for Georgiana's launch into society. The book is as much about Georgiana and her blossoming into womanhood as it is about Elizabeth and Darcy. The family face a number of hurdles, some harder to overcome than others and we will get the opportunity to see how well Mr and Mrs Darcy have overcome their old faults of hasty judgement and distain for the feelings of others.

Although I enjoyed the book from the outset it took a good while to grip me. It was fairly slow going at the beginning, and although issues were faced initially they were pretty easily overcome and I'd have liked a bit more tension in the first half of the story. The book has its share of angst but it is concentrated, so it hits you even harder when it arrives.

Both Elizabeth and Darcy's families appear in the book. I felt the depiction of the Bennet side of the family was generally faithful to Pride and Prejudice, aside from the Gardiner's sons who were older than canon. In the world of Austenesque fiction you often find Mrs Bennet drawn very harshly, but here I felt she was properly represented in all her embarrassing glory and you couldn't help wincing at some of her comments, but also sympathising with her when she succeeded in her life's ambition of marrying off all her daughters and then felt bereft. I'd have liked to have seen a bit more of Elizabeth's sisters. As for Darcy's family, both Colonel Fitzwilliam and Lady Catherine feature in this story, and we meet the more distant relatives who assist Lizzy's launch to society. The connection between Darcy and these relatives is described in a bit too much detail for me, I read the paragraph about 5 times before I had it straight in my mind, but distant cousin pretty much covers it!

One thing I particularly liked about this book was the humour, such as this gem showing Miss Bingley's views of the Christmas entertainment at Pemberley:
` "What game is that, pray?" Lady Mellor's youngest piped up, understandably inexperienced in what passed for entertainment in Cheapside and the wilds of Hertfordshire.'

We see three Christmases in this book, the first two Christmases following Elizabeth and Mr Darcy's wedding which form a stark contrast to each other, and the third Christmas celebration in the epilogue, 24 years down the line where we get the chance to catch up with the futures of many of the characters. Personally, I love an epilogue, and the epilogue in this book I particularly enjoyed.

*I received a copy of this book courtesy of Leatherbound Reviews in return for this honest review.
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on 16 May 2013
A great book, in true Jane Austen style, true to the original novel and a lovely sequel to P&P 1995. No anachronisms, no weird plots and above all, no sordid explicit sex!
The author has a very good understanding of Regency England, of Jane Austen's world and her mentality and the hints to real events create a very pleasant background. Well-written, great story-line, all in all a very enjoyable read. Highly recommended!
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on 22 May 2013
I have so thoroughly enjoyed this excellent story. This suggestion as to what comes after the wedding of Elizabeth and Darcy make for a thoroughly good read.
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on 27 October 2015
As you can probably guess from the full title, 'From this day forward' is a continuation of the story of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. I have to confess that, as a general rule, I do not like Jane Austen spin-offs, but having met Joana at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, I promised that I would give her book a try and I am glad that I did.

This book is a very gentle read - more of a commentary on the ongoing life of the new Mrs Darcy than anything else, but I found it surprisingly engaging. The language is Austenesque and I felt that the characters acted within the boundaries of what I expected of them from the original book - something that every other Jane Austen spin-off I have read has failed to achieve.

The main story of the book is how Georgiana Darcy is nurtured by her new sister-in-law from the timid creature she is in 'Pride and Prejudice' into the self-assured young woman who is able to make the right choice about who she should marry. There is a little drama around Elizabeth's own story which I was eager to see resolved, but I won't say more as I have no wish to give away what happens.

I found the number of characters referred to in the early part of the book bewildering. I know that this was done on purpose so that we could share what Elizabeth felt, but in this instance, personally, I would rather have just been told! My greatest disappointment was the epilogue: all the loose ends were tied up when I would have liked there to have been more scope for a sequel with the characters that Joana had developed so beautifully!
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on 9 February 2014
At last - a sequel that can be taken seriously. Characters not only stayed true but developed in a realistic and adult way, The vocabulary and grammar were, thankfully, in keeping the original. The plot was not all sweetness and light and was sufficiently robust to keep one turning the pages. This genre is not the easiest to write, as personal experience had taught me, but Joana Starnes has added a diamond to the slag-heap of fanfiction.
Chrissie Elmore (author of Unmapped Country: the story of North & South continues)
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on 19 August 2013
As a lover of all things P and P I thoroughly enjoyed this. Would recommend it for all those who love the 'what if' and ' I wondered what happened next'?
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on 30 August 2013
I really want to say that I loved this but I didn't quite. It's not the best Pride and Prejudice fan fiction I have ever read, so I had to power through it just to get to the end. I admit that it had some good moments and got more interesting past the halfway mark, but what with Georgiana's constant blushing and then her complete personality transformation after she is married, and then the hoards of people who keep popping up it was a little exhausting.

The author did do a good job on her research, but I think she could have made more of the story had she spent some time on Elizabeth's sisters. Admittedly, Jane does flitter through the story a few times, and Kitty on occasion but not enough is made of it.

Having said that, it's worth a read if you're interested in the genre, and you may get more out of it than I did.
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on 11 December 2013
This was not the Georgiana Darcy we all know from P&P! Her language was far too modern, her thinking was late 20th Century and the plot line was weak. A sort of Downton Abbey type whitewashed attempt at recreate the original themes - lacking subtlety and authenticity.
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