Category Archives: Persuasion

Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Maya Slater

Mr. Darcy's Diary4 stars

Mr. Darcy’s Diary is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice through Mr. Darcy’s eyes. The reader follows the story through diary entries that reveal not only Mr. Darcy’s perspective of events, but also scenes Jane Austen never wrote.  

I always love to read stories told from Mr. Darcy’s perspective because in Pride and Prejudice we only get to see Elizabeth’s prejudiced point of view, and we are never privy to Mr. Darcy’s dealings when he is not with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, however I found it hard to get into this story in the initial chapters because Mr. Darcy’s entries in his diary were very factual and transpired little emotion. The absence of feeling was something that bothered me, but as the story progressed, I started to understand the tone of the book, it wasn’t exactly lacking in emotion, it was simply told from a male point of view and my female bias was preventing me from liking it. Once I realized this, I started enjoying the book much more.

Although I loved the portrayal of the manly relationships in this book, and Byron did give it a much-needed animation, I found it strange for a character such as Darcy to be friends with a someone whom he witnesses raping a girl in the beginning of the book. I understand I cannot judge a book that takes places in regency with 21rst century standards, but I really do not imagine Mr. Darcy, who is a man of honor, to be friends with Lord Byron who is prone to debauchery and ungentlemanly behaviors.

I never thought I would say this, but I loved not only Caroline Bingley’s character in this novel, but also her relationship with Mr. Darcy. We are privy to many conversations between them in this book, and they gave me a different perspective not only of her personality, which is harder to judge based on this diary, but also their relationship. Caroline Bingley is not the villain we sometimes imagine her to be, and in this book, we can see how badly she feels about deceiving Jane, we see a side of her that Elizabeth Bennet never even allowed to exist, and I found that very interesting. There is always two sides to a story isn’t it?

I also loved the way Bingley was described and how he was seen coping with the loss of his love. It felt natural and real, and once more something we never really saw in Pride and Prejudice.

The truth is that after several chapters, and once I’ve accepted the tone of the book, it became increasingly interesting in my perspective, and I felt the will to pick it up and see what Mr. Darcy was up to. The only quibbles I had with this book were the emotionless tone of the diary entries and Darcy’s relationship with Byron, but those did not prevent me from finding enjoyment in many of the other nuances of the book.

I would recommend this book to those who like to witness Pride and Prejudice from different perspectives, and who are open minded towards different angles.

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

Mr. Darcy’s Diary was the first audiobook I heard narrated by David Rintoul and I quite liked it, even if at times I wondered if the haughty  and cold tone I was associating with the diary entries were not produced by the narrator. Nevertheless, the author was quite good with the male voices and was also able to adapt to the female ones, so I would still recommend the audiobook version of the book.

You can find Mr. Darcy’s Diary at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and on Audible

 

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Captive Hearts by Kelly Miller

captive hearts4 stars

Captive Hearts is a sweet Persuasion variation where the path to second chances is easier and smoother. In this story Captain Wentworth returns to Anne Elliot’s life eight years after their separation, but he realizes much sooner than in the original story that he needs to fight for her. This realization will be the foundation of a low angst romance where love and trust are put to the test.

I found it surprising and curious that Mr. and Mrs. Darcy are visiting the Musgroves right in the beginning of the story and playing a somewhat important role in the development of the romance. I loved seeing these characters in the Persuasion setting, and especially seeing Mr. Darcy helping Captain Wentworth challenge his perceptions. We may even say that Mr. Darcy was responsible for the entire direction the tale took, which is a very interesting detail.

But the Darcy’s were not the major deviance from the original story in this book, Kelly Miller changed a very important element in the narrative when the characters are at Lyme, and I must say I absolutely loved this alteration! She altered a pivotal moment that changed the entire storyline, something we don’t usually see in Persuasion variations, which often struggle to deviate from the original.  After that exciting change, the story progresses slowly with not much happening in the lives of the characters, and the pace seemed a little uneven in the middle of the book because of this lack of action. However, even though I was a little put off with the mundane events in the characters’ lives in the middle of the book, towards the end there is an unexpected twist that refocused my attention and pulled me back into the story, so the pace picked up again.

