Anniina Sjöblom’s debut book is an epistolary novel, which is a difficult genre to pull through, especially if you are a new author, so congratulations are in order to Anniina Sjöblom for her courageous venture into Jane Austen Fan Fiction.
Thaw’s premise is one of my favourites in this genre, a forced marriage scenario. The story begins shortly after Mr. Collins proposal and the reader finds Elizabeth escaping into Meryton’s countryside and having the misfortune to fall into a lake. When Mr. Darcy appears and rescues her, one would think this would serve to change her opinion of him, but instead, they are forced to get married due to the impending rumours, and thus the story begins with Elizabeth hating him even more than in the original story.
This book is told from Elizabeth’s perspective through the letters she writes to Jane and Aunt Gardiner, and Anniina Sjöblom skilfully captured Elizabeth’s character throughout the entire story. We follow all her life events from the moment she is forced to marry with Mr. Darcy, until she is utterly in love with him, which was quite interesting because the reader will see Elizabeth making the same mistakes she makes in the original plot, and regretting them just like she did after visiting Pemberley.
Because we are only privy to Elizabeth’s thoughts it is harder to connect with the story, and in some parts I wish I could have seen Darcy’s perspective, but it also gave us a clear image of what Elizabeth’s life was, and it allowed the reader to get to know the main character in a more intimate manner. In this book we share Elizabeth’s solitude, but also her resilience and good spirits which will captivate the reader and make him appreciate the character development.
Gossip plays a big part in this story because it led to their wedding in the first place, and I personally liked to see the outcome some characters involved in it had. It was a beautiful conclusion to this tale, and somewhat in Austen style, which is something I always appreciate in a book.
With only 138 pages this story can be enjoyed in one afternoon, so I recommend it to those who love epistolary novels, and who want to see character progression throughout the story. This narrative is a wonderful tribute to Elizabeth, and those who like this obstinate, headstrong girl will like to see her adapt and grow in Thaw.
I didn’t actually read this book, I listened to the audiobook version, and I highly recommend it because due to its literary specificities, and the quality of the narration, with the audiobook version the reader will have a more complete experience that enhances the qualities of the book.
Elizabeth Bennet’s Level
This was a very easy book to narrate with only one person to impersonate, nevertheless, the narrator captured Elizabeth’s essence and tone perfectly, which was essential for this audiobook and all that we could have asked for. I recommend the audiobook version of this novel because it was a truly pleasant experience to hear this story narrated by Lillian Rachel. It felt as if Elizabeth herself was writing to us, so I believe the audiobook may be the best version of the book.
You can find Thaw at:
and on Kindle Unlimited