Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl – Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

I confess I’ve grown a little tired of Anthologies of late, but when I heard that a new anthology focused merely on Elizabeth was about to come out I immediately wanted to read it! I believe Pride & Prejudice is an incredible story because not only the male character is the epitome of imperfect perfection, but also because the female character is a strong, intelligent and courageous young lady. Elizabeth is just as important as Darcy for Pride & Prejudice’s success, and an entire anthology focused on her most iconic traits seemed just perfect in a time where women’s struggle for equality is once more in vogue.

I was expecting to find a strong character in all these stories, but what I wasn’t expecting was to find so many different Elizabeth’s in so many different settings and stages of life.

Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl is a very well balanced anthology with regency stories intertwined with different era stories, depicting many facets of Elizabeth, but always focusing on her obstinacy and stubborn nature. Some stories will be variations, others sequels, in some she will be younger, and in others older, but in all of them the reader may expect to find the character Jane Austen developed 200 years ago.

Some short stories stood out in the anthology but I did like them all and I believe the quality is present in every single one of them. This is what I loved the most about each one of them:

RESOLUTION by Amy D’Orazio (Regency)

Blurb: Years have passed since that disastrous Hunsford proposal and Darcy returns to England after traveling abroad, only to find Elizabeth betrothed to another. What happens when Darcy and Elizabeth learn they were thwarted by Lady Catherine’s deception years before?

 What I thought of it:

In my opinion, this anthology could not have started with a better story because lately I’ve been particularly fond of stories that depict older versions of Elizabeth and Darcy, and this is precisely the approach Amy D’Orazio choose.

Resolution was the perfect short story, the depth of feeling is addictive and the dialogues between the characters are swoon worthy! Mr. Darcy’s passion is overwhelming and Elizabeth’s determination is refreshing. She is not missish and accepting of what fate has for her, she is determined to do whatever needs to be done to assure her happiness and I loved that! This one is clearly amongst my favourite stories 🙂

.

THE HOUSE PARTY by Jenetta James (1912)

Blurb: Elizabeth meets Darcy at an English country house party where there are sparkling guests, a fox hunt, and the politics of suffragettes.

What I thought of it:

Set in a different era and giving special attention to women’s rights, Jenetta James story is a mix of cozyness due to the setting and freshness due to the plot.

I particularly loved the twist of Wickham’s character, he is present in the house party and he and Darcy do have an history but it is not the usual one and that was a plus in my opinion.

Plus the last scene with Darcy was incredibly sexy and it leaves the reader wanting more. I wish this short story could have been converted into a full length novel 🙂

.

ATMOSPHERIC DISTURBANCES by Christina Morland (Regency)

Blurb: Darcy and Elizabeth first argument as an engaged couple.

 What I thought of it:

One of the reasons readers love Darcy and Elizabeth’s story so much is their electrifying arguments, and if like me, you are an adept of this genre, you’ll love this story!

I personally loved Darcy’s character in this story. His behaviour is far from perfect, but perfectly in line with what I believe it should be. Elizabeth is fierce as she should be, but Darcy was the one who captured my heart on this story.

.

LOVE IN LIMELIGHT by Beau North (1930s)

Blurb: London stage actress Eliza Bennet comes to Hollywood and ends up starring in Will Darcy’s next big movie—those bright lights aren’t the only thing that’s heating up the silver screen.

What I thought of it:

Beau North takes us into the Hollywood ambience and developed a story with all the ingredients of a longer novel. While reading Love in a Limelight, readers will feel they are reading a full length book that is incredibly well written.

In this story, I loved the Hollywood theme and both Darcy and Elizabeth’s characters, but their sexual tension was what I loved the most. I could feel sparkles coming out of the pages! This was another story I enjoyed immensely and I believe most readers will love it too 🙂

.

THE UNCOMMONLY BUSY LANE TO LONGBOURN by Joana Starnes (Regency)

Blurb: Beginning right after the Netherfield ball, a confrontation with Wickham lands Darcy as a patient in the Bennet household.

What I thought of it:

Joana Starnes keeps surprising me! I was expecting to find an extremely intense and romantic story, and she delivered a funny tale with all our beloved characters visiting Longbourn and giving Mrs. Bennet a fit of nerves! Joana Starnes captured perfectly these characters antics and created a unique story that brings a smile to our faces more frequently than not. Once more she demonstrated a deep knowledge of the P&P universe and contributed to the quality of this anthology 🙂

.

RESISTIVE CURRENTS by Karen M Cox (1980s)

Blurb: Beth Bennet is an engineering student in a male dominated world and learns her teacher’s assistant is the handsome but equally arrogant Will Darcy. He both attracts and repels her until an unexpected setback and the guidance from her great-grandmother’s 1906 diary help her reconcile her feelings with her present-day reality.

