Monthly Archives: January 2016

North and South: 10 Ways the Film Is Not Like the Book

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Hello Dear Readers,

I know you all love North and South, but do you love the book, the BBC adaptation or both?

Have you ever wondered about their differences?

Today I’m receiving a very special guest at From Pemberley to Milton to explain some of the differences between Elizabeth Gaskell’s book and the BBC adaptation.

Trudy Brasure has become a specialist in North and South and written 2 fan fiction books about it, one of them, In Consequence, is a favourite of mine and I will post the review in the upcoming weeks.

I hope you like her post 🙂

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I fell in love with the BBC’s adaptation of North and South first. And then, I slowly fell in love with Elizabeth Gaskell’s book as well. I’m a firm believer that you can love both, despite the inevitable discrepancies between the two forms of art. Here are some of the main differences I see between the film and the book from my perspective as one who reaches for her book when needing a dose of Thornton.

 

#1 The first meeting between John and Margaret

Hands down, this is the most dramatic and damaging alteration the screenwriter makes from the original source. A stormy confrontation in a frenetic setting completely upends the book’s version in which an outwardly calm exchange takes place between the newly arrived Southern girl and the Milton master in a sitting room of a hotel.

The damage? It paints Thornton as a volatile man, which is very far from the man of great self-control and self-discipline that Gaskell takes pains to describe in the book. (I’ve written about Thornton’s ‘temper’ here)

But I understand the reasons the film needed something more drastic to make Margaret’s disdain for Thornton more understandable for the modern audience. Margaret’s Victorian prejudice against a workingman like Thornton is too subtle for film. And the setting of a quiet room is not very exciting. However, I cringe at the violence we witness from Thornton. I’m convinced just grabbing Stephens and unceremoniously throwing him out of the mill would have been violent enough to shock Margaret’s sensibilities.

 

#2 Missing history of Margaret’s life in Helstone

In order to get the story rolling in Milton, the mini-series largely skips over the first 6 chapters of the book – chapters that let us get to know Margaret. Left on the cutting room floor is a significant part of what happened to our young heroine on a beautiful day in October when her entire world imploded.

On the very same day Henry proposes – the day that marks the end of her childhood as she had known it — her father drops the bombshell of his decision to leave his position and move to Milton, which shatters all the comfort and security Margaret clings to in her concept of home. The emotional anguish Margaret endures and the responsibility she shoulders during her remaining days in Helstone is only hinted at in the film.

And by the way, Mrs. Hale wasn’t happy in Helstone. Milton is just another reason to keep complaining – aided and abetted by the loyal Dixon.

 

#3 Henry and the Great Exhibition showdown

Although the lethal glares and verbal sparring between Henry and John at the Great Exhibition makes exquisite drama on film, such an exchange between the two suitors never took place in the book. The scene is a brilliant invention by the screenwriter, allowing the viewer to see the vivid contrast between Southern arrogance and sophistication and the Northern practical, earnest pride. Not only that, but the scene also works as a great device for showing us Margaret’s growing admiration for John and her new home — Milton. Throw in the historical setting of the Great Exhibition of 1851 — one of the England’s proudest moments, and this particular scene ranks as my favorite screenplay invention.

 

#4 Dinner party argument

The book has Margaret arguing with Thornton several times in the privacy of the Hales’ home. She isn’t so brazen as to chew out the host of an elegant dinner party in front of his own guests. But the public scorching does make good film drama, doesn’t it? Ann Latimer’s finishing school training would never have allowed her to do such an atrocious thing.

 

#5 Ann Latimer, the silent contender

And speaking of Ann…. There is no Ann Latimer in Gaskell’s book. Maybe this is why she doesn’t speak a word in the film. The mute but comely Ann serves her purpose well. She’s living proof that Hannah isn’t kidding when she boasts that her son is the catch of the town. Whenever Ann appears, we see Margaret’s uncomfortable reaction.

And the viewer is also expected to notice that John has no real interest Ann Latimer, even though she is finishing-school-perfect and mother-approved.

 

#6 Hannah in the mill

Nowhere does the book ever mention Hannah going to the mill. She wasn’t a dragon overseer of the business at all. It wasn’t her place to be physically involved in such work, although we know she was avidly interested in her son’s business and dealings.

Margaret never steps foot in the mill either. As a matter of fact, there aren’t really any scenes in the book that take place in the clanking, noisy cotton factory.

Adding mill scenes was essential in the film adaptation. The viewer absolutely needed to see the vivid reality of the world John lived in day in and day out. The moment Margaret slides that door open to enter his realm is unforgettable filmmaking magic.

