What’s Past is Prologue Review & Giveaway

Having read so many wonderful reviews of Side By Side Apart I was very expectant about Ann Galvia’s second book, What’s Past is Prologue. In this sequel Galvia approaches Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship in a very realistic manner by bringing into the narrative topics that are not always present in this type of literature, but which could also be a little controversial, and not to everyone’s tastes, due to the detail with which they are explored.

It wasn’t easy for me to get into the story in the initial chapters, and I believe it will be beneficial for readers to either read the blurb or reviews explaining the premise before starting to read this book. In What’s Past is Prologue it is Jane who goes on the trip to Derbyshire where she meets Darcy and reunites with Bingley. While there, she receives a letter from Elizabeth telling her about Lydia’s elopement and Darcy still saves her, but when Mr. Bennet discovers his involvement he goes to London to ask for explanations, and Darcy confesses he has intervened only because of Elizabeth. Due to this confession, he feels obliged to propose and Elizabeth feels obliged to accept. Of course she knows Darcy loves her still, but she accepts mainly because of gratitude and is not yet in love with him. We don’t see any of these events taking place because the book starts right after their marriage when they travel to Kent to help Lady Catherine with estate matters, so it’s important to know this before reading the book in order to get some context when the narrative begins.

The story starts at Rosings where the couple is accompanied by Kitty and Georgiana. Elizabeth is still adapting to her married life, struggling with her own insecurities, feelings and society’s expectations as well as Lady Catherine’s disrespect and Anne de Bourgh’s cold manner. Surprisingly we don’t see Darcy come to the rescue of his wife as I would have expect and he has little intervention in the treatment his wife is receiving from his family.

The story is told from Elizabeth’s point of view and her misapprehensions and insecurities made the narrative dispassionate, cold and dry in my opinion. There is a lot of focus in physical aspects, though not in a sexual way, and not much in the love that Darcy may feel for her. He is seen as an insatiable man and this could have been interesting if we could see it as a demonstration of love, instead we see Elizabeth looking at this as an obligation to provide an heir to Pemberley. We know that Darcy loves her, and she even welcomes his caresses, but it is always too mechanical for my taste.

Readers who like a lot of Darcy and Elizabeth time will be happy to know that there are a lot of scenes between them and several long dialogues. This is something I always like to see on a book, but I confess that their dialogues felt too cold and distant, and I only started to feel a true connection between them towards the end of the book.

I enjoyed the characterisation of Sir Lewis the Bourgh and his opinions on the education of women, this along with the literary mentions were a good addition to the narrative and kept my interest every time it was brough up.  Lord Wortley’s second son, Thomas Fitzwilliam, was also an addition I enjoyed in this book. It is hard to read him at first, but I ended up liking the character and would even like to see more of him in this story.

My main quibble with this book was the lack of passion and story developments in the sense that I kept expecting something to happen, but never did. I thought that some character behaviours would lead to some interesting revelations or for something to be uncovered, but that never happened. This book was not intended to be an action driven book, I believe Galvia’s main interest was to have a character driven novel, but I didn’t feel any connection to either Elizabeth or Darcy and for that reason some action would have helped me to keep invested in the book.

I believe What’s Past is Prologue is a book that may appeal to readers interested in feminist stories not only because of Sir Lewis de Bourgh’s views of women’s education and role in society, but also because of the trust that Darcy places in Elizabeth. Their dialogues show that Darcy sees Elizabeth as an equal with whom he can discuss serious matters regarding the estate and daily issues that may arise. This was what captivated me the most about this book and I believe readers with feminist sensibilities will appreciate it too.

 

You can find What’s Past is Prologue Review at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

.

Ann started writing sometime before she knew how letters functioned. Her first books were drawings of circus poodles heavily annotated with scribbles meant to tell a story. Upon learning how letters were combined to represent words, she started doing that instead. This has proven to be much more successful.
Sometime after that, she decided she wanted to study Anthropology and sometime after that, she decided she liked cats more than dogs. And sometime after that, she decided to become an educator and teach a new generation of kids how to combine letters to represent words, and use those words express ideas.
And sometime after that, she realized all she really wanted to do was write, which probably should have been evident from the beginning.

Connect with Ann at the following places: Twitter | Facebook | Blog

 


 

Don’t forget to follow the blog tour for more news on What’s Past is Prologue 🙂

.

August 1 / Savvy Verse& Wit / Guest Post & Giveaway

August 2 / Of Pens & Pages / Book Review & Giveaway

August 3 / Babblings of a Bookworm / Book Review & Giveaway

August 4 / Just Jane 1813 / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

August 5 / Liz’s Reading Life / Author Interview & Giveaway

August 6 / From Pemberley to Milton / Book Review & Giveaway

August 7 / More Agreeably Engaged / Guest Post & Giveaway

August 8 / Austenesque Reviews / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

August 9 / Diary of an Eccentric / Book Review & Giveaway

August 10 / My Vices and Weaknesses / Book Review & Giveaway

August 11 / Margie’s Must Reads / Book Review & Giveaway

August 12 / My Love for Jane Austen / Book Excerpt & Giveaway

August 13 / So Little Time… / Guest Post & Giveaway

.