What I thought of it: In this marvelous story, we get two Elizabeth’s for the price of one because apart from Elizabeth and Darcy’s story placed in the 80’s, we are able to follow her great grandparents story back in 1906. Elizabeth will read her great grandmothers journals and we will fall for a different “Darcy”. Both Elizabeth’s are fierce characters, and both love stories are endearing. I also loved Darcy on this story and Resistive Currents ended up being one of my favourite stories in the entire collection.

.

SOMETHING LIKE REGRET by Elizabeth Adams (Regency):

Blurb: Following canon, Elizabeth meets Mr. Darcy at Pemberley but a little honesty helps them reach their happily-ever-after sooner.

What I thought of it:

Something Like Regret is the most romantic story in the entire anthology, and even if it is hard to choose a favourite among so many incredible stories, this one definitely stood out for me. The entire story is told from Elizabeth’s perspective, but most pages focus on her opinion of Darcy. We see her slowly questioning her own opinions and changing her impression of Darcy in the first part of the story, and falling in love with him on the second part. There are plenty of romantic moments between them and Darcy is incredibly charming. I kept highlighting passages of the book to quote in this review, and at a certain point, I had to quit because I was basically trying to quote every single page.

Elizabeth Adams penned the perfect regency romance, and I’m sure all readers will be rendered by this story.

 

THE LAST BLIND DATE by Leah Dreyer (Present day)

Blurb: When University of Oklahoma coed Elizabeth Bennet is sent on a blind date with the handsome William Darcy, the evening has a rough start when she overhears him on the phone disparaging her Instagram profile.

What I thought of it:

In this short story the characters relationship evolved a little too fast in my opinion, but I really loved the setting of their first date and the fact that the female character knew more about sports then the male character. As a sports fan myself, I could easily relate to Elizabeth’s passion for American football, and her explanations did teach me a lot and spiked my interest in the sport 🙂 As this was a modernization, I believe it was the perfect interlude between the prior and following regency stories 🙂

.

THE AGE OF NESCIENCE by J. Marie Croft (Regency)

Blurb: Character driven vignettes, Elizabeth looks back on her adolescence up to when she meets Darcy, and she comes to admit her own folly, how she has not always been as wise as she had thought.

 What I thought of it:

Through the several vignettes penned by J. Marie Croft we are able to watch Elizabeth grow from adolescence to womanhood. We see her make mistakes and mature, and I absolutely loved to learn how she grew up to be such a Headstrong, Obstinate Girl. I loved to learn about her insecurities and jealousies and even to see a more hoydenish side of her. She did learn her lessons and became a female admired by women all around the world, but it took her time and experiences to get there. J. Marie Croft showed us the path she took and I trully loved to read it 🙂

.

A MATE FOR LIFE by Christina Boyd (1855)

Blurb: In 1855, an aged Elizabeth counsels her granddaughter about an impending betrothal.

What I thought of it:

Just like Resolution was the perfect story to start this anthology, A Mate for Life was the perfect one to close it! In it, the reader will find an older Elizabeth recounting her own love story to her granddaughter and giving her some advice concerning the predicaments of the heart. Having a chance to re-visit all her biggest moments with Darcy was endearing and the perfect closure for this anthology. I particularly loved the sentiments transmitted in the last paragraphs, but I guess you’ll have to read the book yourself to know why 🙂

.

Overall Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl is a captivating anthology with the perfect length and number of stories. The order by which they are presented to the reader make the book appealing, and the many different approaches that each author has to Elizabeth’s personality give it a depth that will be much appreciated by any Austen fan.

This has been one of my favourite books this year, and I believe all readers will find something to love in it too. I highly recommend it.

Elizabeth; Obstinate, Headstrong Girl was released today, so you can find it at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 


 

.

Why Elizabeth?

by Christina Morland

Once, at a dinner party—perhaps I’d had more than my usual half-glass of wine—I told the man sitting next to me that I write Austenesque fiction. This I considered an act of some bravery, for I’m uncomfortable talking to anyone, much less strangers, about my writing. Just ask my husband, or my mom, or my cats; when they ask me how writing’s going, I usually make a face and say, “You know…”

(Okay, my cats have never asked me how writing’s going, and that is why I love them.)

Anyway, I tried, really tried, to explain to this man (whose name card must have ended up next to mine due to karmic retribution; that, or I’d annoyed the executive assistant who did the seating arrangements) what exactly Austenesque fiction was. I wish he had looked baffled or surprised or even a little disgusted, but he gave me a Mr. Collins smile and said, “Ah, escapism!”