 

#7 The sly and sprightly Mr Bell

You’ll be relieved to know that Mr. Bell doesn’t suggest matrimony to Margaret in the book. He does mention, however, that he would love to have Margaret as his caretaker or his charge. Mr. Bell’s character is used much the same in the book as in the film, he is perceptive of both Margaret’s value as a unique and strong woman and the mutual “something” going on between John and Margaret.

Unfortunately, the wealthy godfather doesn’t sail off to sunny Argentina in the book. He dies. Of gout. Yes, he’s described as portly in the book. But portly or lithe, I love Mr. Bell for his wit, his keen eye, and his appreciation for Margaret and Thornton.

 

#8 The bond between Mr Hale and Thornton

The relationship between John and the man who should have been his father-in-law is especially endearing as described in the book. The film only hints at this special friendship that developed between teacher and pupil. We don’t see anything of how John is a rock of spiritual strength to Mr. Hale in his grief after Mrs. Hale dies. (Margaret notices this gentle and profound side of Mr. Thornton’s character.) I miss this deeper aspect of the relationship between the two most important men in Margaret’s life.

 

#9 Bessy and religion

Gaskell was a compassionate Unitarian, married to a Unitarian minister. She put Christian morality into all her books. Bessy speaks a lot about God and looks forward to a happier afterlife. Margaret reads from the Bible to Bessy. Mr. Hale and Higgins talk of God in their exchange. Margaret is a devout follower of the Church of England who worries about her father’s breach with the church, and her brother’s marriage to a Catholic. The Thorntons do not attend the Church of England.

The harmonizing undertones of bringing characters of varying Christian faith together is mostly lost in the film. Glossing over the religious stuff is probably the modern way, but we lose something of the Victorian reality in skipping it.

 

#10 The train station ending

The ending of the BBC’s North and South is legendary. And rightfully so. If there were a hall of fame for screen kisses, then Richard Armitage would be venerated there for decades. I don’t think there’s anything to beat The Kiss. It’s pure romantic heaven to watch the tension and misunderstandings of 4 episodes melt into the blissful, tender connection on that station bench.

But, as most people know, Margaret and John don’t meet at the train station in the book, and they certainly don’t seal their final understanding of each other’s feelings by a kiss in public – scandalous behavior! Gaskell’s ending has Thornton come to London, and the final pages place the lovers in a back drawing room – without Henry’s disapproving eyes on them!

Yes, the film ending is breath-taking and brilliant. The range of emotions shown in a matter of moments, the symbolism of finding each other at a half-way point, the open-collar of a man usually tied and bound by his routine, the drama of making a final choice at the sound of the whistle – it all makes the scene exquisite and rich with meaning. And I haven’t even taken into account the acting! I could never condemn the ending, it’s a gift to the world of romantic period drama. It’s a vision etched in the mind and hearts of those fortunate enough to have watched it.

Yet, I love the book ending, too. Line by line, it’s packed with more trembling passion than the film’s final scene. And then there is Thornton on his knees, a silent body-to-body embrace, a brief mutual apology, and some sweet playfulness that leads to a private kiss of unspecified duration. Sigh.

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***Author bio***

1446433210076Trudy Brasure is the author of A Heart for Milton, one of the most well-loved continuation stories based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s work. She is known throughout the worldwide community of avid North and South fans for her knowledge of and insights on Gaskell’s story and characters. She has spent the past six years actively discussing and studying North and South and other Victorian literature.

As a hopeless romantic and an fervent enthusiast for humanity’s progress, she loves almost nothing more than to engage in discussion about North and South.

You can find out more about Trudy and her work at:

http://www.morethanthornton.com/

If you are curious about her books, you can find them at Amazon on the links below:

 

A Heart for Milton: A Tale from North and South

In Consequence: A Retelling of North and South


 

And if you still do not own a copy of the BBC adaptation, you can always find it here:

North and South (BBC)

 

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Accusing Elizabeth

accusingelizabeth15 stars

Jennifer Joy is one of those authors whose releases I’ve come to eagerly expect.

After reading Col. Fitzwilliam’s Challenge I heard she was working on a new Darcy and Elizabeth book, and I immediately started wondering what it would be about. The outcome is Accusing Elizabeth.

What if something prevented Mr. Darcy from leaving Kent after the proposal? And what if that reason jeopardised Elizabeth’s future? What would Mr. Darcy do? Which would be the consequences? And would these new circumstances change Elizabeth’s heart?

