Best Review of Miss Darcy's Companion: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (pemberley Departures Book 2):
Most helpful customer reviews 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful. “England is the most class-ridden country under the sun. It is a land of snobbery and privilege, ruled largely by the old and si By J. W. Garrett The first part of this story was wickedly hilarious, and unconscionably so, as we learned of the demise of Mr. Bennet. The way the author discussed the mode of his passing was hilarious and so appropriate. Due to the irony and humor of it, even Mr. Bennet would approve. Collins inherited of course.Our modern sensibilities do not fully understand or comprehend what exactly happened to the Bennet family when the head of the house died. The following drastically changed in their circumstance: their place in society was lowered dramatically, their protection was gone, their financial support limited to what the mother had, their very respectability was diminished as they were no longer considered part of the landed gentry, and Mrs. Bennet lost her place among the exalted ladies of the community. The Bennet ladies were now dependent upon the small competence of their mother’s and the support of their relatives.This was off canon and several characters are vastly different. The timeline gave our story an earlier time period than when we usually enter a P&P variation. The OOC [out of character] traits were not offensive, it just gave the reader a different slant and perspective of characters. Darcy was more… yeah... just more. OK, he demonstrated more prejudice, taciturn, staid, starch and upper class persona than even in canon… and he was proud of it.Elizabeth was also more… more intelligent and resourceful, more prideful, more prejudice, more starch and wit. Her sharp wit could cut to the bone and not leave a drop of blood. She possessed the uncanny knack of deflecting the hurtful barbs of others, that pierced the skin, with humor that usually turned the tide back on the one giving the insult.Georgiana learned a lot from Elizabeth, was more resilient and stood her ground when she needed to. In the game Clue, it would be: Georgiana, in the parlor, with a candlestick. She would play the game most deftly. I loved her relationship with Elizabeth. In her independence and wanting to choose her own companion, it was noted that she did not initially like Mrs. Younge and rejected her. She thought the lady was too sly and didn’t trust her.What I didn’t like: I must be the only person on the planet that has not read a Georgette Heyer book. Therefore, I didn’t understand that strange language the author was attempting to emulate. It simply went over my head. Some of it, I was able to decipher, if I concentrated really hard and thought about it. I suppose it was the Regency Era equivalent to Urban slang. There were also editing problems, and one in particular… Bangles… who or what was that? Was it supposedly a Bingley typo? Never did get it.This was a long and drawn out love story. There are ups and downs, disappointed dreams, downs and further down, blasted hopes, woeful misunderstandings, deep angst and a hard fought HEA. At 68%, or chapter 12, Darcy did an in-depth study of just what the objections were in a relationship with Elizabeth. In other words, he identified the walls around his heart: 1) pride, 2) obligation, 3) duty, 4) self-doubt. I have never seen them presented all at once like that, and then have him address each of them so thoroughly. I was heartbroken by the intense logic of where he was in the order of society and how far Elizabeth’s status had fallen. It was a devastating blow to his heart as he warred against all four and attempted to assuage the hurt to his soul. I nearly cried.What would a P&P story be without… Villains: Lady Catherine sticking her aristocratic nose where it didn’t belong? Caroline Bingley and Louisa Hurst with their poison letters and caustic remarks. The table was turned on them big time … hilarious, and in public by Brummell himself. Wickham was a smooth talking sleaze and dirt bag of the first order and his fini was original… the bastard.Good Guys: Love them: We have the cousin/brother Colonel Fitzwilliam, his older brother, the Viscount, their parents Lord and Lady Matlock, Uncle and Aunt Gardiner [OOC but still beloved relations that love E&J], Jane and Bingley… as always… so sweet.Mrs. Bennet… there is an epilogue for her that you will not believe. I was bowled over… I mean shock of all shocks. I did like that we didn’t have a lot of page time with the silly sisters, Kitty and Lydia. They spent most of their time away at school. They embarrassed Lizzy several times while on break but we didn’t have to endure them for very long. However, their epilogue was awesome. Mary and her choice of partner was interesting.Epilogue: I love a good epilogue and this one was most excellent. It went forward several years and was most satisfying. There were several excellent reveals that were a complete surprise and yet had been hinted at several times. I was surprised that the author pulled it off. That was sneaky and most creative. I don’t think I have seen it done that way before. Loved it. 3 of 3 people found the following review helpful. Witty, Entertaining Pride and Prejudice Alternative By Donna D. Krug I greatly enjoyed this alternative Pride and Prejudice story in which Lizzy becomes a paid companion to Georgiana who insisted on her despite Darcy's reservations. Fortunately Col. Fitzwilliam agreed. Lizzy's father died when a book case fell on him. She and Jane left Longbourn before Mr. Collins moved in, as Lizzy was determined to earn her way and sell most of her father's books.This is a witty, entertaining alternative. Wickham does come into the story but this version of Georgiana, though naive, is capable of taking care of herself. Although Darcy tries to resist he is drawn to his sister's companion, and they