Two different eras. Two different stories. One common secret.
The Elizabeth Papers is a unique book that presents something I had never seen in any JAFF novel before: it combines 2 different genres, sequel and modernization, in a perfect symbiotic storyline.
The book starts with a letter from Mr. Darcy stating that he wishes for a trust to be created with the purpose of supporting his female descendants through the decades. Shortly after that, the book “jumps” to 2014 with one of the beneficiaries of the trust hiring a private detective to prove that Victoria Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s last daughter, was in fact an illegitimate child fathered by someone else, with the purpose of excluding all her descendants from the trust.
From this moment on, each chapter focuses on one era, and when we get to the end of it, we do not want to change the era, we want to continue reading and see what happens next, but then, the following chapter will cause the same sensation at the same time that it will provide us with more clues and answers to the mystery of Victoria Darcy’s birth.
Then we start to want the eras to change as we know that the details that will be revealed in one era will be important to the development of the story in the other, and this is when we realize what an incredible work of art this book is, and how two different stories can be so perfectly interlaced that they become one single story prolonged through the years. We come to the conclusion that there is only one story, and that is the story of the Darcy family.
The 19th century based chapters are voiced through Elizabeth’s diary entries which were written in the first person, creating a great proximity and intensity to the scenes, and reminding us of the unique writing style Jenneta James presented us with on Suddenly Mrs. Darcy, while the 2014 storyline is written in the third person adapting the chapters to the modern era and giving it a more modern and relaxed speech. This is done as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and I have to praise Jenneta James’s ability to write such a book.
The suspense associated to Victoria Darcy’s birth is present in the majority of the book, and while our hearts want Mr. Darcy to be the father and our minds know Elizabeth would never betray him, some clues lead us to believe that there is no smoke without fire. I will say no more on this matter expect that the anxiety we feel throughout the book is rewarded with a feeling of justice and warmth in the end.
The book will relate 2 love stories, and I also enjoyed the balance the author created between the mature relationship that Darcy and Elizabeth have, with the instability of Evie and Charles’ relationship. I felt drawn to both in different ways, but above all, both felt realistic and not overly romanticized, which I truly appreciated. These relationships were presented with the joys of love, but also the insecurities and troubles it carries. I particularly liked to read Elizabeth’s perspective of her relationship with Mr. Darcy as it felt raw but real.
There were many details I enjoyed in this book, such as the parallelism between Charles’ cousin disclosure and Col. Fitzwilliam’s in P&P but I will not mention them all to avoid filling you with an interminable list. I will only say this is an incredibly good book with literary quality that I highly recommend.
You can find The Elizabeth Papers at:
Amazon.com – The Elizabeth Papers
Amazon.co.uk – The Elizabeth Papers
Curious about the book? Haven’t read the blurb yet? Here it is :
“It is settled between us already, that we are to be the happiest couple in the world.” —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?
Don’t miss the guest posts, reviews and giveaways wth the Blog Tour:
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 Reads
6/13: Excerpt & Giveaway at Best Sellers and Best Stellars