From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder
As most Austenprose readers will know by now, I’m a big fan of Pride and Prejudice variations, what-if’s, and retellings. In fact, if you look at the scope of Jane Austen fan fiction that I read it’s almost entirely comprised of Pride and Prejudice inspired novels. A recent addition to this group that I adored was Colette Saucier’s Pulse and Prejudice (review is here). After reading this I couldn’t wait to see what else she had in store, and I was excited to find she’d written another P&P influenced novel entitled All My Tomorrows which promptly was added to my to-read list. I’m also a huge sucker for the melodramatic romance novel, so when I read further into All My Tomorrows’ plot and discovered it was about a soap opera AND a melodramatic romance novel….well my heart did a little flutter of excitement.
The head writer at a storied and long-running soap opera entitled “All My Tomorrows”, Alice McGillicutty has enjoyed steady success until the show’s ratings have recently begun to plummet. Desperate for a way to save the soap from inevitable cancellation if ratings do not improve, Alice begins frantically searching for inspiration, even reading the old and crazy melodrama “The Edge of Darkness” in the hopes that it will spark new ideas. Meanwhile, fate intervenes when controversial Hollywood star Peter Walsingham comes to Alice’s studio. He signs on to “All My Tomorrows” due to contractual obligations after his character is killed off in his previous project. Unfortunately for Alice, however, Peter’s ego seems to be larger than the studio can hold, and the two butt heads immediately. In this tale of Peter’s pride meeting Alice’s prejudice, can the two manage to work together to save the show or are they destined for cancellation?
One of the great things that Saucier has accomplished with this work is how she managed to modernize the story and include so many of my guilty pleasures as well! I was so impressed by the way that Saucier created a book (“The Edge of Darkness”) within All My Tomorrows. It was a wonderful, melodramatic addition to the work, and goodness, do I love a melodramatic novel. It’s something about the way in which these works weave an over-the-top love story with a great plot that makes me want to keep turning the pages. Returning to the book at hand, All My Tomorrows, it was evident that the more serious tone of this main work was meant to balance the melodrama of “The Edge of Darkness”. It did this perfectly. All My Tomorrows has solidified the thoughts I had after reading Pulse and Prejudice, in that Saucier is a master storyteller. Her ability to keep the reader engaged throughout both works, even though they are contained within the same novel, is fantastic. Additionally, the character development was phenomenal, Peter (Darcy) is throughout the shining example here. His total transformation from pretentious jerk to kindhearted, thoughtful, selfless man is not only believable, but an honest portrayal of Austen’s true vision. The subsequent supporting characters were all visions of genius as well. This, combined with the excellent storytelling, engaging plot, and melodramatic addition made for a read I won’t soon forget.
5 out of 5 Stars
All My Tomorrows, by Colette Saucier
Southern Girl Press (2012)
Trade paperback (248) pages
© 2012 Kimberly Denny-Ryder, Austenprose