One aspect I really enjoyed in this book was Sir Elliot’s character. I loved the fact that he was not simply portrayed as a vain person, Kelly Miller gave him depth, and that made him more likable and appealing, definitely one of the best aspects of this story 😊

Summing up, Captive Hearts is a very sweet and very low angst novel that is perfect for Persuasion fans who like to see Anne and Captain Wentworth together early in the story. The book has some interesting details that make it unique such as the events that occur in Lyme, Sir Walter’s character and the Darcy’s and I recommend it to readers who love Austen’s Persuasion.

 

You can find Captive Hearts at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


 

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Anne and Wentworth: A Persuasion Prequel and Variation Novelette by Samantha Lord

Anne and Wentworth3 stars

Anne and Wentworth: A Persuasion Prequel and Variation Novelette by Samantha Lord shows us how Anne Elliot met Captain Wentworth and fell in love with him when she was still a young woman. However, in this novelette the events that take place between these characters are not exactly the same, and they do not have to wait eight years to find happiness.

The story starts with a very interesting premise, what if Elizabeth Elliot, used to being admired and having everything her way, decides to charm young Frederick Wentworth who is in the neighborhood visiting his brother? What if there wasn’t much to do around Kellynch and this was her idea of fun? And what if this young man is not charmed by Elizabeth’s airs, but by her shy sister Anne?

I personally loved the beginning of this story because it was a very different, credible, and fun change, I found the idea of having Elizabeth trying, and failing, to enchant Captain Wentworth very innovative and amusing.

I always love to read Persuasion prequels, because Austen never told us much about Anne and Wentworth’s relationship when they were younger, so the possibilities are endless, however, despite the very exciting beginning, their first encounter was somewhat anticlimactic for me because I didn’t feel any particular sparkle occurring between them. The same is valid for the following encounters they had, unfortunately I never felt captivated by them and at times I was a little frustrated to be told about a romance I was not seeing in the pages.  I found the scenes between Anne and Wentworth scarce and tame, and because of that I never felt any intensity in their love story.

I enjoyed the different interference Lady Russel had in this book, but I wasn’t convinced that this interference would be enough to cause Anne’s decision. If the idea had been further developed, I see this happening, but as it was, it felt somewhat rushed and unsubstantiated.

I also enjoyed the changes the author created towards the end of the book to make sure these characters found their HEA but I would also have liked to see this developed a little bit more and to have at least one more scene between Anne and Wentworth, as it was, it felt like a very abrupt ending.

The version of the book I have also has several typos and errors which are at times distracting, however, there might be a revised version, so this is something that may have been fixed already.

Anne and Wentworth: A Persuasion Prequel and Variation Novelette is, as the name indicates, a very short story and therefore the author didn’t have much page time to develop a very interesting premise. I enjoyed all the different changes the author decided to bring to the story, such as Elizabeth’s goal, Lady Russel’s interference, Anne’s change of heart and the reason that escalated it, but I felt this book, which was full of great ideas, needed more page time to develop them. This is a story with a lot of potential, and I am only sorry that being a novelette, the interesting ideas the author had weren’t fully assembled, making the book feel somewhat lacking and draft like. I would love to read a more extended version of this story where the author had page time to develop all the great ideas she came up with. Nevertheless, it is a story that can be read very quickly and with interesting and creative new approaches to Anne and Wentworth’s romance, so I believe Persuasion fans may still enjoy it.

 

You can find Anne and Wentworth at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy by Georgina Young-Ellis

KMGNMD FC Final 061122F S4 stars

Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy is an Austenesque romance that takes place during WWII, and as would be expected, the lives of all characters in this book revolve around the war efforts. All the Bennet sisters are actively assisting their country either by helping in hospitals or in the Women’s Land Army, while most man are fighting in the continent. In this scenario Elizabeth and Jane Bennet meet Captain Bingley and Major Darcy, two soldiers who are the bearers of bad news, but despite the sad circumstances that brought them together, they will form a relationship that will strengthen regardless of the occasional separation brought by the war, and the difficult conditions they all live in.