Accusing Elizabeth caught my attention in the first pages. It started with the Hunsford proposal, and that is my favourite time and place for a JAFF book to begin. For me, Darcy’s love for Elizabeth only became truly transcendental after the refusal. It was after her rejection that he truly got to know her, to fully comprehend she was a person with values, who would marry only for the deepest of love and never for monetary reasons. It was also at that moment, that I believe Elizabeth realized she was not indifferent to Mr. Darcy. That being said, this was the perfect beginning for me, but it didn’t stop there.

Jennifer Joy has a unique writing style that has always captivated me, and this book is no exception. Her writing is funny and simple yet profound. Her books are always easy to read and provide us a pleasure that demands we continue reading until the last pages.

In Accusing Elizabeth, Jennifer Joy was the master of cliff-hangers. Every time I thought I would read only one more chapter before going to bed, she would finish it with a memorable cliff-hanger and, obviously, I had to continue reading. This, along with her simple writing style, kept me reading this book almost non-stop.

Apart from that, she has become an expert in creating some mystery in her books spiced with humorous scenes or sentences and honeyed with romance. The scene with the pig is one I will never forget. The humour combined with an intimate look between Darcy and Elizabeth were masterfully delivered.

But Jennifer did not bring humour to Accusing Elizabeth only by creating funny scenes, she also includes these humorous notes across the book with sentences such as:

“the nature of my business with her (Lady Catherine) is so delicate as to require that she be in a good humour”. Consumed with frustration, Darcy grumbled, “If that is what you seek, we shall have to remain here indefinitely”.

These witty comments delighted me throughout the book, as well as seeing Elizabeth’s trust, confidence and love for Darcy grow along the story.

Lady Catherine was also a surprise. She was hateful as always, but I did like to see her defend her nephew. After all, family comes first. And Mr. Collins, well, he was ridiculous as always but his final actions towards the end were a happy surprise, namely, his participation in Darcy’s wedding gift to Elizabeth. That was an outcome I had never seen before in a JAFF book, and I loved the idea!!!

I also enjoyed the other couple we see in the book 🙂 I always like seeing them together, and thought they were also a very romantic pair. Maybe Jennifer will present us with their POV of this story someday 😉

As I said before, Accusing Elizabeth has mystery, humour and romance. What else can we expect from a JAFF book? I loved reading it and I hope my readers will enjoy it as much as I did.

Accusing Elizabeth is available at:

Amazon.com –  Accusing Elizabeth

Amazon.co.uk – Accusing Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

Amazon.fr – Accusing Elizabeth: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (English Edition)

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It’s giveaway time!!!

Jennifer Joy was kind enough to bring to From Pemberley to Milton four e-book copies of Accusing Elizabeth to offer to our readers across the globe.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is place your own questions to Jennifer or just share your kind words and love with her. Leave a question or comment on this post, and if you want to double your chances of winning, you can also comment on the guest post that From Pemberley to Milton posted on the 21th of January.

The giveaway is open until the 31st of January and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced on the 1st of February.

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Filed under 5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Then Comes Winter signed paperback giveaway

ThenComesWinterRoadTrip

Last December From Pemberley to Milton was lucky to participate in “Then Comes Winter” blog tour with a review of the anthology, but the book had started an incredible journey way before that.

This past November, “Then Comes Winter,” a collection of winter themed short stories, embarked on a trip to visit the hometowns of the talented authors who contributed to its making. Along the way through three countries, the traveling copy of Then Comes Winter has been collecting autographs and souvenirs and visiting special places in each region.

The book’s final stop is yet undetermined. Its wanderlust will end once a winner is chosen on February 14, 2016 through this rafflecopter drawing which will determine the lucky winner whose bookshelf will house the only paperback of the anthology signed by all the authors and the editor. Be a part of this unique journey and enter to be that final destination.

Are you the one lucky reader to win the “Then Comes Winter” paperback that is traveling the world to be signed by all twelve authors? Enter today to be the final stop on it’s road trip. In the meantime, enjoy some of the photos from the roadtrip thus far. And follow along on it’s final stops through the US. http://merytonpress.com/a-then-comes-winter-road-trip/

Posts under progress2

Can you guess where the pictures were taken? Care to try?

This giveaway is open worldwide. Click on the below link to participate and be entitled to win a unique copy of Then Comes Winter 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Accusing Elizabeth: Cover reveal, excerpt & Giveaway

Hello Dear readers,

I’m very happy to announce that today From Pemberley to Milton is doing the cover reveal and posting the first glimpse of Jennifer Joy’s new book Accusing Elizabeth!

The book will be released for sale tomorrow, and I’m very proud to have been the one Jennifer choose to let the world know about her latest project.

