Pride, Prejudice and Secrets by C. P. Odom – A Review

Pride Prejudice and Secrets Odom 2014 x 200From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder

Last year I had the pleasure of being introduced to Jane Austen fan fiction author C. P. Odom via his novel Consequences. His writing invoked deep feelings, as he was able to draw me in completely to his story. He had me fully enveloped in his characters and their lives, which resulted in Consequences being one of my favorite reads of 2014. When I heard about his latest “what-if” novel, Pride, Prejudice and Secrets, I immediately began searching for a way to receive a review copy.

Secrets tells the tale of our beloved Lizzie and Darcy in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, although it’s Elizabeth now instead of Jane who falls ill in an untimely manner. Darcy has just worked up the courage to deliver an ill-conceived and prideful offer of marriage, and Elizabeth, still in a haze and unsteady from sickness, accepts his offer. When she fully recovers from her ailments, however, she is mortified to learn that she is betrothed to “the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.” Not only this, but all of society has become accustomed to the prospect, so for her to break off said engagement would be the equivalent of social banishment, not to mention the effect it would have on her unmarried sisters. How, then, is she to avoid this unfortunate misunderstanding and escape with her and Darcy’s pride unharmed? She has to use every ounce of her sharp wit and captivating personality to pull off this accomplishment. Will she be forced to remain with Darcy or will she be able to extract herself with her reputation intact? Continue reading

Consequences: A Cautionary Pride and Prejudice Variation, by C. P. Odom – A Review

Consequences, by C. P. Odom (2013)From the desk of Kimberly Denny-Ryder:

Life is a series of calculations, steps and decisions that make up all of our experiences. What would happen if we had the ability to see how certain decisions affected the rest of our lives? Would we willingly change our fate and the fates of others or would we follow our instincts? C.P. Odom explores these questions in his latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Consequences.

We often see the consequences of Elizabeth Bennet’s choices in a different light via Pride and Prejudice retellings. In Consequences we find her rejecting Mr. Darcy’s first proposal at the Hunsford Parsonage, only to set forth a series of events she could not possibly have imagined. This fateful decision affects not only her own path, but the lives and livelihood of her entire family, with shocking final results. Of course, Elizabeth could not possibly have known that one single decision could have such a lasting impact on her life; but would reflecting on the potential outcome change her decision? C.P. Odom shows us how one single point in the seemingly endless parade of decisions in one’s life can have such a visceral impact on the paths we travel. Continue reading