What if during her stay at Netherfield, Elizabeth heard Mr. Darcy praise her fines eyes and decided to change her attitude towards him hoping he would not interfere in Jane and Bingley’s relationship?
This premise doesn’t really tell us much about the book because that is just the start of a roller coster of changes that will occur in this Pride and Prejudice variation.
We will see a conniving and intelligent Mr. Wickham get his way in a very different approach that will get us confused in the beginning, and angry in the end as we realize he is indeed a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I know Mr. Wickham is always hateful, but in this book he has a strategy I had never seen before: he praises Mr. Darcy’s qualities and becomes a master of manipulation that not even Elizabeth’s wit uncovers.
I enjoyed the witty debates between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, I always like to see a fight of wits and that is what Rose Fairbanks gave us in this book, but their relationship was not the aspect I enjoyed the most in this book. The secondary characters were my favourite, which is good, because they will return in August with Rose Fairbank’s new book.
Caroline Bingley was a pleasant surprise as we have a change to see her beneath her cover, and we realise the snobbish woman we know is in fact a broken-hearted woman trying hard to adapt and to feel integrated in society. She reveals herself to be a kind person who is willing to help others achieve their HEA, and I hope she achieves her own with the most unexpected love interest.
Mary was another surprise. I never gave her much credit until I started seeing many interesting developments in JAFF, and this book has done it once more. Mary is much similar to Elizabeth than one might think, and I could see her gain her own space in this story. She didn’t turned out to be as important as I would imagine, but I enjoyed her character very much.
Apart from the minor characters I’ve mentioned, and others such as Arlington and Lady Belinda, one of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was reading about the mills, about the workers fight for a better life, self made man, and the changes in the northern society. The historic input in this book was clearly and added value, and even if circumstances are different, I could not stop thinking about the influence North and South might have had in the construction of this story, and that alone made me smile.
Sufficient Encouragement is available at:
I hope you have enjoyed the review of Sufficient Encouragement, and if it left you eager to read more about this story, I have good news 🙂 Today I’m not just posting the review, I’m also receiving Rose Fairbanks as a guest to talk about Elizabeth’s growing feelings for Mr. Darcy.
Without further ado, I will let you enjoy it 🙂
*** Guest Post***
Now, don’t be alarmed, the Mr. Darcy of Sufficient Encouragement still has Pemberley and all his wealth from Austen’s original. In fact, he is a silent financial partner in several mills in the North owned by Bingley and also owns several colleries. But we never see Pemberley. Or even his London house. So, it has no bearing at all on what changes Elizabeth’s opinion of him.
Instead, Elizabeth slowly sees the gentler side of Darcy over a course of a few weeks instead of two days. Early in the story, Darcy asks Elizabeth to correspond with Georgiana. Instead of staying in London, Darcy and Bingley soon return to Netherfield. Georgiana accompanies them, as well as Darcy’s cousin, Lord Arlington. Elizabeth can soon see that Darcy is a beloved brother and cousin, as well as a steadfast friend to Bingley.
One morning, they unexpectedly meet in the woods. But it is not a romantic rendevous. Separately, they stumble across a pair of tenant boys that need their help. One fell and hurt his leg and sent his brother to get help, who then got lost. Darcy and Lizzy are the perfect team reacting quickly to the crisis. When all is settled, and both boys are safe at home, a beautiful scene does unfold between Darcy and Lizzy…but she’s already more than half in love with him by then.
So what is it that makes Lizzy love Darcy?
In Austen’s original, she claims to never want to see him again then is forced to go to Pemberley. While there she hears of how excellent of a master, landlord, and brother he is. Then, moments later she runs into him, and he treats her aunt and uncle with great civility. He calls the next day with his sister, proving his manners can be good on more than just one occasion. Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner return the call the next day, and Elizabeth briefly gets to speak with Darcy, but not privately. Who knows what might have developed after that, for the next day Elizabeth gets a letter from Jane about Lydia’s elopement. At the very moment, Darcy arrives at the Inn. During their conversation, Elizabeth feels her loss. She certainly loves him by then.
But was it just the effect of two days? We all know she jokes with Jane and says it was after seeing Pemberley’s grounds, but that is clearly just a joke. I’ve heard critics say she loved him for his wealth. And I’ve heard many fans say that seeing Darcy at Pemberley in the role of master was critical. Since I’m leaving out Darcy’s earthly belongings in this story, it must be clear that I don’t think they had much sway over Elizabeth.
Instead, I think what affected Elizabeth the most, was seeing Darcy still cared for her.
“Such a change in a man of so much pride exciting not only astonishment but gratitude— for to love, ardent love, it must be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a sort to be encouraged, as by no means unpleasing, though it could not be exactly defined.”
I also think a theme important in the novel is the return of romantic feelings. I think after reading Darcy’s letter, and seeing that Darcy was not dishonorable, and therefore worthy of her hand, Elizabeth’s feelings began to change. She would not, however, call it love when she believed he no longer loved her, and she thought they would never meet again. Dear Charlotte had the right of it with this statement:
“We can all begin freely— a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.”
And such is the case in Sufficient Encouragement, as the story begins with Elizabeth overhearing Darcy admiring her eyes. Of course, it’s not all a bed of roses. She does not welcome his attentions at first and later doubts his feelings are sincere, leaving her to feel all the more hurt for amending her own feelings. Like her Pride and Prejudice counterpart, my Elizabeth realizes once she’s set on the path of loving Darcy, she can’t shake it even when she fears it’s unreturned. And like Austen’s Elizabeth, mine comes to a moment where she finds the necessary courage to declare her feelings to Darcy.
But Pemberley? She’s really only interested in it for the sake of “privacy” with her husband.
Thanks for having me, Rita! I would love to know what readers think about when Elizabeth began to fall in love with Darcy. What was it that pushed her over the edge?
Rose Fairbanks hears book characters talk in her head. They whisper to her of a time when the sun never set on the British Empire. More than having a love story for the ages, these characters face struggles inspired by historical events such as market crashes, Napoleon, embargoes, Luddites, the Year Without a Summer and more. Merging historical research with the timelessness of Jane Austen, Rose currently has ten Pride and Prejudice variations published with several releases planned for 2016 as well as an original Regency Romance series in the works.
Rose proudly admits her Darcy obsession and addictions to reading, chocolate, and sweet tea. Always in the mood for a healthy debate, she also dearly loves to laugh. Having completed a BA in history in 2008, she plans to complete her master’s studies…someday. At the moment, having a career combining her life-long interest in history and research with her love for Jane Austen and the Regency Era consumes all of her professional time. When not writing or reading, Rose runs after her two young children, ignores housework, and profusely thanks her husband for doing all the dishes and laundry.
***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