The events in this book occur mainly in England and I found that very interesting because it allowed me to learn a little more about how life was for people living in a country at war but away from the combat zone. Through this fiction story I learned how the bombings were felt by London residents, how the troops would organize themselves while away from the frontlines, and how civilians still lived their lives despite the war, and this was all transmitted in a serious but optimistic tone, something I appreciated.

I liked reading the Pride and Prejudice elements the author added in this setting, and the role of some secondary characters like Anne de Bourgh and Mr. Collins. But I particularly liked the fact that Elizabeth Bennet was not so impressionable as I see her portrayed in other books. Even though Wickham tried charming and setting her against Darcy multiple times, she didn’t immediately fall for his schemes.

I also liked Mary’s character in this book, she is one of my favorite secondary characters, and I enjoyed the fact that she had a different but useful way to help people during the war. I also enjoyed her love story and the fact that she got her happiness. On the other hand, Caroline was a character that interested me in the beginning, but who didn’t convince me by the end of the story because her latest appearances made her look a little one dimensional.

The pace of Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy was balanced throughout the entire story, and it was one of the aspects of the book I enjoyed the most. There was a trade-off between action packed scenes and descriptions of how the lives of the characters were evolving. This was particularly necessary because the storyline takes place during an 18-month period, and it was essential for the author to move the story easily and quickly to a future date. These smooth transitions were well written and gave the book and introspective tone I appreciated. However, the ending of the book was somehow anticlimactic with many pages being dedicated to a secondary character’s wedding, relegating to the second plan the slow built relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth. I was expecting to see their romance finally flourish towards the end of the book with powerful and breath-taking scenes, but unfortunately that was not the case, and their love felt somewhat tamed for me.

Summing up, Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy is a well-balanced different era story that gives the reader the opportunity to see Darcy and Elizabeth showing their most lovable characteristics in a new setting. I would recommend it for Pride and Prejudice fans who like to see these characters in different eras.

 

You can find Kiss Me Good Night, Major Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


 

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Netflix’s Persuasion: Why it is a flop

persusasion1 star

If you’re looking for a dull and dumbed down modernization of Persuasion where 21rst century characters dress up and pretend they are living in regency, the new Netflix movie is for you.

If on the other hand, you are looking for an intelligent historical adaptation of Persuasion, then you should skip it and watch something else.

When Netflix launched the trailer for their new Persuasion adaptation, it soon became the hot topic on social media and many people highly criticized it. I was one of those who hated the trailer, but I was convinced that only by watching it I could form an opinion, so I was quite eager for the 15th of July to arrive so I could watch it. 30 min after the movie started, I felt it was even worse than the trailer, and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to finish it. I made an effort to continue, and the truth is that with time, the movie does improve, but it is still too bad to give it more than 1 star.

 

What I liked about it

 

  • Wentworth and his speech at the beach

When I saw the pictures of Cosmo Jarvis portraying Wentworth, I didn’t like the way he looked, and I thought I would not like this Captain Wentworth, but in fact, he was the only actor capable of transmitting any emotion during the entire movie, and even though I still prefer Ciaran Hinds interpretation, I believe Wentworth was the only aspect I liked in this movie.

Although it is not in the book, Captain Wentworth’s speech at the beach, where he demonstrated how much he admires and loves Anne, was the only powerful moment of the entire movie!

image_50368769

 

  • Breaking the 4th wall

I am unsure if I can consider this to be one of the aspects of the movie I liked because it was a little too much, and at a certain point a little irritating. Plus, it was one of the reasons why Anne felt so out of character by mocking and ridiculing her entire family, but I did like the idea of making the audience Anne’s confidant, I think this could have worked out really well if it weren’t for the horrible lines in the movie and the constant winking. As an introvert character, Anne’s thoughts and feelings are hard to read, using this strategy made it easier for the audience to know and understand her. Unfortunately, I didn’t like what I was shown of her personality, and takes me to my main quibble with this movie: Anne’s character.

