Recently I was offered the opportunity to review Goodly Creatures by Beth Massey for Austenprose. I knew this book was generating a good deal of discussion in the JAFF world. I’m always up for books that are labeled “controversial” as they are great conservation starters. What could be more interesting than a book that stimulates discussions and sparks minds?
Publisher’s description from Goodreads: A life altering event inextricably links a fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Bennet to Fitzwilliam Darcy while simultaneously creating an almost insurmountable divide. This Pride and Prejudice deviation takes the reader on a journey through a labyrinth filled with misunderstandings, bias, guilt and fear – not to mention, laughter, animal magnetism and waltzing. As Elizabeth says, ‘she shed enough tears to float one of Lord Nelson’s frigates’ but as she learned from her father ‘unhappiness does, indeed, have comic aspects one should never underestimate.’
Though the path for our protagonists is much more arduous than canon, the benefit remains the same; a very happy Janeite ending for these two star-crossed lovers. Along the way there is retribution, redemption and reward for other characters – including a few that recall players in two grave injustices as written by Ms Austen in ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ These grievances prompted this long-time struggle for women’s rights to write a tale that provided these women vindication.”
NOTE: For those that do wish to read the book I encourage you to stop reading my review. I’m discussing the novel openly which may lead to their being spoilers you wished you hadn’t read. Continue reading