Review of Letter From Ramsgate

img_08784.5 stars

Hello everyone,

An year ago I read a passage of Letter From Ramsgate that really caught my attention and  I’ve been eager to read it ever since, so I was very happy when the book came out this week and even more happy to discover this is just the type of angsty book I like 🙂

This story starts before the events in Pride and Prejudice take place but will afterwards follow the canon story with some curious deviations that will bring a smile to our lips. Elizabeth Bennet is invited by her aunt Mrs. Gardiner and Lady Edwina (a new character introduced in this book) to visit Ramsgate where she will meet Georgiana, Mrs. Younge and Mr. Wickham. Of course that Elizabeth’s presence in this town and the friendship she develops with Georgiana will have a big impact in the story, so we will be guided through a novel with more pride and less prejudice…Well, at least that’s what you’ll think in the beginning.

As I said, after the Ramsgate incident the story will follow canon, but Elizabeth will no longer be biased by Wickham’s stories or Darcy’s insult, in fact, she will hold Georgiana’s brother in the highest regard, so luckily for me, we will have a besotted Elizabeth and a strong, proud Darcy through most of the book. I liked to see how Suzan Lauder played with the characters and our knowledge of P&P by reversing some situations that occur in Austen’s story, such as the proposal scene.

But what I enjoyed the most in the book was Mrs. Younge’s character, in fact, Letter From Ramsgate presented me with the best characterization of Mrs. Younge I have ever seen. This secondary character from Pride and Prejudice, if she can even be considered so, becomes an essential character in this book with a background that explains much of what she is, what she became and I dare say what she will be. Suzan Lauder explored this character to the maximum by making her as human as possible. When I read this book I realized Mrs. Younge could be any one of us. She is someone with as many virtues and flaws as the girl next door, and given a certain input she can either make a good or a bad decision.

Mrs. Younge was not described in this book as a malicious woman, but someone lonely struggling through live in search of love and security. I saw her as someone in need of guidance, which is ironic given the position she is hired for. I cannot say I loved the character as I would not like to be friends with someone like her, but the truth is, she is one of the most real and developed characters I’ve seen, and that was clearly one of the things I enjoyed the most about this book. Georgiana Darcy’s growth from an insecure girl to a mature young lady was also very interesting and unexpected for me, but Mrs. Younge is definitely the character of the book in my opinion.

Now, I’ve probably made it sound as if Mrs. Younge is a big part of the book, but rest assured my friends, she is not. She plays a big part in it, but the majority of the book is centered in Darcy and Elizabeth. Our couple will spend a lot of time together and the author starts by growing our appetite by giving us scenes of them in a playful manner. They even dance at the Meryton Assembly which is a promising beginning! In Letter From Ramsgate they share several companionable moments but then, the angst arrives 🙂 (and that’s when I started devouring the book, I’m such an angst addicted).

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth will go through turbulent times, and some of their dialogues will be hard and exciting at the same time, namely the one they have at the ball after the proposal, but in the end we will get the reward of seeing them together in the most unexpected and exotic scenario, so I believe this book will be appealing for those who love the romance between these characters, and also those who, like me, love the angst.

Want to know more about this book? You can find it on Amazon and read the blurb below:

 

***Book Blurb***

 

Sir, I am not known to you. I fear you may have concerns regarding some intelligence that recently came to me from your sister…

…a simple letter shatters illusions and turns the world upside down!

On holiday in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet befriends shy, romantic Georgiana Darcy, who shares an adoring description of an ideal elder brother. When Georgiana discloses a secret infatuation with her brother’s “close friend” Mr. Wickham, Elizabeth’s altered perception of both men affects her actions and alliances.

The secret within an anonymous letter from Ramsgate ties Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together but also separates them. A second missive unlocks the disguise, but Mr. Darcy realizes his true passions too late to assist Elizabeth in her darkest hour. Will the shocking disclosure of a forgotten letter transform his understanding of her heart and lead them to embrace their future?

Letter from Ramsgate is a Pride and Prejudice variation suitable for most audiences (youth and up).