 


 

 

Meryton Press is giving away 8 ebooks of What’s Past is Prologue. Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or a review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. If an entrant does not do so, that entry will be disqualified.
One winner will be selected per contest. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
To enter, please use the Rafflecopter link.

Good Luck everyone!


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19 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, JAFF

19 responses to “What’s Past is Prologue Review & Giveaway

  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this book. I’m glad you shared what happened before the story begins as it sounds like it might be a bit confusing if you didn’t have this information.

    Like

  2. Glad to read that there are some new characters to read about

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  3. Mary

    Hi Rita,
    Thank you for such an honest review.
    I can’t quite believe that I read that you didn’t feel any connection with Elizabeth or Darcy. That’s such a pity and must have been justifiably disappointing for you.
    Cheers for sharing your thoughts.

    Like

  4. suzanlauder

    Thanks for your detailed review, Rita. As usual, you put a great deal of thought into it. When I read this story at a fanfiction site, I felt that Ann Galvia had been rather true to life in how she didn’t just let the romance take over immediately, but let it grow through E’s realistic worries. This is typical of Galvia’s style on her other book, too. She doesn’t give it up easily, but the HEA is there for the readers. Being aware of all of this will help readers. Congratulations to Ann on her second book and this blog tour.

    Like

  5. J. W. Garrett

    Thanks Rita for your honest review. I appreciate your thoughts and opinion. This book has been on the fence for me. It is a fabulous cover and very appropriate. Thanks to our author and the publisher for the generous give-a-way.

    Like

  6. Glynis

    Thanks Rita. I appreciate your thoughts on this book. I tend to like books where Darcy and Elizabeth get together at the start and work through problems as a couple so I do have this on my list. I was pleased to read about how their marriage came about and that Elizabeth wasn’t forced into it even though she didn’t actually love him then. I’m not sure I’m going to like a Darcy who doesn’t defend his Elizabeth or treat her with the love he surely feels but I will hold my opinion until I read it for myself.
    Thank you so much for this post and to Ann for the generous giveaway.

    Like

  7. caroleincanada

    A open and honest review, Rita thank you! I look forward to another book by Ms. Galvia with her unique style and perspective.

    Like

  8. evamedmonds

    Thank you for the narrative review. I think the book sounds very good as I always have liked books when Elizabeth does not marry Darcy for love.

    Like

  9. Rita, you mentioned about Sir Lewis de Bourgh and his views on women’s education in the review. Is he still alive in What’s Past is Prologue or his legacy lives on in Rosings?

    I’ve read another review on this tour that find this novel just okay. I can’t wait to read other opinions that agree or disagree with your views.

    Like

  10. KateB

    Thanks for your honest review Rita. I always like to know strengths and weaknesses of a book, so I can avoid disappointment and fully enjoy an otherwise great book.

    Like

  11. Pam Hunter

    Thanks for the honest review. I’m sorry that the book wasn’t more your cuppa, but they can’t all be, right? Thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    Like

  12. Jan Hahn

    Thanks for this review, Rita. I appreciate a reader who is honest about what she likes and doesn’t like in a book. Ann has a great reputation in the Austen world, and I applaud her bravery in writing the book she wanted to write even though it may not be what is “the usual” in this genre. Frankly, I’m intrigued by what I’ve read. I like to see Darcy and Elizabeth work their way through a story to a happy ending. Congrats, Ann!

    Like

  13. Interesting and thoughtful review, Rita. I’m intrigued by this book and have already put it on my Wish List. It’s going to be interesting to see where general opinion falls.

    Like

  14. Agnes

    Thanks for the review and the giveaway! I look forward to rereading this book.

    Like

  15. Gail Warner

    Ann never makes it easy. Her characters don’t behave how we want them to and sometimes that makes us mad. But I believe she draws them realistically given their situations. It didn’t bother me that Darcy didn’t defend her more – both of them are familiar with Lady C’s opinions and know that it will do no good, or might even make the situation worse. And he did get his digs in whenever he could. I enjoyed seeing Lizzy’s progression from “the girl” to the wife. Lizzy is very unsure of her position and frets about it – who wouldn’t in that situation? But the more she learns about her new husband, the more she esteems him. And once she’s worked through in her own mind (with the help of Darcy & Charlotte) what a marriage truly can be, she opens herself up to love. I just love how excited she is at the end when they are about to leave Rosings.

    Like

  16. BeckyC

    Thank you for the review and giveaway.

    Like

  17. Hi Rita, I was interested to see your views of this novel. I agree with you that the author is going for a character development novel rather than a plot driven one. I didn’t get the feeling that Darcy didn’t defend his wife, as many of the slights happened away from him. I can see how this would colour your view of the character, but I quite liked him in this story. If you haven’t read Side by Side Apart yet I’d really recommend it, it’s a great read 🙂

    Like

  18. Thank you for your sharing your thoughts with us, Rita. I liked that you were captivated by the trust that Darcy places in Elizabeth and that he sees her as an equal.

    Like

  19. I read and enjoyed this book. Having enjoyed her first release I was prompt to pick this one up.

    Like

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