A Fair Prospect: Disappointed Hopes, A Tale of Elizabeth and Darcy, Volume I, by Cassandra Grafton – A Review

A Fair Prospect: Disappointed Hopes, Vol I by Cassandra Grafton 2013 From the desk of Kimberly Denny Ryder:

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of open-ended endings in movies and books. Just ask my husband, who has seen me yell after reading a book or seeing a movie that ends with the reader/viewer not knowing what has happened to the main characters. One example that comes to mind is Pride and Prejudice itself! I’ve always wondered what happened after the wedding (maybe that’s why I read so many Pride and Prejudice sequels!) So, when I heard that A Fair Prospect: Disappointed Hopes by Cassandra Grafton was actually the first in a three-part series and it wouldn’t actually have a proper ending, I was a bit skeptical.

In volume I of the A Fair Prospect trilogy, Disappointed Hopes, we find Fitzwilliam Darcy back in London after his failed engagement proposal to Elizabeth, obviously upset by her refusal of such a beneficial match. Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds herself on the way to London, the result of a request by an old family friend to meet in town. Already emotional after her encounter with Darcy, she finds comfort when finally reaching London and meeting this friend, Nicholas Harington. The son of a wealthy family not unlike the Darcy family in both holdings and standing, Nicholas’ family provides a formidable opponent to Darcy’s in the matters of Elizabeth’s heart. Darcy and Elizabeth’s paths cross unexpectedly in London when Bingley begins courting Jane again. Darcy is introduced to Harington, who seems by all to be the perfect suitor for Elizabeth now that Darcy has failed. Or, has he?

I’ll be honest; this first volume was definitely quite dense. A vast majority of the plot was inner turmoil; there really wasn’t much external conflict to keep the plot moving forward. I’m no stranger to inner turmoil and self-reflection; in fact I love when a character overcomes emotional obstacles and discover something new about him/herself. I think it’s a great plot device and it really helps to flesh out a story. However, as this story was mainly composed of inner turmoil, there wasn’t much else for the plot to fall back on when I got tired of hearing about Elizabeth and Darcy’s inner musings.

Col. Fitzwilliam was a wonderfully embellished addition to this work. Darcy and Elizabeth’s thoughts at times can be dark as they both begin to realize their own faults. Col. Fitzwilliam’s comedic presence was a great counterweight to this mood, and it provided moments of brevity that I really enjoyed. I also loved watching him work his way through Darcy’s bad moods. Knowing Darcy as intimately as he does, it was funny to see him cut to the heart of his issues and be his confident, whether he actually wanted this or not, (Georgiana too).

Finally, seeing the depth of Elizabeth’s feelings for Darcy change has been super rewarding (I’m currently reading volume 3). Watching her discover her love for him makes me just as happy as when I first read Pride and Prejudice. Introspective, detailed, and well-written, this clean Pride and Prejudice retelling is a great primer to what’s sure to be a rewarding trilogy.

3.5 out of 5 Regency Stars

A Fair Prospect: Disappointed Hopes, A Tale of Elizabeth and Darcy, Volume I, by Cassandra Grafton
White Soup Press; 1 edition (2013)
Trade paperback (260) pages
ISBN: 978-1482098358

Cover image courtesy of White Soup Press © 2014; text Kimberly Denny Ryder © 2014, Austenprose.com

Disclosure of Material Connection: We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. We only review or recommend products we have read or used and believe will be a good match for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

11 thoughts on “A Fair Prospect: Disappointed Hopes, A Tale of Elizabeth and Darcy, Volume I, by Cassandra Grafton – A Review

  1. I enjoyed this series so very much. The introspection of the characters, as you said, was a different take on the story, but I found it very enlightening.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I have finished the series and loved it. I keep waiting for a new book by this author. I love books in a trilogy but tend to wait and read them all at once, which I did with this one. That way it is one large book…my favorite. I get impatient for the next in the series. Reading Harry Potter was torture. I envy those children, like my grandson, that can read them one after the other. This Colonel Fitzwilliam has to me my favorite. In some books he is dry and almost an afterthought, like in Pride and Predjudice, but his place in Darcy’s life had a new dimension here.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I love this trilogy and Bath in volume 3 is my favourite, There are lots of scenes I like throughout the trilogy and the prose is just exquisite! I wanted to marry the Colonel by the end of book three :)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Count me in as another fan of this trilogy. I read them back-to-back this last spring, so I didn’t have the anguish of waiting for the next volume.

    I love Ms Grafton’s writing style and the way she introduced new characters was very well done. Of course, the Colonel seems to have come into his own in the world of JAFF, much to pretty much universal approval I believe, and he doesn’t disappoint here.

    Anyone who wants to read more of her work should hop over to Austen Variations, where you can read her version of Lizzie Bennet’s Diary, based on the screenplay of the 2005 film. She is also part of the writing team for the Persuasion 200 project and The Darcy Brothers on that site.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Cassandra’s trilogy has been one of my all time favorite re-tellings of P&P since I discovered this magical genre! I just finished re-reading it a couple days ago and think I enjoyed it even more than the first time! I love her beautiful writing style and the focus of her book includes lots of time with my favorite characters: the Colonel, as mentioned above, the Gardeners, and interactions of Elizabeth and Darcy. Georgiana and Cousin Anne are more developed and outgoing than the original, but still credible. The new Harington family she has introduced and Elizabeth’s beloved friend, Serena are delightful additions and contribute wonderfully to this story! I really love the way she expresses the transformation of feelings, as well as the inner turmoil of both Elizabeth and Darcy, and found the ending wonderfully satisfying!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I too am a big fan of this trilogy and the writing of Cassandra Grafton. I love her beautiful writing style and use of Regency language. The words seem to flow onto the pages.

    Her ability to get ‘in the heads’ of her characters is amazing. I found the introspections of the characters to be very telling and rewarding to read. I enjoyed knowing exactly what each was thinking.

    Oh, and the Colonel…wasn’t he lovable? His interactions with Darcy were so good and his behavior was adorable. He kept me quite amused! (and I loved Georgiana)

    Like Carol, this trilogy is one of my all time favorites too. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I lerved this entire series. I enjoyed the introduction of non-canon characters and how they made P&P into a whole different story. The first book was my favorite but I was wholly satisfied how things came to a Happily Ever After by the conclusion. Well done Cassandra Grafton! I’d read anything you write!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I would really like Laurel Ann for requesting a copy of the three books for review, and I would also like to thank Kimberly Denny-Ryder for her review, for being honest about what was less successful about the story, but also for letting me know what worked well;it was so nice to know Kimberly was enjoying the later volumes.

    To everyone who has commented here, thank you a million times over for taking the time to read the review and to leave a comment. I really appreciate every single one, and I am so grateful for your support.

    Thank you! :D

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I like how this novel takes us down a different path with unique twists from the original Jane Austen novel. The ending is satisfyingly similar but with much more detail on the characters’ thoughts and motivations. I especially liked the Bath setting as it brought back fond personal memories of places visited.

    Personally I do not find the book to be dense, but rather emotionally intense. With the attention to detail describing the time period, you have a feeling that you are right there with the characters. This is definitely a book not to be hurried, but rather savored. This novel is one I plan to keep and enjoy again and again – definitely an exceptional effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I, too, have to re-read this trilogy. I enjoyed it with the first reading and I do like to be inside the thoughts of our characters and read a process by which change is accomplished. I especially like that Darcy had (in his mind) a rival for Elizabeth’s affections. I hope Cassandra publishes many more! The Colonel remains one of my fondest characters.

    Liked by 1 person

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