Sanctuary is one of those books that has been on my TBR since it was released. I heard nothing but good things about it, and it seemed to be a favourite for everyone last year, so I was super happy when I was finally able to start reading it this month.
As expected, the story did not disappoint and the cosiness of the setting, along with a very natural writing style, made me completely rendered to it.
Sanctuary takes place in modern Maine and I wouldn’t consider it a modernization of Pride and Prejudice but more of a P&P inspired story. The book focuses on Darcy and Elizabeth who have moved into Great Diamond Island in Maine for a fresh start after having have been through difficult moments in their lives. Elizabeth is coming out of an abusive marriage and Darcy is a single father whose wife died in a car accident a few years prior. The author doesn’t reveal much more about their backgrounds with the story starting almost with their first encounter in the island, and one of the aspects I loved the most about the book was how the events that took place in their lives are slowly unfolded as the story progresses.
Cat Andrews doesn’t describe everything that happened to the main characters, instead, she naturally adds details of that past to the story through the characters dialogues or reflections. The fact that the reader slowly unfolds what happened is part of why the book is so addictive. We want to keep reading just to understand exactly how their lives were before they moved to Maine, and what made them the person they are today.
Another aspect I loved about Sanctuary was the feeling of cosiness it provokes. I wouldn’t say the book has a small town feeling into it, but it certainly transports us into a different reality and a relaxed and happy environment. I would love to have a house in Great Diamond Island, which I’ve googled a thousand times after reading the book, and I would certainly love to have the life its inhabitants have.
The fact that Darcy is a single father was another endearing aspect of the book. I have seen books where Elizabeth has children, but it is not usual to see Darcy as a single parent in modern times, and I loved to see how he decided to raise his kid. I was also happy to see that even if his son Jack is present in a great part of the book, and we start to see the proximity Elizabeth develops with him, he doesn’t steel the spotlight from our dear couple.
It was also fun to see a new secondary characters coming into scene because familiar names would appear with a completely different connection to Elizabeth and/or Darcy, and a completely different posture and personality. The reader never knows what to expect when a new character appears, especially because the plot is completely different from canon, which means that familiar characters have a different relevance in the story.
The romance between Darcy and Elizabeth is endearing as this is clearly a slow motion and low angst story, and even if it felt a bit juvenile at times, I loved seeing how this couple helped one another overcome their traumas and slowly grow as a couple. Sanctuary is a three-volume book and I cannot wait to see how the story will progress in the next two volumes. I am convinced the author will deepen the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth as well as their relationship with Jack (Darcy’s son), but I also believe we will also see them overcome some obstacles to find their HEA, and I am very curious to see what is coming in their way and how they will manage it.
Summing up, Sanctuary is a Pride and Prejudice inspired story that takes its time to develop the characters relationships, daily lives and inner struggles. It is a low angst romance with a relaxed and happy vibe that I recommend to readers who are looking for sweet modern story depicting Darcy and Elizabeth.
If you are interested in these type of stories, you may like to know the author is releasing a new novel tomorrow called An Unexpected Harvest. The book is a city girl/small-town boy romance and I must confess I absolutely love these stories! I’m not even sure if I’ll read Sanctuary: Volume 2 first, or An Unexpected Harvest…decisions, decisions 🙂
You can find Sanctuary at:
and on Kindle Unlimited