I hope you find the premise enticing as much as I did 🙂

 

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What must a lady do to receive a decent proposal? After refusing an atrocious proposal from a gentleman she dislikes, Elizabeth Bennet wishes she had never come to Hunsford. Foolish decisions and silent tongues conspire against Elizabeth, bringing accusations against her and those whom she holds dear, when a valuable pair of diamond earrings go missing from Rosings. Elizabeth finds a surprising ally in Mr. Darcy— the man she had so recently refused. Can Elizabeth see past her prejudice to understand her own heart? Or will she ruin her prospects to protect her friends? Fitzwilliam Darcy’s dream of a happy union is dashed to pieces when Elizabeth Bennet irrevocably refuses his offer. Sincere in his affections, he determines to win her heart. If only he can defend her when his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, suspects Elizabeth and Miss Maria Lucas of theft. Can Darcy overcome the obstacles his relatives place before him on the path to love? Will Elizabeth give him a second chance?

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Now without further ado, I leave you with the cover and the excerpt…

accusingelizabeth1

 

As Charlotte left the house accompanied by the housemaid, Elizabeth marched to the back of the house and down the sloping lawn to the pig’s pen. Elizabeth had not experienced the flight of said animal, but she knew that Charlotte lived in terror of it escaping again. Every commotion Mr. Collins caused was followed by the question, “Did the pig escape again?” from Charlotte.

Walking quickly, before her sense of reason could catch up with her and stop her, Elizabeth raised the latch which secured the door to the pen. She flung open the gate and clapped a few times to set the animal in motion. It needed no further encouragement.

Squealing with the joy of its newfound freedom, the pig ran as fast as its four pink legs could carry it, its ears bouncing and its tail swishing through the air as it cut through the lawn with Elizabeth chasing after it, trying with all her might to keep up so that she might encourage it to go toward the front of the house where Charlotte could hear it.

“Charlotte! The pig is loose!” she yelled.

Charlotte, who had not walked far down the road, shoved the basket into Betsy’s hands, picked up her skirts, and ran toward the house. The look of determination on her face was a fierce thing to behold.

“You block it from that side, Lizzy. I will make sure it does not come through the gate. Maria!” she yelled.

The girl, not understanding what all the fuss was about, but observing it tranquilly through the front window, came outside.

Charlotte made no explanations, but she gave orders rather well. “See that the pig does not get into our garden.”

Maria ran to the opposite side of the house to stand guard, but Elizabeth knew that the pig must already be there. Its squeals of protest at Maria’s attempts to shoo it out of the garden confirmed its location.

Charlotte threw her hands up by her face. “Oh, no! It will uproot and eat everything. Lizzy, I need your help,” she called from over her shoulder as she ran toward the garden.

Elizabeth did not remember the last time she had run so much. Not since she was a child.

Maria was in some sort of deadlock with the offending animal. It stood with a carrot hanging out of its mouth, chomping at the greens contentedly and daring anyone to draw near.

“Maria, you get at him from the far side. I’ll go from this side. Lizzy, make sure he cannot escape through the front,” Charlotte instructed as she closed in.

Betsy, having freed herself of the basket, joined them.

With a wicked glint in its eye, the pig finished chomping on its carrot, then charged at Elizabeth. Widening her stance so she could grab the animal as it passed, it ran straight between her legs, catching her dress and pulling her down backwards. Charlotte and Betsy were quick to run to her, but the pig masterfully untangled himself from her dress, stepped over her, and continued squealing toward the open fence.

“I suppose I deserved that,” said Elizabeth to herself as she tried to get back on her feet. Thankfully, the pig was small and it had not hurt much when he stepped all over her in his haste.

Dashing across the lawn to the front of the house, they watched as the pig headed toward the open gate.

“Do not let it get out!” cried Charlotte.

Elizabeth ran with the women after the pig, wiping her loose hair out of her face.

“It must not cross into Rosings. Mr. Collins would be mortified,” insisted Charlotte.

Chasing the tireless, pink beast down the Hunsford Road, Elizabeth’s lungs burned for breath. After all this effort, Maria had best confess to Charlotte!

Down the road, two gentlemen on horseback appeared. Elizabeth gritted her teeth at the sight of Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy. It embarrassed her for them to see her in such a state. A great deal of her hair was loose, and her dress was covered in dirt and muddy hoof prints. But it had all been of her own doing, and she must see Charlotte’s pig safely back to its pen.

Charging through her shame as she continued in the chase, she kept her focus on the pig, waiting for her opportunity to pounce. One quick look over her shoulder confirmed that she was on her own. Maria and Betsy lagged behind her. Charlotte had slowed to a walk, having grown tired.

As the runaway animal neared the horsemen, Mr. Darcy handed his reins to Colonel Fitzwilliam and dismounted. Elizabeth had expected him to observe piously from the comfort of his seat. When he rushed the pig, turning it back to trot toward her, she could not have been more surprised.