gradually fall in love with one another, though both believe it is a forbidden love. Lizzy is spared much interaction with Mr. Collins, and he does not seem quite as obnoxious as in most versions of Pride and Prejudice, though he is still dim witted and grovelling to those he sees as betters. He is pretty proud of his own position as landholder, too.. After all he becomes the master of Longbourn before he has been with Lady Catherine very long. Lady Catherine's help unwittingly lays the groundwork for the ending of her dreams of a suitor for sickly Anne.This version of Lizzy is witty, talented, and generally delightful with some talents ladies are not supposed to do. Georgiana dearly loves her. Her brother resists but ends up drawn to her as well. Although Caroline Bingley never really had a chance, she is quite a nasty mouthed villain.This book shows a beautiful use of language and a real feel for the times. There's minor editing errors, but they did not distract. There's a lot of witty situations that make the reader laugh. I read the first 5-6 chapters of this while crushed on an two airplanes and waiting around in two airports on the return from an emergency trip to my uncle's funeral. It was a wonderful diversion and got even better and better when I returned and was recuperating from the all-day into evening flight from Conn. to Calif. via Atlanta. How grateful I am for that Kindle for IPad program. Anyway, this is a must read of Lizzy, whose status is diminished by her father's death. Ah, if only Darcy did not resist the attraction so much. Naturally, Lizzy felt unsuitable for him, as well, but she had a wonderful ability to make the best of situations and a biting wit when needed. She was ever so resourceful and Georgiana learned from her. Loved this book. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Good alternate version of beloved classic... By Lillibet1812 While this story does flag a liitle in the latter part by then I was emotionally invested enough with the characters & the story to persevere ... Wickham & Lady Catherine make brief troublesome appearances however, Caroline Bigley is the principle troublemaker throughout the book... Although Darcy does manage to create a few problems for himself (all on his own)... Elizabeth remains pretty true to canon... Her situation is drastically different with the death of her father at the beginning of the story... How she copes, how she & Darcy fall in love , her relationship with Georgiana as well as Jane & Bingley's romance makes for a great read... See all 14 customer reviews...
From the Author --From Chapter Three--When the Darcys and Mr. Bingley were escorted into the small but comfortable home of the Gardiners on Gracechurch Street, they heard music from behind the closed doors of the drawing room. Darcy watched his sister's face light up with pleasure, and though the musician did not possess the technical skill of his own sister, still, he must admit she played charmingly with none of the affectation which distinguished the performances of so many ladies of his acquaintance. Mrs. Gardiner greeted them in the hall and escorted them into the room from which the music emanated. There Darcy caught his first glimpse of the Bennet sisters. The fair one, whom from Bingley's description he realized immediately was indeed the elder Miss Jane Bennet, sat demurely with a piece of needlework. She stood with a degree of agitation when they entered, but her sister, whose back was to them, did not discontinue her playing until Mrs. Gardiner called out to her."I say, Lizzy, have you lost complete track of the time? Our callers are here, and I imagine they would like very much to be introduced to you."Rising abruptly, the young lady nearly crashed the piano stool to the ground but grabbed hold of it before knocking it over. Then, instead of the nervous blushes, he would have expected, she laughed, saying, "Oh, my! How paper-skulled you must think me. I did not hear you from where I sat, and Jane and I were determined not to be caught looking for you out the window!"This made Georgiana giggle and Darcy could not help but smile at the other girl's easiness among strangers. "You could not please my sister more than to allow her to hear your charming performance, Miss," Darcy said, then hesitated, realizing they had not yet been made know to each other. Elizabeth and Jane presented themselves and were introduced to their guests by their mutual friend which included many ebullient compliments for each member of the party in turn."I daresay, Mr. Bingley, it is too much!" Elizabeth chortled, "How can one ever live up to your description? Only Jane to my knowledge is as good as you suggest, for I am certainly not! I should much prefer to surprise new acquaintances with how much more agreeable I am than they expected than disappoint them by having been spoken of with so much enthusiasm.""My friend has a tendency to flattery, but I have never known him to be insincere," Darcy objected. He was irked by Bingley's eagerness for the connection and did not disagree with Miss Elizabeth's maxim, but he found her open manners disconcerting. Although when he looked down at his sister, to his surprise, there she sat, smiling, no grinning, at Miss Bennet."Please forgive me, sir. I do not mean to suggest your friend is insincere. I believe he is in earnest, for it is clear to me it is his nature to be pleased by everything and never to find faults or flaws in his friends.""You make me sound like a simpleton, Miss Elizabeth!" laughed Bingley."Oh! We have only just been introduced Mr. Darcy, Miss Darcy, and already I find myself in the suds," she laughed. "Come, let us all sit and I shall pour refreshments. Mr. Darcy, may I pour you a cup of tea? Or perhaps you prefer coffee?""Indeed, I would like some coffee with a dollop of cream and one sugar if you please," he inclined his head politely. He regarded the young lady as she concentrated on her task. Meeting