 

What I disliked about it

 

  • Anne Elliot portrayed as Bridget Jones…or completely out of character

Anne Elliot is completely out of character in this movie. If the people who made this film read Persuasion, they have a very different interpretation of Anne’s personality then I do.

Especially during the first 40 minutes of the movie Anne is seen constantly drinking and making a fool of herself. I felt ashamed just watching all these scenes and couldn’t stop comparing these attitudes and behaviors to the ones of Bridget Jones. I love Bridget Jones’s Diary, but that type of character works on that movie because it is a modernization, not and adaptation, plus, it actually is funny. Having a gentlewoman behaving as a trainwreck drunk teenager in a regency adaptation simply doesn’t work. Especially if that character is meant to be Anne Elliot!

In this movie Anne Elliot drinks wine straight from the bottle, puts jam on her face, says the wrong things loudly in polite society, and looks like the party’s fool.

When I read the book, I saw Anne as a clever, rational, considerate, and caring woman. As someone who puts others above her own happiness because she is truly a good person. In this movie we do see Anne putting others before her, but because of the constant communication she has with the audience, we get the feeling she is doing it out of obligation, because she has no alternative. It appears that she hates everyone around her and feels way too superior to any of them.

This Anne is sassy, playful and flirtatious. That is not the Anne I saw portrayed in Persuasion. And you may say, yes, but she doesn’t have to be exactly as Austen imagined her, we can give her personality some twists. We can, but why do we have to make all heroines the same? What is so wrong with having a heroine who is more introvert? Changing that about Anne is saying we all must be playful and spirited, and we don’t. The beauty of diversity is that. There is room for all types of heroines.

Also, I am not British, so I may be completely wrong about this one, but it seemed that at times Dakota Johnson forgot to give her character a British accent, and the difference between her accent and the one of other actors was also distracting for me. Maybe it is just me, and this is a wrong impression, so don’t take my word for this particular point, it was just what I, as a foreigner, thought.

 

  • Modernisation dressed up as Regency

Where should I begin with this one… This adaptation is everything but historically accurate. I’ll try to break it down to a few points:

    • Behaviors

All the characters behave as if they have lived in the 21rst century the entire time. That is visible in their behaviors, such as Anne drinking nonstop, shouting over windows and on her pillows, Mr. Elliot and Mrs. Clay kissing each other in public as if it was no big thing, Anne and Wentworth going completely alone and unchaperoned during an entire carriage ride, Anne saying Wentworth has not written to her, as if he could, etc.

image_50439681

    • Writing

Everyone saw the “we’re worse than exes now, we’re friends” sentence in the trailer, but it is not the only situation where the lines are way too modern for a regency story.

There’s the “the thing about me is I am an empath”; the “he listens with his whole body, it’s electrifying” or “anyone that attractive must have an angle”, apart from the whole rating people’s looks where Anne is considered a 6 and Mr. Elliot a 10.

It almost feels the director believes the modern audience is too dumb to appreciate a story that doesn’t use modern expressions.

    • Inaccuracies

Anne Elliot mentioned cappuccinos and Lady Russel mentions macarons, as far as I know both were created way after the 1810’s. This is just a small detail, but when put together with all the other aspects that are historically inaccurate, it becomes quite annoying.

    • Casting

I know this may be a sensitive topic for many people, and again, there are different opinions about having a diverse casting in historical adaptations. I know some people believe it is positive to have a diverse cast in regency roles because it allows everyone to feel represented in these stories, but I personally believe it is somewhat disrespectful towards, for example, people of color to pretend they were not enslaved at the time. People of color have been abused for centuries and had to (and still have to) fight hard to have the same rights and treatment as white people, so pretending they didn’t have to go through all that hardship, lessen their struggle and pretend they lived as gentleman and ladies of wealth, is in my opinion, disrespectful and even dangerous, because it’s like building a narrative saying these people didn’t suffer to get where they are nowadays.

