From the desk of Laurel Ann Nattress:
I am happy to welcome Austenesque and romantic comedy writer Elizabeth Adams to Austenprose today in celebration of her latest novel, Sons of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Reimagining.
I have read several of Elizabeth’s novels and short stories and have always enjoyed her creativity and humor. I recently re-listened to the audiobook of The 26th of November and continue to be amazed by her skill at turning an important date in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice into a mind-bending farce in the vein of the popular movie Ground Hog Day. I laughed. I gasped. I applauded.
Elizabeth’s latest Jane Austen-inspired novel is another take on Pride and Prejudice that re-imagines the lives of the characters if the mother of Fitzwilliam Darcy had not died when he was a boy. It is an insightful family saga that includes all of our favorite characters, but spins the plot in new directions and then brings us back to familiar ground.
Here is a description of the book from the publisher and a dramatic excerpt from the novel to give you a taste of what you can expect.
What if Lady Anne Darcy was alive to meet Elizabeth Bennet?
A sweeping tale of tragedy, devotion, and betrayal—spanning over 25 years and two generations—this family saga explores the life Fitzwilliam Darcy would have had if his mother had not died young.
An up-close view of the Darcys’ marriage and Fitzwilliam’s childhood … a retelling of the circumstances that shaped the man we have come to love … a reimagining of the friendships and relationships that formed each iconic character … a tale of love, loss, heartbreak, and triumph—that is Sons of Pemberley.
The midwife stepped into the hallway and the physician followed her. Mr. Darcy leapt to his feet and stared at them expectantly. The midwife shook her head slowly and looked at him with pity.
“I am sorry, sir, the babe did not survive.”
Darcy closed his eyes and exhaled. He had feared that would be the outcome. Anne had been laboring for more than a day when the physician was brought in to assist the midwife. The babe was breech, and nothing they did would make it turn.
“I am sorry about the babe, sir. But Lady Anne will survive if she does not develop a fever,” said the midwife. “The babe was breech, and large besides. She should not have another for some time—allow her womb to heal.” The midwife gave him a significant look and he stared at her blankly.
The physician wiped his spectacles with a large handkerchief and said, “I’m certain you have other options.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “Though you do have a son already, so the loss would not be devastating.”
The midwife gasped and George finally looked at the strange man.
“What did you say?”
“It does not bear repeating!” cried the midwife.
The thin physician looked down his long nose at her and sniffed. “I was merely saying that the gentleman is young and could marry again or not as he chooses as he already has an heir.” He sniffed again and perched his now-clean spectacles on his nose.
George looked at him coldly. “I will see my wife now.”
The midwife said something he did not comprehend then left, taking the physician with her. George entered the birthing room quietly, shutting the door softly behind him. Anne lay in the bed, still and sleeping. A cold breeze coming through the open window rustled the curtains gently. He wondered at its being open for a moment before the acrid smell of blood hit him. He saw his wife’s maid coming through the dressing room door and approached her.
“Lucy, how does my wife?” he whispered.
“She is well enough, sir, but her spirits are brought low,” she replied.
He nodded. “Of course.” He looked to the open window again, then back at the floor. “What has been done with the babe?” he asked, his voice sticking in his throat like a carriage wheel caught in the mud.
“Mrs. Jones took her in there to be cleaned and prepared, sir.” She pointed to the dressing room.
“It was a girl?” he asked, his voice higher than usual.
“A bonny girl, sir. I’m so sorry, sir.”
He waved her away and Lucy bobbed a curtsey before scurrying out of the room.
A girl! Anne had borne a girl! And the poor babe had not taken a single breath, nor seen a slit of blue sky, nor smelled the clean Derbyshire air after a spring rain. Choking back a sob, he sank into the nearest chair and dropped his head into his hands.
“Dearest, you must drink something,” Mr. Darcy held the glass near her face, waiting for her to open her eyes and lean forward to take a sip, but she stubbornly pressed her lips together and refused to look at him. He sighed and sat down in the chair by the bed and pressed his hand to his mouth. “Very well. We will not drink today.”
Several hours later, he awoke in an awkward position in the too-small chair. He squinted to see his wife in the dim light and was troubled to see tears tracking silently down her porcelain cheeks. Quietly, he rose from his seat and found her maid in the dressing room.
“Please bring Master Fitzwilliam here, Lucy.”
She practically ran out of the room and he went back to his wife, standing far away from the bed near the door so that she might weep without an audience. Lucy returned a few minutes later with Fitzwilliam in the arms of his nurse. When he saw his father, he reached for him and smiled brightly.
“Good afternoon, Son. Would you like to visit Mama?”
“Mama!” cried eighteen-month-old Fitzwilliam.
Mr. Darcy took his son from the nurse and dismissed her and the maid, then closed the door quietly and walked to his wife’s bedside.
“Anne, Fitzwilliam is here. Would you like to hold him?”
“Mama?” said Fitzwilliam in a small voice. He furrowed his brow and looked at her seriously, his blue eyes probing.
Lady Anne opened her eyes and looked at her son, her expression crumbling when he reached his chubby little arms out towards her. She reached forward with a sob and snatched him from her husband, pressing her face into her son’s hair and shaking with the force of her grief. Young Fitzwilliam clung to his mother, his small arms tight about her neck, until his hair was wet from her tears and she lay limply on the bed, her anguish spent for the moment.
Chapter 6, pages 56 – 57
- “Wonderful, endearing original characters populate the pages and some are distinctly memorable. There’s depth and twists of the history that will keep the reader intrigued, culminating in an epilogue that expands the story before it ties up all the loose ends. Very comprehensive and uniquely original.”— Sheryl Gordon, Goodreads
- “Very original premise, well written, and an exceptional story.”— Terri Conley, Goodreads
- “It was creative and took different directions from canon…I did enjoy this long story and recommend it to other JAFF lovers.”— Sheila Majczan, Goodreads
Elizabeth Adams is a book-loving, tango-dancing, Austen enthusiast. She loves old houses and thinks birthdays should be celebrated with trips—as should most occasions. She can often be found by a sunny window with a cup of hot tea and a book in her hand.
She writes romantic comedy and comedic tragedy in both historic and modern settings.
ADDITIONAL BOOKS BY ELIZABETH ADAMS
- Sons of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Reimagining, by Elizabeth Adams
- Independently Published (December 19, 2020)
- Trade paperback & eBook (448) pages
- ISBN: 979-8583659739
- Genre: Austenesque, Regency Romance
Austenprose is an Amazon affiliate. Cover image, book description, excerpt, & author bio compliments of Elizabeth Adams © 2020; text Laurel Ann Nattress © 2021, austenprose.com.