If only I had been Elizabeth Bennet and made some witty, cutting remark! Or Jane, with her serene smile and endless empathy for the foibles of others. I would even have been glad to embrace my inner-Lydia by tipping my wine into his lap, laughing as he sopped up the mess. But no, I resorted to my usual self, some mixture of Mary and Kitty: pedantic and awkward, wishing to gain approval, yet sullen about having to do so. (Before those of you who love Mary and Kitty object, know that I, too, love them; we have so much in common!)

But mostly, I wish I had been Elizabeth. Then I would have stood up for myself, and for my writing.

Yes, I might have said to this man, there are escapist elements to Austenesque fiction. (It’s fiction!) But I don’t write about Elizabeth Bennet to escape into a world of regency fashion and idealized romance; I write about Elizabeth Bennet to celebrate obstinate, headstrong women.

I suspect this is why many of us are drawn to stories about Elizabeth. It doesn’t matter whether she is wearing a corset or cowboy boots; she might be a research scientist, a golden-age actress, or a young lady with little fortune and no connections. In any time or any place, Elizabeth speaks truth to power.

There are those who see Jane Austen’s works as little more than domestic drivel. Yet what Austen did—portraying a woman willing to say no—was, and remains, rather remarkable. No, Mr. Collins, you do not know what is best for me. No, Mr. Darcy, you do not know me better than I know myself. No, Lady Catherine, you do not get to insult me and then expect I will do what you wish. No, no, no. These refusals make Elizabeth’s eventual yes all the more powerful, for we know she is choosing Darcy on her own terms.

Still, I have always wondered: how easy was it for Elizabeth to say no to Darcy after that beautiful, fateful yes? It’s one thing for Elizabeth to be obstinate and headstrong when Darcy is being a jerk. Can she say no to him—can she speak her mind—when she knows how much he loves her, and how much she loves him? Just what might a post-yes quarrel look like between Elizabeth and Darcy? These are the questions that inspired my story, “Atmospheric Disturbances,” in Christina Boyd’s excellent new anthology, Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl.

Each author in this anthology has imagined Elizabeth in her own, unique way, yet I think we have all come back to this central truth: to be obstinate and headstrong is no insult. It is certainly not escapism. No. To be obstinate and headstrong when the situation calls for it is the only way to create our own happy endings.

I hope you enjoy my story “Atmospheric Disturbances.” Based on the talent of the other authors in this collection, I know you will find something to love in this anthology. Thanks so much to Rita for hosting me, and feel free to connect with me on Facebook or at my web site: http:// https://christinamorland.wordpress.com/.

***

CHRISTINA MORLAND spent the first two decades of her life with no knowledge whatsoever of Pride and Prejudice—or any Jane Austen novel, for that matter. She somehow overcame this childhood adversity to become a devoted fan of Austen’s works. When not writing, Morland tries to keep up with her incredibly active daughter and maddeningly brilliant husband. She lives in a place not unlike Hogwarts (minus Harry, Dumbledore, magic, and Scotland), and likes to think of herself as an excellent walker. Morland is the author of two other short stories for The Quill Collective (find them in Dangerous to Know and Rational Creatures), as well as three Austenesque novels: A Remedy Against Sin, This Disconcerting Happiness, and Seasons of Waiting.


The blog tour is just starting, so please don’t forget to follow it to learn more about the several Elizabeth’s you’ll find in OHG 🙂


The #OmgItsOHG (Oh-my-gosh, it’s Obstinate Headstrong Girl) Blog Tour began February 18 with announcement and cover reveal at Austenesque Reviews, and we hope you will continue to join us and connect with each author about their “Elizabeth” story. We’ve included a Grand Prize package giveaway (a book of your choosing from each of the eleven author’s backlist) as well as additional giveaway: my Silly Austen-inspired blank note cards and coordinating coffee mug. Open worldwide, so be sure to participate. 1) Enter the Rafflecopter for the Grand Prize package of books, and 2) comment on the blog stops to be counted for the additional giveaway (you need not comment everywhere to be entered in that drawing but we hope you’ll have your share of the conversation.) Ends March 31.

Good Luck Everyone!