 

  • Bad Taste

Some may have no issues with it, and maybe this is some people’s idea of humor, but having Anne overhear Wentworth’s conversation with Louisa Musgrove while trying to pee behind a tree or having her describe how she dreams about being an octopus sucking her own face (her actual words) to a room full of people is, in my opinion, just bad taste.  

image_50744065

  • Lack of humor

The movie is supposed to be funny and lighthearted, but I didn’t laugh one single time and I was bored to death by the middle of it. I do laugh with Austen’s witticisms, but believe me, there is no wit in this movie, just as there is no humor. Also, it feels a little inconsistent, assuming a very “light” and “pathetic” tone in the begging and getting a little more serious towards the end. I am not complaining about that, because I believe the movie starts very badly and improves a little with time, but if the goal was to make it a funny rom com, it failed miserably. I love rom coms, and this is not it. I didn’t even understand where they were going with the movie, because the tone from the beginning is very different from the one in the end.

 

Austen adaptations are always welcome, and people may like or dislike them. I personally disliked this one because I like to watch regency adaptations to travel to a different era. I like to witness the behaviors, way of talking and values of that era, that’s the whole appeal of these stories for me. I don’t watch historical adaptations to see 21rst century characters playing dress up, in fact, I don’t even see the appeal in that, although I am sure some people like it.

I am of the opinion that if you want to make a modern take of something you should do a “modern” take, and probably your modern story will be quite good, I’ve seen some modern adaptations of Pride and Prejudice that I liked, but they were actually moderns. Playing dress up is not one thing or the other and is bound to fail.

Summing up, Netflix’s Persuasion adaptation is a flop. It fails as a regency movie because it is everything but regency, it fails as an Austen adaptation because it completely distorted the main character’s personality, it fails as a rom com because it is not able to engage the audience in the love story, and it fails as a humorous adaptation because it is not funny at all. But hey…that’s just my opinion 😊

 

 

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A Most Excellent Understanding by Wade H. Mann

a most excellent understanding3 stars

In A Most Excellent Understanding Elizabeth learns while she is in Kent that it was Darcy who separated Jane from Bingley, so she decides to return earlier to London. When Mr. Darcy learns why she departed, he decides to follow her and ask both her and Jane for forgiveness. After a most sincere conversation between the three of them, the story continues with Elizabeth and Darcy in a much closer relationship then they had prior to his admissions, so readers who like it when this couple get together earlier in the story will certainly enjoy this plotline.

I found the premise of a Most Excellent Understanding interesting, and I particularly liked the initial chapters in which Elizabeth is able to create several humorous situations with her heated reactions to what she has just discovered. It is visible from the start that this book has a fresh style that is appealing and invites readers to continue reading the story.

However, even though I enjoyed the freshness of the writing style, I also had a hard time adjusting to everyone’s bluntness. It appeared that everybody said exactly what was on their mind to everybody else. I didn’t see the usual restrain people living in this era would have in social interactions and that was a quibble for me. Even Georgiana lectures Mr. Bingley for being persuaded to leave Netherfield in front of Jane, Anne and Colonel Fitzwilliam, that was something I found not only out of character, but also not in accordance with the behaviour ladies would have in the 1810’s.

Jane Bennet is an important character in this book, and she is much stronger and less forgiving than what we are used to, which is something I personally like, but the changes in her character also seemed a bit too much for me, especially as she found it very easy to forgive Mr. Darcy, but not Mr. Bingley who was treated very harshly. Her different reactions to both gentlemen was something I couldn’t understand in her character, but maybe it is simply a personal preference and other people will not be bothered by this inconsistency. Readers who can focus solely on her backbone when it comes to Mr. Bingley will certainly enjoy their interactions.