Unfortunately, the pig must have figured that its odds were better against one man than against four resolute women, who now stood closer together. It promptly turned back to Mr. Darcy, picking up his pace.

Elizabeth, her limbs as tired as her spirits, yelled, “Please do not let the little devil past.”

Mr. Darcy took her seriously. He leaned down to grab the pig as it neared, but the pig had anticipated his move. Veering to the side just outside of Mr. Darcy’s reach, he squealed in delight at what he thought was another victory in his escape. What the pig did not count on, nor anybody else, for that matter, was for Mr. Darcy to pivot in place and pounce on top of it. He circled his arms around the squirming animal.

Colonel Fitzwilliam had his hands full with the nervous horses that did not much like a small pig darting about near their feet. He laughed so loudly, it echoed down the lane.

Without losing his hold, Mr. Darcy’s eyes shot up to glare at his audacious cousin. “Stop your cackling and make yourself useful.”

Seeing that the colonel would not be of much help with two skittish horses in his care, Elizabeth knelt down next to Mr. Darcy so that she could hold the pig’s feet and allow the gentleman to stand.

“Thank you,” he said, a scowl on his face.

Wrapping his arms around the pig’s middle, he asked, “Where does this thing belong, Mrs. Collins?”

Rushing forward, Charlotte said, “Oh, no. Please, Mr. Darcy, we will make sure it gets back into its pen. You need not trouble yourself.”

Elizabeth shook her head at her overly polite friend.

Mr. Darcy, scowl still in place, said, “Nonsense. If I loosen my hold, this ingrate will only escape again.”

“Very well,” said Charlotte as she led the way back to the pig’s pen.

They walked in silence back to the parsonage. Elizabeth did not remember running that great a distance, but the pig had covered a good deal of ground.

When the house was in view, Elizabeth chanced a glance at Mr. Darcy. She expected to see a trickle of sweat running down his brow, but there was nothing. Only a deep furrow.

As a giggle bubbled up through her throat, she wished she had not looked at him. It was ridiculous that such a fine gentleman who took himself much too seriously should be carrying a pig like it was a small child.

The pig’s ears flopped with each step, and it looked like it was having a jolly time in Mr. Darcy’s arms. It even looked like it was smiling.

That was all Elizabeth could bear. No longer able to stifle her laughter, she looked at Colonel Fitzwilliam, whom she knew she could rely on for understanding, and laughed with such delight that her stomach soon hurt.

She avoided looking at Mr. Darcy again, lest the sight renew her laughter and upset the gentleman more than she already had. But the pig joined in with its grunts and snorts, and Elizabeth peeked up through her lashes to see Mr. Darcy in the height of a large grin.

The sight almost stifled her laughter. It certainly was not what she had expected to see. Mr. Darcy’s eyes lit up and his lips curled up in the corners so bewitchingly that she had difficulty looking away from. Disarmed by his smile, she focused on the happy pig bobbing up and down in his arms.

 

 

*** Author Bio ***

authorwebWhen Jennifer isn’t busy dreaming up new adventures for her favourite Austen characters, she is teaching English, reading, perfecting her doughnut recipe, or taking her kids to the park.

Her wish is to continue to write sweet romances with happy endings for years to come.

She currently lives in Ecuador with her husband and twins. All of them are fluent in Spanglish.

Right now, Jennifer is imagining a new way to bring our beloved Darcy and Lizzy together so that they can enjoy another Happily-Ever-After.

 

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It’s giveaway time!!!

Jennifer Joy was kind enough to bring to From Pemberley to Milton four e-book copies of Accusing Elizabeth to offer to our readers across the globe.

The giveaway is international and to participate all you have to do is place your own questions to Jennifer or just share your kind words and love with her. Leave a question or comment on this post, and if you want to double your chances of winning, you can also comment on the review for Accusing Elizabeth that From Pemberley to Milton will post on the 25th of January.

The giveaway is open until the 31st of January and the lucky winners will be randomly picked and announced on the 1st of February.

Good luck everyone, and I hope you enjoyed the excerpt!!! It makes us wonder why Elizabeth is doing such a thing doesn’t it? What about the cover? It is my favourite cover from Jennifer Joy’s books so far 🙂

If you’re curious about the book feel free to place your questions to Jennifer, I’m sure she will love to answer anything you would like to know 🙂

 

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The Storm

the storm2 stars

As a Janeite purist, I confess I didn’t like when in the first chapter Mr. Darcy says he doesn’t care about propriety. However, I continued reading the book because the premise was interesting and I enjoyed some of the initial scenes. Unfortunately, after reading the book, I cannot say I enjoyed much of it. I will try to explain why, but to do that, I will have to do some spoilers.

