Henry Fitzwilliam’s War by Don Jacobson

After reading the first book of The Wardrobe Series, I could not wait to know the fate that Don Jacobson had penned for all the other Bennet girls, especially Lydia and Kitty. But before reading The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque, I had to read its prequel: Henry Fitzwilliam’s War, which will depict an original character who will be essential in Kitty’s Story.

This novelette focuses on Henry Fitzwilliam, Lydia’s great grandson who travels over 30 years into the future to land in the middle of World War I. He gets injured during the conflict and is taken by an unknown lady to a beach house in Deauville to recuperate. There he has a chance to ponder on the horrors of war and the changes that have occurred in the world, but also to get to know himself better. The reader will also get to know Henry Fitzwilliam a little better, and this will be essencial for those who will read Kitty’s story afterwards.

The main character feels a pull towards the lady who came to his rescue and her presence will forever change who he is. The reader will obviously understand who she is, but Henry Fitzwilliam will remain oblivious about her identity because he will be blindfolded the entire time due to his injuries. Also, even if this person will be a big part of his life, he hasn’t met her in his own timeline yet.

This story is very well written and in line with the quality of the previous book in the series, so I enjoyed listening to the audiobook. It transported me into the Wardrobe universe and that was very entertaining. I also believe this novelette will help readers understand Kitty’s story, because it brings more intel about the people she will meet in her own journey, but I felt a little confused with it at times. Henry Fitzwilliam is a new character who travels from 1883 to 1915 where he meets someone who is original from 1812 and will be a big part of his life from the late 1880’s forward. Because he is a new character I didn’t previously know, and whose life will not follow a linear timeline, it was hard to keep track as I kept trying to understand every single detail in the book. Maybe I was trying too hard to know who was who at which time, so readers who are able to disconnect from the time travel aspect of the story will not face this issue.

Overall I enjoyed this novelette, it is extremely well written and it is engaging, making us want to read the following novel right away. In fact, it made me even more curious about Kitty’s story and I hope I can follow her up in The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Époque soon.

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

I had loved Amanda Berry’s performance of The Keeper: Mary Bennet’s Extraordinary Journey but I was even more amazed at her narration in Henry Fitzwilliam’s War. She has a huge talent to portray different types of accents and her voice and narrative style is precisely what this book needed. She is definitely atElizabeth Bennet’s level.

 

You can find Henry Fitzwilliam’s War at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

on Audible

and on Kindle Unlimited

 

4 Comments

Filed under JAFF

4 responses to “Henry Fitzwilliam’s War by Don Jacobson

  1. What a fascinating idea for a P&P variation! I applaud Don for coming up with such an “out of the box” premise. Readers can be apprehensive of stories with supernatural aspects, so I hope this review encourages others to give this one a try. I appreciate your honest review, Rita.

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    • donjacobsoncarpediem

      Yes, I wanted to find ways to build a universe where the other daughters could build their own destinies. The arc is long. The time travel is only a device to get them where they need to be to learn that which they must. Thus (no spoiler), Kitty ends up in 1886 because of an adolescent wish to escape the punishment Mr. Bennet has planned for her complicity in Lydia’s elopement. The Wardrobe stories, unlike Dr. Who, does not use the Wardrobe like the #251 bus. It usually appears but once or twice in a book…however, there are deeper more universal forces at work.

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  2. caroleincanada

    Wonderful review, Rita! Don has created an amazing, well-researched, emotionally moving saga of the Bennet Wardrobe. I absolutely love it! His Kitty is my all-time favourite! Can’t wait for you to read her portion. Hope you are feeling better and staying safe.

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