A relationship I enjoyed in this book was that of Elizabeth and Lady Catherine, I think the author made a very interesting choice, and something I would like to see more often in books. I also liked Lady Catherine’s character, I think her actions were quite in line with her character, even if I also found it hard to accept that someone arriving at a household of people she did not know and started giving specific orders of how the girls would be raised et cetera, would be considered proper behaver at the time. I can imagine Lady Catherine doing something like that, what I cannot imagine is everyone condoling such behaviour.  

I didn’t consider this story overly romantic, but there are several intense and strong romantic sentences proffered by Mr. Darcy. Some of the sentences I read were swoon worthy and the type of line that we want to quote all the time. However, despite these beautiful sentences, I also found it hard to believe that Elizabeth would go from hating and despising Mr. Darcy to accepting his courtship after only one simple conversation, and to love him deeply in a matter of days.

I liked the way Colonel Fitzwilliam made Lydia understand she would need to change, it was quite fun an creative, but again doing it in front of everyone and upon meeting her for the first time didn’t seem believable to me.

Summing up, there are many different details that are interesting and entertaining in A Most Excellent Understanding, and the author did a great job when it comes to adding small fascinating aspects in the book, but I also found the behaviours of the characters more in line with what we would expect in our own century then in 1800’s, so it was difficult for me to truly enjoy the story as a regency one. I believe that readers who are willing to accept 21rst century behaviours in a regency novel may enjoy this book much more then me.

You can find A Most Excellent Understanding at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited 

 

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The Luxury of Silence by Susan Adriani

5 stars

In this Pride & Prejudice variation Mr. Darcy meets Elizabeth Bennet at Oakham Mount before the Meryton Assembly, and that first encounter will change the dynamics of their relationship throughout their entire acquaintance.

In The Luxury of Silence, Mr. Darcy is truly affected with the events that transpired in Ramsgate over the summer, and when he travels to Hertfordshire with his friend Bingley, he decides to take Georgiana with him to try to improve her spirits. What no one seems to realize, except Elizabeth Bennet, is that Mr. Darcy is also in very low spirits, and he needs someone to help him cope with his feelings of guilt, regret, and loneliness. As a beautiful friendship develops between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, she seems to truly listen to him and to understand what is in his heart. She becomes the best friend he could ever have and draws him out of his melancholic state. In turn, Mr. Darcy recognizes in Elizabeth a lady with intelligence, compassion, and liveliness, all the characteristics he could wish for in a wife, and the feeling of being understood and cared for is stronger than anything he has ever felt, so he slowly allows his heart to open to Elizabeth.

This is a low angst book, and if you know me, you know I don’t usually love low angst books where the pages are filled with only Elizabeth and Darcy falling in love with one another, but this book is so beautifully written that I can honestly say it is one of the best books I have read this year! If someone who doesn’t usually like low angst fell in love with this book, you can only imagine how much readers who like low angst will love it!

The writing style in The Luxury of Silence is simultaneously engaging and immersive, and I felt myself right beside Elizabeth and Darcy during their walks or conversations in the dark, empty rooms of Longbourn or Netherfield. The author was able to make me feel exactly what both characters were feeling because instead of telling me what they were feeling, she showed it to me with their dialogues and actions.

I loved the portrayal of both Darcy and Elizabeth in this book because they were still the same characters Austen developed but shown in a different light. They were both rational creatures and there weren’t any unnecessary misunderstandings or useless discussions, there was only a beautiful friendship that grew into a stout love. The love story in The Luxury of Silence was beautiful and intense, the characters feelings grew slowly and steadily, and the narrative was full of tender scenes that captured my heart.

The characters were beautifully written and developed and I particularly liked the way that Darcy’s soul was laid before us, the depth of his feelings was the driving force of this novel and what made me read it nonstop.

I also liked the approach the author had towards Lydia and Kitty, I liked the fact that they were still true to Austen’s characters, but when given a chance to interact with other people, showed there was more to them then silliness. The friendship they developed with Georgiana, and the protectiveness Darcy developed for them was endearing and a plus in this novel.

The Luxury of Silence is an intense romance that is Darcy and Elizabeth centric. These two characters occupy most of the pages of the novel as there are no villains in their way, only a beautiful, slow, and steady development of an ardent relationship between them. I highly recommend this book to readers who love a good romance.