***

Have I mentioned that Suzan was one of the first authors I got in contact with when I started my blog? I was really amazed at how nice and welcoming she was to someone like me who didn’t know much about this world. She even spoke a little Portuguese with me 🙂

If you want to know more about Suzan, let me share with you her bio and contacts:

 

***Author Bio***

 

A love for Jane Austen’s novels and Regency and Austenesque romance novels inspired Suzan Lauder to write her own variations, which led her to a passion for Regency era history and costuming, as well as social media book marketing. She cherishes the many friends she’s made as a result of these interests.

Suzan is a member of JASNA, VIRA, RWA (PAN and Beau Monde chapters), and is a registered professional engineer. She enjoys independent travel, design, Pilates, yoga, cycling, sustainability, upcycling, architecture, beta editing, and blogging. Most of the time, a Vancouver Island penthouse loft condominium with a view of the Salish Sea is home. For a few months each winter, Mr. Suze and their two rescue cats accompany her to their tiny Spanish colonial casita in Centro Historico of an industrial city in Mexico.

Letter from Ramsgate is Lauder’s second published novel and comes on the heels of her successful upcycled costuming blog series, the Thrift Shop Regency Costume Experiment. Her latest venture is blogging about her learning experiences while editing Letter from Ramsgate. Suzan’s first novel, Alias Thomas Bennet, is an Austen-inspired Regency romance with a mystery twist. She also contributed a short modern romance, Delivery Boy, to the holiday anthology Then Comes Winter. All Lauder’s published fiction is based on Pride and Prejudice and is available from Meryton Press.

meryton-press-for-november-2015Contact Info:

Website

Goodreads Author Page 

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Pinterest

 

 

If this is not enough to fulfill your curiosity, please follow the blog tour that has just started and read all the guest posts, excerpts and vignettes the author is sharing with her readers. And of Course, there is plenty of chances to enter the giveaways 🙂

 

***Blog Tour Schedule***

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10/17   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; My Jane Austen Book Club

10/18   Excerpt, GA; Margie’s Must Reads

10/19   Vignette, GA; Just Jane 1813

10/20   Review; From Pemberley to Milton

10/21   Vignette, GA; Babblings of a Bookworm

10/22   Excerpt, GA; Liz’s Reading Life

10/23   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; From Pemberley to Milton

10/24   Review; Tomorrow is Another Day

10/25   Guest Post, Excerpt, GA; So little time…

10/26   Vignette, GA; Austenesque Reviews

10/27   Review, Excerpt; Half Agony, Half Hope

10/28   Review; Diary of an Eccentric

10/29   Guest Post; A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life

10/30   Guest Post or Vignette, GA; More Agreeably Engaged

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30 Comments

Filed under 4.5 stars, Pride and Prejudice

30 responses to “Review of Letter From Ramsgate

  1. Sheila Majczan

    I started reading this last night. I had read it a while back while it was posted as a WIP. I loved it then and wanted to read the final product.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is a very intense book isn’t it Sheila? It’s got one of those strong and pround Mr. Darcy’s that brings forward lots of emotions in me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      Though not necessarily what you may want to put on a formal review, Sheila, I’d love to know your impressions on the differences from the posted version. I think Gail Warner helped the story a lot! Thanks so much for your positive comments and enjoy the book!

      Like

  2. Good luck with it, Suzan! My TBR pile keeps growing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for such an interesting review, it sounds a fascinating book Rita. I don’t think I’ve come across a variation before where Mrs Younge plays anything other than her normal relatively minor (but still significant) role. Like you, I’m rather an angst addict myself, being a founder member of the Let’s Torture Darcy club. I blame it all on Joana Starnes, of course! But as long as we get our HEA, then that’s OK by me.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been a member of that club for a long time too Anji! And yes, I blame Joana Starnes for it, but I’ve been also a strong advocate of the let’s torture Elizabeth club as well! I often feel authors are too good for her, and she should suffer as much or even more than Darcy! Suzan Lauder was very kind to me because she gave that :)) In this one Elizabeth has her fair share of suffering, which I love!

      Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      Anji, I’m so with you on the Joana Starnes angst lovers’ fan club! She’s a star for getting that balance right, as I love angst but can tolerate only so much. This novel has its share of conflict, though it also has its share of sweet romance, and yes, you get the HEA. Thanks for the fantastic comment!

      Like

      • KateB

        I agree ladies. Elizabeth should have her fair share of grief for her behavior. But the balance of angst and and FLUFF is very important, as you said Suzan. If only angst is present, a reader starts feeling like he is the third tortured person in the story. 😉

        Like

  4. Sophia Rose

    I want to read your book thoughts, but I’ll have to come back for them, Rita. I’ve got this one for review, too. I see you rated it highly so I’m eager to give it a go. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynn Bischoff

    This was one story I couldn’t put down until I finished it. It was a very late night. I loved it and added it to my favourite file.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Majczan

      I was up until 1 AM and still didn’t finish it . After checking and commenting on blogs I am back to reading it. And I had read it as a WIP so you would think it would not grip me so tightly but it still is doing so.

      Liked by 1 person

      • suzanlauder

        Wow, Sheila, that’s great. Sometimes I enjoy a book just as well every time I read it. There are a few that spring to mind immediately. We’re so lucky to have great books to read! Thanks!

        Like

    • suzanlauder

      I’m terribly flattered, Lynn. Thanks so much!

      Like

  6. Lovely review, Rita! This is a story with quite a few interesting twists. I also enjoyed the verbal exchanges between Darcy and Elizabeth and the way that Mrs. Younge was sketched for us as a character with more depth and surprisingly, more compassion.

    The angst was also well done, Suzan. I think you struck a good balance in this story.

    Well done, ladies, and congratulations on the new release, Suzan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      Aw, Claudine, that’s so sweet. Thanks so much. I agree, Rita did a great job on the review, capturing elements that I’d tried to make important.

      Like

  7. Yay! I remember cheering you on as you wrote this and I’m immensely proud to have had the little role I did in helping you get your lovely story out for everyone to read (even if it was a bit difficult for this angst weenie at times!) I love seeing LfR and you get all the recognition you deserve! Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      Thanks, hon. You and I are a great team, and it goes both ways. Your role was bigger than it seemed to you, as we learn so much from each other. Hugs back at you!

      Like

  8. A lovely review for a lovely book! It was a joy to work with Suzan on this – she’s created a well-written wonderful story and I do love the angst!

    Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      The angst wouldn’t be nearly so good if readers were so bored that they didn’t get to it, and it’s because of you, Gail, that the beginning of the book is more reader-friendly. Thanks so much for being such an amazing editor, and so capable in every aspect of that role! Smooches!

      Like

  9. I’m reading it right now and am enjoying it so far! Glad to see you really liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      I know you really enjoyed my first novel, Anna. If you like this near as much as Alias Thomas Bennet, I’ll be happy. Thanks for dropping by Rita’s blog.

      Like

  10. suzanlauder

    Rita, as you mentioned, you’ve been a supporter of this story since that blog post (I retweeted it yesterday so others can see what you’re referring to). I was nervous about your opinion because I didn’t want to disappoint you, and thank goodness, that was not the case. I love your blog and you are such a kind and generous person to those in the JAFF world. I appreciate how you made my book important and are a key part of my blog tour. Muito obrigada.

    Like

  11. Mary

    This sounds like a really interesting book,a different perspective on Mrs Younge,more angst for ODC,a romantic and caring Darcy,delightful shared conversations and so much more!!
    Am looking forward to reading this,as Suzan is a new author for me.
    Great review,Rita!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dung

    Lovely review. I love a bit of angst in my stories!

    Congrats on your new release. Looking forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • suzanlauder

      This book does deliver on angst, Dung. It’s six chapters long, sandwiched between the romance. Rita calls it “turbulent times,” a perfect wording for those chapters. Another reviewer said she wanted to slap Darcy upside the head! Thanks so much for coming by to comment. I hope you enjoy the book.

      Like

  13. such a beautiful cover for the book

    Like

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