From the desk of Lisa Galek:
Georgiana Darcy might be a minor character in Pride and Prejudice, but we know that she’ll go on to play a very important role in the lives of the future Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. As a resident of Pemberley, Georgiana’s daily life would have been intimately connected with the lives of her brother and sister-in-law. How would she have learned from them? How would she grow into a woman? Would she ever find her own true love? In Shannon Winslow’s book, Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley, all those questions are answered and more.
Our story begins about a year after the events of Pride and Prejudice. Georgiana Darcy is about to turn eighteen years old and lives at Pemberley with her brother and new sister-in-law. She is profoundly happy there and never has to worry about being married off to some odious relative for financial reasons. Of course, that doesn’t mean Georgiana doesn’t want to get married… if the right man comes along. Right now, she has her heart set on her cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam, who is starting to look less like a guardian and more like husband material every day.
But, Georgiana soon discovers that nothing is easy when it comes to love. When obstacles are thrown in her way, Georgiana embarks on an important coming of age journey. Can she overcome her shy nature and grow into a confident woman fit to be a wife? Does Colonel Fitzwilliam care for her? Or will she accept someone else’s offer of marriage instead?
As you can tell from the cover of the book, Shannon Winslow wrote this story as a companion to her other Pride and Prejudice sequel, The Darcys of Pemberley. That story tells all about life after marriage from the point of view of Elizabeth Darcy (née Bennet). Georgiana plays a minor role in that story, but the author tells us that she couldn’t help wondering what was going on behind the scenes with Mr. Darcy’s little sister. Though she assures us that you don’t need to read one book to appreciate the other, I think they might actually rely on each other more than she might imagine.
It is obvious that Shannon Winslow is a true fan of Pride and Prejudice because she really nails the voice of Georgiana, as well as the speech and actions of the other main characters in the novel. Not only are we hearing this story from Georgiana’s point of view, but we are also getting more information about her past, her mishap with George Wickham, her parents’ deaths, and growing up with her brother at Pemberley. The author does a wonderful job painting a portrait of a shy young lady who has been protected and sheltered all her life, but who’s now on the brink of becoming a woman.
I was delighted to see Georgiana come out of her shell more. Not only does she develop a crush-worthy love interest, but she grows in character and confidence (with a little help from her brother and sister-in-law). Georgiana has more time on her own and must grapple with all kinds of grown-up problems like unwanted marriage proposals and running a household on her own. All in all, it’s a really sweet and delightful coming of age story featuring a character we don’t usually get to hear much from.
The big problem I had with this book—and it’s a pretty big one—is that nothing much really happens in it. The main plot is whether or not Georgiana will end up with Colonel Fitzwilliam who she admits to falling in love within the first few chapters. Sure, there are other suitors to meet and places to see, but in the end, all these side intrigues really come to nothing. Even the first meeting between Lady Catherine and her new niece, Elizabeth Darcy—an event which has the potential to be explosive or at least wildly entertaining—turns out to be a bit of a yawn from Georgiana’s perspective.
I think what really limits that story is how closely the author sticks to the plot from her first novel. Sure, this book shares some off-camera scenes and tells us about others from Georgiana’s perspective, but we’re missing a lot of the juicier and more interesting details that are floating around in the background. Georgiana is absent during a fight between Elizabeth and Darcy, trouble with the Wickhams, and even a kidnapping. So, how can she really give us her thoughts on these events when she isn’t there?
I kept thinking that somewhere in this book was a really interesting novel. Then I realized that the book is The Darcys of Pemberley. I’m going to put it on my reading list next and see if it sheds a little more light on this overall insightful and well-written portrait of Georgiana Darcy.
4 out of 5 Regency Stars
Miss Georgiana Darcy of Pemberley, by Shannon Winslow
Heather Ridge Arts (2015)
Trade paperback & eBook (280) pages
Cover image courtesy of Heather Ridge Arts © 2015, text Lisa Galek © 2015, 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.”