You can find The Luxury of Silence at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited 

 

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Transforming Mr. Darcy by Melanie Rachel

4 stars

Transforming Mr. Darcy is a fairy tale novella in which many different aspects of fairy tales such as Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs influences the storyline of Pride and Prejudice. Readers must be perfectly aware that this novella is a fairy tale, and therefore, will depict many unrealistic situations. If you are unwilling to accept that, it is best for you not to read the book, or you’ll be disappointed. However, if you are willing to accept the fairy tale aspect of this novella, then you will have a great time as this story is funny, romantic and entertaining.

This story starts with Mr. Bingley and his party’s arrival at Hertfordshire, and we witness the well known “she is tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me” scene, however, this time, it is not Elizabeth who hears the comment, it is her fairy godmother. In this magical story, fairies are rare, and therefore most people do not believe they exist, but the Bennet family still has two of them, and their main function is to help the young ladies of the household to find suitable husbands (yes, this is a dreamy situation for Mrs. Bennet). When Elizabeth’s fairy godmother hears this insult, she is outraged and starts using her magical powers to get back at Mr. Darcy for his rudeness. This is very funny in the beginning, but as things progress, Elizabeth is forced to intervene, lest her fairy godmother goes to far in her revenge and as Elizabeth tries to protect Mr. Darcy, she sees a different side of him, and obviously, her feelings become much stronger than she would have liked.

I found this story lighthearted, funny, but also well thought of and romantic. The author found a very creative way to make both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy improve what they needed to improve to recognize the worth in each other and to be the perfect pair. The story is also very well written, and that was actually the only way the author could have make this story work for a reader such as me. To be honest, I never thought I would like this type of book, but the characters and the plot are very well built. I was able to understand where the story was going, what was the purpose of each character and what was the conducting line of the plot, so I ended up liking this novella very much.

I enjoyed the beginning of the book immensely because it was very funny, and as the story progressed, and the fairy tale deepened, I started thinking that the end could either make it or break it because everything could make perfect sense in the realm of a fairy tale, or it could be just a Pride and Prejudice story with fairy tale elements added in it without a logical of its own. I am pleased to say that everything made perfect sense in the end. I particularly liked the ending of this book when Elizabeth’s fairy godmother explains which was her plan the entire time. I had already guessed there was much more to it then we are made to think of initially, but the author was able to explain everything in a very satisfying manner.

Summing up, Transforming Mr. Darcy is a bright and clever fairy tale novella where the characters from Pride and Prejudice are forced to look at their flaws and work on their personalities to achieve happiness. It is a story where both Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth prove the strength of their love under dire situations, and where HEA is a much-deserved reward. I recommend it to readers who enjoy short, funny and entertaining stories where reality is not mandatory. I never expected to like it as much as I did, but Melanie Rachel certainly knows how to tell a story and engage readers in satisfying and intense stories 🙂 

You can find Transforming Mr. Darcy at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Audible


 

 

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A Faithful Narrative by Mary Smythe

a faithful narrative4.5 stars

After spending several days in Elizabeth’s company at Kent, Mr. Darcy feels unable to repress his feelings any longer so he decides to propose, but just before he can do so, he finds Elizabeth’s journal and even though he is not tempted to read it, when he spots his name, he cannot resist reading a few lines. Once he discovers how much she despises him, he cannot avoid reading other passages and learns there is a long way he needs to go to change the way others perceive his character.

The first chapters of this book are very promising, and I couldn’t put it down because I wanted to know how both characters would react to this change of events. What would Mr. Darcy do once he discovered Elizabeth’s true feelings for him? And what would Elizabeth do when she learned that not only he read her diary, but also knows what she thinks of him?

The reason why I enjoyed this novel so much was not only the way it is written, but also the answer to those questions.