 

34 Comments

Filed under JAFF

34 responses to “Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl – Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

  1. Mary Preston

    Sounds like a fabulous anthology.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Hi, Mary! I’m rather biased, but I think it is indeed a fabulous anthology! 😉 Christina Boyd and the other authors did a fantastic job. Hope you enjoy the book!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Christina Boyd

    “This has been one of my favourite books this year, and I believe all readers will find something to love in it too. I highly recommend it.”
    Okay, I’m going to have to come back and comment on the entire post later because you have made me rather emotional from such praise. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Daniela Quadros

    I’ve just got my copy! Can’t wait to read all these stories from these wonderful writers. Your reviews just made me even more excited to start, Rita. And what a great giveaway! Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lucy Marin

    So excited about this release! I’ve been listening to the past anthologies to prepare myself for the new one. 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Lucy, haven’t the audiobooks of Christina Boyd’s other books been so much fun? I especially loved listening to Yuletide right around the holidays! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoy this anthology, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Christina

    Rita, thanks so much for your thoughtful and thorough review. I’m so glad you enjoyed the anthology. The other authors, and Christina Boyd in particular, did a fantastic job! Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glynis

    I did enjoy your story Christina, I especially loved what Elizabeth said to Darcy when she found him in the stable 😊, so funny!
    This is one of my favourite anthologies as well Rita! A worthy match to Darcy Monologues!
    Did the final story make you cry as it did me?
    I too highly recommend this fabulous book.
    Some fab prizes but I’m not entering as I have totally given up on Rafflecopter and only now enter ‘comment’ giveaways but good luck to everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Thanks so much, Glynis! And I’m glad you liked the “high horse” comment. 😉

      And yes, Christina Boyd’s story — pulled all the right heartstrings!

      Thanks so much for your kind comments!

      Like

  7. Congratulations to all involved! Based on the talented writers involved, it is no wonder Rita loved the anthology!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on each story as I love that you give such a thorough review!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Thanks for stopping by, darcybennett! Rita’s reviews do indeed contain great detail. I’m grateful she took the time to review the anthology and to host us on the blog tour.

      Like

  9. Laurie McClain

    Wonderful reviews, Rita! I enjoyed these stories very much as well, and intend to go back and re-read them very soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Christina Boyd

    “Can she say no to him—can she speak her mind—when she knows how much he loves her, and how much she loves him? Just what might a post-yes quarrel look like between Elizabeth and Darcy?”
    ChristinaM, you know I’ve loved this story since you first offered it last spring! I love the concept, the pacing, your often subtle, elegant phrasing, the allusion to forecast, the tender moments, the back and forth…all of it. Thank you for your continued support with these anthologies and for always producing such a fantastic work. Can’t wait to read what you are working on next!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. looks like there’s something for everyone in each story.

    denise

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina

      Denise, I agree! That’s one of the great things about the anthologies that Christina Boyd puts together. Hope you get a chance to read it and find something (or many things) to enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Charlotte

    What a fantastic book! All the stories sound great!! I think I’d start with Beau’s the minute I hold it in my hands.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Beau’s story is utterly delicious! I loved imagining Elizabeth and Darcy in the golden age of Hollywood. Hope you get a chance to read and enjoy the anthology soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Joana Starnes

    Thanks for this wonderful review, Rita! I’m so glad you liked the book!
    Have a lovely and sunny spring and wonderful things coming your way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Yes, isn’t it a great review? So lovely of Rita to take the time to detail each story as she did. Happy spring to you, as well, Joana!

      Like

  14. Look forward to reading the twist of Wickham’s character

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina

      Yes, this is a great twist! (Twisted Wickham…sounds like a good band name, too, right? ;D) “The House Party” is one of those stories that finds that sweet spot of honoring the essence of Austen’s characters while also being fresh and original.

      Like

  15. foreverHis

    Rita, thank you for this wonderful review. I can’t wait to read this book! Christina, I can totally relate to your frustration with the fool sitting next to you at dinner. I have always felt myself more Darcy than Elizabeth–rather shy and very awkward in social situation. I should take Lady Catherine’s advice and practice!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Christina

      Thanks, foreverHis for your enthusiasm for the anthology, as well as for your dinner-party sympathy! Lady Catherine would be pleased you are considering her advice, but I’ve always thought that Darcy’s social awkwardness so endearing. 🙂

      Like

  16. Pingback: Why Elizabeth? | christina morland

  17. Dung

    Great review Rita, I love these authors and can’t wait to read this anthology!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. “…what Austen did—portraying a woman willing to say no—was, and remains, rather remarkable.” EXACTLY! And Austen does this in such a light, elegant way that it is often overlooked. I like to call her “protofeminist” 😉 Great guest post, Christina. And thank you so much, Rita, for the lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christina

      Thanks so much for your comment, Karen — and especially for your story in the anthology! I love how you’ve adapted our “protofeminist” Austen for the contemporary world. You always choose such fascinating settings for exploring Austen’s characters and themes.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.