I wish I didn’t have to give too much of the story away, but only by doing so I will be able to explain why I didn’t enjoy it. It may also allow my readers to form their own opinion, as some of the reasons why I did not like the book may not be an issue to other people. We all like different types of books, and I’m sure some readers may like The Storm, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

In this book, Mr. Darcy faces a head injury during a storm after the Hunsford proposal. As a consequence, Elizabeth is told he doesn’t remember her refusal, and is led to believe she has to pretend to be fiancée so that the shock doesn’t make him get worse.

I liked this premise, but I did not like the way the story continued. One of the reasons I didn’t enjoy this book was the liberties Elizabeth allowed Mr. Darcy. On the first 3 days that Elizabeth is still pretending to be Mr. Darcy’s fiancée, she allows him to kiss her, masturbate in front of her and sleep holding her tight. After that, the engagement is made public and she is forced to really become his fiancée.

I also did not like that the Jane/Bingley situation is almost forgotten during the book, and that it was only briefly mentioned that Mr. Darcy had told Bingley the truth. It felt as if the author suddenly remembered this was one of the reasons for Elizabeth’s refusal, and decided to close that chapter.

As for the characters, Elizabeth did not seem Elizabeth to me, and Mr. Darcy is self-centred, bossy, with bad moods all the time, and capable of anything just to get what he wants.

Despite everything I’ve mentioned, in my opinion, the ending was the worst part of the book. In the end we discover that Mr. Darcy has lied about not remembering the refusal the entire time just to get Elizabeth to marry him. He continued lying while they were married, and only admits the mischief when their child is about to be born.

I could not imagine Mr. Darcy having such a bad a character! The Mr. Darcy I know would never lie to Elizabeth for 2 years just because he wanted her to marry him. He would not have her based on a lie! For me it is just too disappointing! As it was reading she never really forgave him. This is not the happy ending I’m expecting in a JAFF book.

One last thing as to why I did not enjoy the book. Even though English is not my native language I could find several mistakes that distracted me from the story. For me this is usually not very relevant, but I imagine that it can be quite disturbing for those whose native language is English. The book may have been re-edited by now, so this might not be an issue anymore, but it was when I read it.

In my opinion the story is interesting, and the author created a good premise, but the development of the idea was not the best and I cannot say I liked the book.

The Storm is available at:

Amazon.com –  The Storm

Amazon.co.uk – The Storm

Amazon.fr – The Storm (English Edition)

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Filed under 2 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Unequal Affection

175932204 stars

I believe my feelings for Unequal Affection were very similar to Elizabeth’s feelings towards Mr. Darcy. At first I did not like it. But the more time I spent with it, the more it captivated me and I ended up loving it.

Unequal Affection explores the possibility of Elizabeth accepting Mr. Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford. The proposal itself is not written in the book, so we do not know how it was delivered, but we do see Elizabeth asking Darcy for some time to think about it.

This first part of the book was not very appealing for me because it was too logical. Elizabeth kept thinking about the reasons for accepting or refusing Darcy. It almost felt mathematical with her pondering the pros and cons. Also, despite all this, I can truly say I still do not know why she accepted him, or why he accepted to marry her knowing she did not love him and was doing it because of his income.

This is a premise that is not very appealing for me because even if I can understand that Elizabeth may accept Mr. Darcy thinking on the comfort and security of her family, I still find it hard to believe Mr. Darcy would have the same love and respect for Elizabeth, had she decided to marry him for his money and situation in life.

If you have the same opinion as me, you will only need to overcome this initial part of the book, because after all the thinking the book becomes really, really good and I think most readers would enjoy it immensely. If unlike me you do not find this premise demotivating, then you will certainly love the book.

Since the beginning of the book the dialogues got my attention because they are incredibly good! I would say they sounded just like Jane Austen’s, and they are certainly some of the best dialogues I’ve ever read in JAFF literature.

One of the things I loved the most in the book was the way Elizabeth handled Caroline Bingley. It was magnificent, and it was partly the responsibility of the dialogues. I believe this author was able to achieve in perfection what many others try to do; to present a witty Elizabeth who is able to defend herself from Miss Bingley with intelligence, class and no need to be blunt about subjects. Lara S. Ormiston was able to do this in a way that I believe Jane Austen herself would do.

It was also very interesting to see how Elizabeth was able to demonstrate to Darcy that his disdain for her neighbours was offending and affecting their feelings, how she showed him the value of each one of them despite their follies, and how they might feel keenly his disdain. This was done at a much later stage than in Pride and Prejudice, but in an equally wonderful manner.