her eyes when she held out the cup and saucer, he thanked her, taking a seat which allowed him to observe her interaction with Georgiana."Mr. Darcy, though we are so recently acquainted, already I begin to know so much about your character," she said. Though her smile was polite, she seemed to be laughing at him with her eyes and it made him stiffen. Good manners demanded a response. "You must be extraordinarily perceptive, Miss Elizabeth, to make such a claim. Tell me what you think you know of me." Realizing he must sound like a brute, he added, "If you please.""Well, by coming so quickly to Mr. Bingley's defense, I know that you are a loyal friend, and from the instructions, you provided for your coffee, I am certain you are precise in your tastes and accustomed to having things adhere to your exacting standards. In short, you know your own mind which is an admirable quality, indeed."Rather than respond, he stiffly sketched a bow. Although, at first he concluded that she had subtly and purposefully insulted him, he could not hold firm in that belief and was left feeling confused by her. Nothing she said was untrue, after all. He decided he was upset that she took liberties in offering her opinions with so forthright and confident a tone. Yet he also found it refreshing. Elizabeth turned her attention to Mr. Bingley and Miss Darcy before pouring tea for her aunt and sister. Her uncle entered the room, and she prepared his tea before he took his seat, finally serving herself. In an unexceptional manner, she then served cake, biscuits, dainty sandwiches, and other treats to the guests before settling in to converse with them. Her preoccupation offered him the opportunity to scrutinize her. She seemed familiar to him, and it was not until she turned her head in profile, leaning forward to hand her uncle a plate of cake, he realized it was the young lady from the bookshop. He easily recalled the same gleaming hair and the long graceful curve of her neck. Added to this were a pair of fine eyes of a most unusual amber color at the center ringed with a darker brown and fringed by long, curling lashes. Her unusually colored eyes seemed to glow, especially when she smiled. She wore an animated, intelligent expression and, about her lips, the faint appearance of being on the verge of breaking into laughter. She seemed endowed with a uniquely happy temperament, and Darcy also considered her astute and confident. Miss Elizabeth led Georgiana into the conversation, and Darcy contented himself watching the other girl engage his sister. Her way of putting Georgiana at ease impressed him; she drew out Georgie's opinions and feelings, inquired about her home, her activities in town, and favorite pursuits. Before long, they were eagerly engaged in an informed discussions of music and the new compositions from the continent. Nor did she overburden Georgie with questions and, though expressing her own accomplishments modestly, was nevertheless forthcoming about her own interests and education. Her easiness apparently made Georgie forget her shyness and soon his sister was chattering away merrily in a manner even he rarely experienced with her.After overhearing her conversation the previous afternoon, he was unsurprised to discover she was educated well beyond the norm for a woman of her station. One might even consider her a bluestocking, and, though he did not wish for Georgiana to take up intellectual pursuits, he found nothing amiss with her companion having more topics to discuss than the latest styles or on dits about town. Well-read himself, the insipid young ladies of fashion with whom he was constantly in company did not hold his attention. He struggled to determine what conversation to embark upon with them, for, as a rule, they possessed no wit, address, or sense of humor. Rather, they boasted of the most superficial knowledge of politics and the on-going war on the continent, and generally limited their opinions to coincide with anything he expressed. At least with Miss Elizabeth he might find--if not necessarily an intellectual equal--someone who did not quake in fear or shiver in apparent disgust if he mentioned something of interest to himself. It took Darcy little time to assess the elder Miss Bennet as being retiring and shy. This left the younger sister as the sole candidate, and it was evident Georgiana was much taken with her and well on her way to deciding no one but Miss Elizabeth Bennet would do. About the Author About the Author: Sophia Meredith found her way to Jane Austen on a plane to London. At the time, she had no idea that Darcy and Elizabeth were "literature's most beloved couple," and was as shocked as Elizabeth at Hunsford when Darcy proposed that first disastrous time. Her inspiration for the Pemberley Departures series is to write novels that Jane might have written in a parallel universe, attempting to remain true to her wit, irony, writing style and, of course, her beloved characters. Georgette Heyer also figures as a huge influence on Sophia's writing. Sophia has two previously published books. "On Oakham Mount," was originally published as a standalone novel. By popular demand, it is now succeeded by "Beyond Oakham Mount," the first in a series of novellas based on the epilogue. Among other endeavors, she is hard at work on Book Two in that series and has also begun to write a modern Pride & Prejudice tale set in San Francisco, the author's hometown. Sophia lives in Denver, Colorado with an indulgent husband, a hilarious teen-age son, one extremely fat and equally affectionate cat (Grader) and another (Schminky) who, although skinny, sheds profusely while obstinately sitting in her lap. When not lost in writing or reading a book, Sophia likes to cycle, travel, try new recipes in her pressure cooker, and eat copious amounts of chocolate. She recently completed her first triathlon and is eager for her next race.
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