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:
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:
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.
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***
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