I loved the way Mr. Darcy reacted to this news, first he was appalled, then he was angry, but finally he accepted that Elizabeth’s charges were reasonable. I loved the strategy he came up to return her the diary, the way he said goodbye, and his cautionary attitude once he was back at Longbourn. Mr. Darcy was a gentleman throughout the story, and I could feel how much he loved Elizabeth, how sorry he was for the first impression he left in her and the consequences of his attitudes.

I also liked the way Elizabeth handled the entire situation, and even her proactive approach to solve this issue. Her courage always rises to the occasion, right? Well, she wasn’t afraid to reach out to Mr. Darcy and fight for her happiness, I loved that about her.

I also enjoyed the fact that the author didn’t rush the characters feelings in this novel and provided us with a satisfactory ending that was believable giving the timeframe of the book.

A Faithfull Narrative is a short novella that will captivate readers. Its unique premise is appealing and the behaviors of the characters enchanting. I recommend it to readers looking for a short Elizabeth and Darcy centered story.

 

Audiobook Narration:

Elizabeth Bennet’s Level

This audiobook was the first I heard narrated by Amanda Parrott and I have to say it was very pleasing to hear. There was nothing standing out in her narration, which means I was able to get immersed in the story, so I would definitely recommend the audiobook version.

 

You can find A Faithful Narrative at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Kindle Unlimited and Audible


 

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Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements by Mary Pagones

pride prejudice and personal statements4.5 stars

I’ve had Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements in my TBR for a couple of years, and I feel ashamed to admit I’ve only read it this month, because even if this is not exactly a modernization of a Jane Austen novel, it is a very interesting Austen inspired book that I should have read sooner.

Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements is told in the first person, and it is through the eyes of the main character, Liss Tennant, that the reader learns how hard senior year can be for American students. The book will reveal Liss’s many struggles, but the main focus of the story is the difficulty of choosing not only a major, but also which college to attend. While being presented with many well-placed Austen references, the reader will learn Liss’s academic problems, but also the ones of her friends, enemies and frenemies.

Even if it was hard to understand some of the characteristics of the American educational system, and especially impossible to relate to the characters main struggles because I come from a reality that is not even slightly similar, I found it very interesting to learn more about the educational system in America. This book was not only entertaining but also informative and learning something new is one of the best things we can have in a book.  

I liked the main character and the fact that she has strong beliefs and is willing to go all the way for them. I loved to see her grow through the entire year and mature by the end of the book. I’ve also loved Mr. Clarke, Liss’s English teacher. Not only did I love his strength of character, was touched by his sadness, and impressed with his willingness to help others, but I also loved his view about education. I couldn’t agree more with him, when he says that there is a decrease in the quality of student’s papers because that is visible in many different aspects of society, and I also agree with him that patronizing and over grading everything isn’t the solution. Sure, it will make people feel better about themselves, but will it truly help them? Is it helpful to allow people to be mediocre while making them believe they are good simply because no one ever tells them what and how they need to improve? I appreciated the reality the author brought to this tale by showing us different perspectives, both in the student’s manner of handling the pressure they were having, their dedication to school and their learning process, or lack thereof, but also by demonstrating Mr. Clarke’s opposing view to the one of some helicopter parents present in the narrative. In a way this book is extremely modern and a reflex of our society. It was almost as if Liss and her dad were from a different generation then some of her colleagues and their parents, and that generational difference was also interesting to witness.

In the beginning I was afraid the Austen details would become a little cheesy, but they did not. In fact, it was exciting to see how the author added to this novel some of Austen’s sentences or character traits. We could not only see the characters love for Austen’s work, but also see them learn from it, and that was another aspect I enjoyed in this book.

I can’t exactly say this is a young adult novel, but it is a novel about young adults with a huge Austen influence. It is a very modern book that will reveal many different approaches to life with which most readers will relate. I think that in a discreet manner this book tackles many different issues that are relevant for our society, and I do recommend reading it. If you like modern tales that find a way to connect with Jane Austen, Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements may be an appealing book for you.

 

You can find Pride, Prejudice and Personal Statements at:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

and Kindle Unlimited


 

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Filed under JAFF, Persuasion