I also enjoyed immensely how Wickham knew exactly how to hurt Darcy. I believe this was the wickedest Wickham I’ve seen in JAFF. In this book he doesn’t plan any kidnap or any maquiavelic action, but he is wicked in the way he purposely hurts Darcy. I liked this about him.

With all I’ve said, I’m sure you’ve already realised I was already in the middle of my love story with this book before I even realised it, and the last chapters were the cherry on top of the cake! They give us a description of Darcy and Elizabeth so true to themselves, a description of their love that is so accurate, and so intense and romantic, that I didn’t want the book to end.

I liked the last chapters so much, I do not resist to leave you with one of my favourite passages:

 

“He was not strange now, his mouth and arms were familiar; more, they were dear. They were …she pressed herself a little closer, hands curling around his collar…they were love and security; they were long talks and burning looks; they were faithfulness, and selflessness, honor and pobity. Everything that he had been to her, everything that he was, best of men, most difficult, most good, most intriguing and maddening and trustworthy and desirable of men”

Unequal Affection is available at:

Amazon.com – Unequal Affection

Amazon.co.uk – Unequal Affections: A Pride and Prejudice Retelling

Amazon.fr- Unequal Affections: A Pride and Prejudice Retelling

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Filed under 4 stars, Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen bringing people together

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I’ve mentioned several times before that due to Jane Austen Fan Fiction I’ve met a lot of wonderful people with whom I can discuss my favorite books.

But that is not all JAFF has done! Last year, JAFF also brought old friends together!

A long time ago (for me it seems a long time ago, even if it’s not), I went to colleague with a girl named Sónia. We immediately discovered we had similar hobbies and tastes and became friends. We were very close during that time of our lives; however, when colleague ended back in 2006 we went into separate ways. Sónia returned to her home-town in the south of the country, and I decided to remain in Lisbon. Going on separate ways, we never spoke or heard from each other again.

It wasn’t until a couple of months ago that I discovered Sónia on Goodreads and remembered how we both loved to read.

I started talking to her online about literature, and of course, made a whole speech about JAFF which was until that moment a mystery to her. She really liked the idea behind JAFF and started following my blog.

When I hosted Joana Starnes in FPTM with a guest post and giveaway for her latest book The Unthinkable Triangle, Sónia participated and won the giveaway. She had to send me her contacts so that I could pass them along to Mrs. Joana Starnes, and that was when we reconnected!

I discovered Sónia had returned to Lisbon, and thought we had to meet and talk about JAFF face to face! And so we did 🙂

In our meeting I discovered Sónia truly fell in love with The Unthinkable Triangle. She liked it so much that she decided to share her experience with all my readers and, I of course, was thrilled with the idea of having her do so.

I hope you like to read Sónia’s words 🙂

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“After I hit a lucky streak and won “The Unthinkable Triangle” by Joanna Starnes from the From Pemberley to Milton giveaway, I thought it best to re-read “Pride and Prejudice”, in preparation for my new book. The truth is this: I had never read Jane Austen Fan Fiction before, this was going to be my first!

And what a surprise it was! To get Darcy’s perspective, what he thought and felt, was wonderful. I think any woman, hopelessly romantic as I, is infatuated with the idea of unraveling the inner world and emotions hidden under the guise of composure and cold detachment of a man – especially a handsome one!

Without giving away much (you’ll have to read the book :p), the action is quite fluid and agreeable to read in pace. The inner conflict in Darcy; later Richard and lastly, Elisabeth – all very well build and presented and I could not avoid feeling empathetic toward all three. Of course it all ends well and that is all we all hope for.

I fell a little more in love with Jane Austen and I will certainly take up on reading some more JAFF from now on!

Thank you Rita and Joanna for this awesome gift!”

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Thank you Sónia for sharing your opinion of the book with all of us 🙂 I always like to know the opinion of my readers, and of course, a huge thank you to JAFF and Joana Starnes, for bringing us back together 🙂

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Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner

178227014.5 stars

I had never read a book like Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner and that alone is a reason for me to praise Mr. Caldwell’s writing.

In this story, a few days before the Netherfield ball, Mr. Darcy is out for a horse ride when he realises he is late for dinner at Longbourn, and rushes towards the house. At the same time, Elizabeth is outside the house with her cat Cassandra, and the small animal runs towards Mr. Darcy’s horse that gets scared and throws his rider to the floor.

As a consequence, Mr. Darcy breaks a leg and is forced to remain at Longbourn for a few weeks until it is safe to travel.

