Category Archives: 3 stars

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

 

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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

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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

Master of Her Heart

What if a 21st century student from Oxford was transported to the 19th century industrial city of Milton to study the society of that time as a preparation for her thesis?

And what if she encountered and fell in love with John Thornton while she was there?

Would there be hope for such a love? Would it ever work?

I found the premise of this book very interesting, after all who wouldn’t want to go back in time and meet our romantic hero? Even better, who wouldn’t want to become his love interest?

The initial chapters of this book were very refreshing because having the presence of a 21st century character allowed the author to use a lighter language that was pleasing and agreeable to read, but as the story progressed it became too distracting to me because it started to be incongruent with the setting of the story. The main character, who is an historian, continuously says words such as “nope” which obviously raises the attention of the people form the 19th century and I would like to think that an historian going back in time would pay more attention to these kind of words that clearly did not exist back then, especially as she is specializing in this time period.

Also, she seems to forget the rules of propriety of Victorian England by asking Mr. Thornton to kiss her without any arrangement between them, and he seems a little out of character by not only kissing her, but not raising too many issues with the fact that she had kissed other people in the past.

I really liked the premise of the book and the the last chapters were also very innovative and refreshing to read in a N&S variation. The author did a great job in the development and adaptation of John Thornton’s character in the last chapters, I won’t say how or why because that would be a big spoiler, but that was very well achieved and if readers can forget about the rules of propriety of Victorian England they may enjoy this book very much.

Unfortunately I could not, and I was really upset by the behaviour of the female character especially as she was an historian, so this was only an ok read for me that clearly took an innovative approach.

 

You can find Master of her heart at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.ca

 

6 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, North and South

Pulse and Prejudice 


I love vampire stories and I think that Mr.Darcy has everything to be the perfect vampire, so when I heard about Pulse and Prejudice I added it immediately to my TBR pile. I have finally read it and thought that Halloween was the perfect time to post the review of this book. In Pulse and Prejudice I found exactly what I was expecting. Mr. Darcy is the perfect vampire as his condition explains much of his taciturn and reserved behaviour and increases the interest of the story.

In this book he has a strong personality and that is always something I really love. However, it has a lot of similar scenes to Pride and Prejudice and some readers may not enjoy it so much due to the similarity. In fact, the story is almost the same as the original which made it a little dull for me because I already knew what would happen next and who would say what. There are a few exceptions like the maze scene at Pemberley and the moments when Darcy entrances Elizabeth, but these scenes were very few in my opinion.

There was also a detail in the end of the book that spoiled it for me, and purists like myself may feel the same way, but readers who enjoy more steamy romances may find it quite appealing.
Poetry plays a big part in the book and that is a very interesting detail especially for readers who enjoy the literary genre. It was also very interesting to see Lord Byron as an actual character and not only as a literary reference.

Some aspects such as Amadeus’s reactions left me very curious and I would like to read the sequel to understand them. I also believe the sequel has potential to be a very good book because the author will not be able to follow the original story anymore and will have to be more creative with the plot. As that was my main issue with this book, I think I’ll like Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth.

You can find Pulse and Prejudice at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

8 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, JAFF

Elizabeth and Van Gogh

fotos van gohg

I fell in love with Vincent Van Gogh when I was a teenager and started looking into art. His paintings marveled me. I loved the colors and textures, but most of all, I loved the feelings I could sense from his paintings.

As years passed by, I became even more passionate about Van Gogh, especially after knowing his life story.

I know I am not alone in my passion for Van Gogh, and I knew one person in particular who loved him more than even me: my friend Liliana Saraiva. She accompanied me in my craziness for him, and with her, I had long conversations about his paintings and his life. But most of all, together, we visited the most emblematic places in Van Gogh’s life: Auvers-Sur-Oise, Arles, St. Remy en Provence, Theo’s House in Paris, etc.