The book is a farce, and its tone is completely different from the romances I usually read. The writing style is humorous and refreshing, perfect for readers who want a light hearted book to enjoy themselves with.

The first chapters are hilarious! I found myself laughing out loud several times with this book, particularly regarding Mr. Darcy’s and Mrs. Bennet’s behaviors and statements. Mr. Collins really got to my nerves, but I loved the way Mr. Darcy put him in his place!

Usually I do not like books where we do not see a lot of interactions between Darcy and Elizabeth, and this book doesn’t have many, but I was already in the middle of the book when I noticed that! I think that means a lot 🙂

I always like to see Darcy and Elizabeth together but that is just not the tone of the book. I believe the author decided to go in a different direction, and use all characters from Pride and Prejudice to enrich Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner. For me, this made the book much more appealing.

It was different and exciting to see Lydia defending Mr. Darcy to Elizabeth. It is not very common to see that happen, or to have everyone at the Longbourn household loving Mr. Darcy! It was curious to see him reaching to all their hearts in different ways. After hearing Elizabeth’s opinion of him, Mr. Darcy did what she never bothered to do herself: he stopped for a moment, and actually paid attention to the Bennet sisters. This allowed him to see something in each one of them that was valuable, helped them develop that characteristic, and befriend them.

Georgiana’s presence was also very interesting as not only she was essential to bring about the best of each Bennet sister, but also because their lively manners allowed her to overcome her insecurities.

Col. Fitzwilliam’s choice of wife is definitely different, I never imagine that happen before this book, and cannot say I like it, but it was interesting. I actually saw that coming in the book, but I shall not give you any more tips 🙂

The epilogue also shows us another pair that is quite intriguing, but I won’t go into much details because I don’t want to spoil all the fun you can find in this book, and believe me, if you read it, you will find It, as this is probably the most funny and amusing P&P book I’ve ever read.

Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner is available at:

Amazon.com – Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner

Amazon.co.uk – Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner: a Pride & Prejudice farce

Amazon.fr – Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner (English Edition)

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New Year, New Books to read…

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Hello everyone,

And welcome to From Pemberley to Milton’s first 2016 post!

For the first post of the year, instead of the usual reviews, I thought it would be best to share with you some of my favourite books from 2015 and my plans for 2016. But don’t worry, I’ll never stop reviewing, and my next post will definitely be a review 🙂

2015 was a great year for me in terms of JAFF reading due to the diversification. Usually I prefer regency variations, and before this blog those would be the only JAFF books I would read, but the contact with other readers, writers and editors opened my eyes to many other types of JAFF books that I came love. I loved Longborn’s Songbird which occurs in the post WW II, I fell in love with Then Comes Winter which was my first Anthology, and I now look at novellas with another perspective.

So, it is nice to see that some books in my top 10 are not canon variations as they would certainly be in previous years 🙂 It’s hard to choose between so many good books I read last year, but if I had to choose, my top 10 would be:

 

The Unthinkable Triangle by Joana Starnes

Ardently by Caitlin Williams

The Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa Adams

Sketching Mr. Darcy by Lory Lilian

Earning Darcy’s Trust by Jennifer Joy

A Peculiar Connection by Jan Hahn

Then Comes Winter – Edited by Christina Boyd

The Secrets of Darcy and Elizabeth by Victoria Kincaid

Suddenly Mrs. Darcy by Jenetta James

A Will of Iron by Linda Beutler

 

Have you read any of them? Are they among your favorites as well?

I’m glad I started diversifying, but the downside of starting to read other types of books is that my TBR pile just doesn’t stop increasing. It is literally out of control!

I used to have a hard time finding good JAFF books to read but now, I hardly have the time to read all I want to and often disregard my TBR pile when something new and alluring comes along. I can honestly say I buy more books than I read 🙂

I though the best way to stay on track would be to publish my TBR list, or part of it anyway. This way, you dear reader, will be able to keep me on track every time I begin to astray.

That being said, this year I am really looking forward to read:

 

Remembrance of the Past by Lory Lilian

Pride Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Accusing Elizabeth by Jennifer Joy (to be released this month)

Sun Kissed: Effusions of Summer edited by Christina Boyd

Undeceived by Karen M. Cox (to be released in the beginning of the year)

No such thing as Luck: A North and South Variation by Nicole Clarkston

The Darcys of Pemberley by Shannon Winslow

And to re-read:

The Falmouth Connection by Joana Starnes

Mr. Darcy’s Promise by Jenna Elsworth

Haunting Mr. Darcy by Karalynne Mckrory

 

What about you? Do you have a TBR pile waiting for you? Any suggestions you would like to make?

Looking forward to hear from you 🙂

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