Liliana fought a long battle against a devastating decease, and at the age of 30 left this world. Today would be her 32nd birthday, and this post, and the review of a book that combines both our mutual love for Van Gogh, and my love for Pride and Prejudice, are my present to her. This the small tribute I can offer, and I like to believe that if she were here, she would be smiling with the contagious and open smile she always had.

elizabeth and van gogh3 stars

Elizabeth and Van Gogh takes place in 1888 in the Southern French village of Arles, and will show us the last years of Vincent Van Gogh’s life. In this cross over between Pride and Prejudice and Van Gogh’s life, Elizabeth’s love story will not be the main storyline as we will read about an intense and special friendship Elizabeth created with Van Gogh, and see how that friendship will influence the course of her life.

I think it is important to advise you that the characters we see in this book are not the same ones from the original book placed in a different era, they are descendants of Darcy and Elizabeth, and for that reason, their personalities are different. So don’t expect to encounter our beloved Lizzy and Mr. Darcy, you will see Cassandra Elizabeth Bennett and William Darcy.

Elizabeth is a washerwoman and an aspiring artist who is currently living with her aunt and Uncle Gardiner, and William Darcy is an American artist who comes to visit his aunt Catherine de Bourgh in Arles. Portraying both characters as artists was a twist I really enjoyed, even though I could not picture Darcy as a painter.

Apart from Elizabeth and Darcy, the other main character in this book is Vincente Van Gogh, and the story starts with him living in the Yellow House at Arles with Elizabeth and Jane being the only friends who genuinely care for him. He is living with Paul Gauguin, but Gauguin is what I would picture him to be: a selfish being who does not care for Vincent and is only interested in his mistresses. Elizabeth dislikes Paul Gauguin as much as I do, and knowing the author has the same opinion as me concerning this painter was something I found very shooting. I also liked the implication the author does regarding his involvement in the ear incident, and wonder if that was what really happened.

I loved the idea of P&P crossing over with Van Gogh’s life, it was the perfect premise for me, but unfortunately I did not love the book. It had some interesting ideas behind it, but I don’t think it was as accomplished as it could have been. I didn’t feel much intensity in Elizabeth and Darcy’s love and I could not relate to these new characters as I did with the Darcy and Elizabeth from 1812. Also, the ending was very disappoint for me. Darcy is placed in a position where he needs to choose between Elizabeth and his wealth and, he gives up on Elizabeth and their love. He does this after declaring to love her and making her go across the ocean with him to meet his family. I cannot believe our Darcy would give up on Elizabeth after he had acknowledged he loved her, nor do I believe our Elizabeth would forgive him so easily. I know these are not the same characters, but I truly did not like to see Darcy as a coward who would just let Elizabeth go after having admitted he loved her.

There were some other aspects in the book that I believe not to have been very well accomplished: Elizabeth introduces herself to Darcy as Cassandra, and at Rosa Parie everyone called her that, however without any explanation Darcy started calling her Elizabeth a bit later. Furthermore, I could not understand the reasons behind Darcy’s insult to Elizabeth at the art exhibition. I believe it was an attempt to establish a link between this book and the original insult at the Meryton Assembly, but it seemed to me a little forced.

I did like to see the author use the colors to create a metaphor with people’s personalities. I think it was very interesting and a plus to the book. I also enjoyed Col. Fitzwilliam’s character as he was interesting and intriguing. While reading the book I always felt curious about what he was discovering and what secrets he was hiding.

Overall, I liked reading this book because it made me wonder about Van Gog’s life. Might he have lived longer had he someone like Elizabeth at his side? Would his fate be the same? And what about his paintings, would they change with the presence of a friend who believed in him?

The friendship between Vincent and Elizabeth was something I could related with, and I enjoyed reading the scenes between these 2 characters, but the love story between Elizabeth and Darcy did not captivated me and that is why I did not gave a higher rate to this book.

Elizabeth & Van Gogh is available at:

Amazon.com – Elizabeth & Van Gogh

Amazon.co.uk- Elizabeth & Van Gogh: A Pride and Prejudice Reimagining

Amazon.fr – Elizabeth & Van Gogh: A Pride and Prejudice Reimagining

18 Comments

Filed under 3 stars, Pride and Prejudice