Austenesque, Book Reviews, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

Faults of Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Altman — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet impertinently tells Mr. Darcy that his “defect is a propensity to hate everybody” to which he replies that hers “is willfully to misunderstand them.” Austen enthusiasts everywhere delight in this flirtatious battle of wits over the topic of natural defects. With a title inspired by Mr. Darcy— “I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding”—Jennifer Altman’s second Pride and Prejudice-inspired novel, Faults of Understanding, follows Elizabeth and Darcy as they become better acquainted with each other through unforeseen trials.

At the Netherfield ball, Mr. Darcy is informed that Mr. Collins—a distant cousin of the Bennet family and heir to neighboring estate Longbourn—expects to receive a favorable reply to his planned marriage proposal to the second-eldest Bennet daughter at Longbourn. Darcy is shocked and dismayed by the revelation. “It could not be true. Elizabeth Bennet—his Elizabeth!—married to such a man?” (132) He wants to believe that she is far too intelligent to attach herself to the pompous imbecile, but also knows that she is a loyal and obedient daughter who would do anything for her family. “No! He could not leave her to such a fate. Something must be done, and soon.” (143)

When Elizabeth is summoned to speak with her father early the following morning, she expects to refuse Mr. Collins—until Mr. Bennet informs her that it is Mr. Darcy who has offered for her instead. Elizabeth is certain her father is joking. “I am astounded! Mr. Darcy despises me. You must have misunderstood.” (183) Mr. Bennet assures his daughter that Darcy was most serious about ensuring Elizabeth had a better offer to consider. Elizabeth, however, is resolute. “I cannot possibly accept Mr. Darcy or my cousin. If I were to wed either, I should be miserable every day of my life.” (208)

Darcy, though, is certain that they will suit each other quite well, assuring her that she will want for nothing and will be treated with kindness. Yet Elizabeth is torn. She wants to marry for love and affection. Then Darcy’s imperious aunt arrives unannounced at Longbourn to demand an immediate end to the connection. Elizabeth, in a fit of pique, insists that she will marry the woman’s nephew. “And there is nothing you can do to stop me!” (651)

Through a brief but pleasant betrothal, it seems the couple might have a promising future together after all. But on the morning of their nuptials, an unfortunate incident occurs that leaves Darcy reeling and Elizabeth wondering what happened to the congenial gentleman she had only just married. Time marches forward as the two lonely souls strive to make the best of their hopeless situation. Will they ever learn to trust and confide in each other, or are they destined to suffer from their faults of understanding forever?

I must admit that my implausibility button was tapped a couple of times in the first half of this story. I wasn’t entirely convinced by Darcy’s motivation to rescue Elizabeth from Mr. Collins, plus our usually perceptive Elizabeth was conveniently overlooking certain puzzling clues. What began as a solid four-star story, however, soon evolved into a full five-star, completely unputdownable tale. I found myself intrigued by the unique mystery, riveted by the action, and heartbroken by past tragedies. The misunderstanding between our dear couple—something that often aggravates me when it’s caused by a simple failure to communicate—was understandable. After some angst, I appreciated that readers were invited into the happily-ever-after to enjoy it for a while, instead of only being given what is typically included in a fleeting epilogue. It was a delightful conclusion after a dubious beginning.

Readers will revel in the emotional and enigmatic route to enlightenment in Faults of Understanding.

5 out of 5 Stars

  • Faults of Understanding: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, by Jennifer Altman
  • Self publihsed (June 17, 2021)
  • Trade paperback & eBook (512) pages
  • ISBN: 978-0578921556

AMAZON | GOODREADS

We received one review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Austenprose.com is an Amazon.com affiliate. We receive a modest remuneration when readers use our links and make a purchase.

Cover image courtesy of Jennifer Altman © 2021; text Katie Jackson © 2021, Austenprose.com

Austenesque, Book Previews, Holiday Reading, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll

Happy Friday dear readers!

It’s official. The holiday reading season has begun on Austenprose. First out the gate is Heather Moll’s forthcoming novella, A Hopeful Holiday.

Heather is the popular author of four Pride and Prejudice variations including: Nine Ladies, Two More Days at Netherfield, and His Choice of a Wife. A Hopeful Holiday is also a variation of Jane Austen’s classic, spinning a new story from her characters and settings. This time Moll creatively mixes up Austen’s timeline offering new obstacles to keep Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy’s romance churning. Here is a book description and an exclusive excerpt from the author to give you a feel for the story.

While the competition for your holiday reading is fierce, I hope that you will add A Hopeful Holiday to your list. I found it to be a perfect introduction to the season to help us get in the mood and eager to deck the halls and plan our family gatherings.

Best, Laurel Ann Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of A Hopeful Holiday: A Pride and Prejudice Novella, by Heather Moll”

Austenesque, Book Previews, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of As a Proper Lady Would: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Bronwen Chisholm

Happy Friday dear readers. Fall is in the air and it is a great time to curl up with a cup of tea and a new book.

Please help me welcome Austenesque author Bronwen Chisholm to Austenprose today. She has a new Pride and Prejudice inspired novel that was just released this week. As a Proper Lady Would is the first book in the Defying Propriety Series.

Chisholm specializes in variations. Since 2014 he has has written seven novels and novellas, such as The Ball at Meryton (2015), Missing Jane (2020), and Georgiana Darcy, Matchmaker (2016).

Here is the book description and an exclusive excerpt from the author. Enjoy!

BOOK DESCRIPTION

We are formed by experiences of our childhood. Family and friends influence our character. Decisions, wise and foolish, direct our path. Through chance encounters and early introductions, our beloved Pride and Prejudice characters come together on a slightly different path which may, to some, defy propriety. Continue reading “A Preview & Exclusive Excerpt of As a Proper Lady Would: A Pride & Prejudice Variation, by Bronwen Chisholm”

Austenesque, Book Reviews, Contemporary Fiction, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

The Bennet Women, by Eden Appiah-Kubi — A Review

From the desk of Sophia Rose:

Jane Austen’s works have a timeless quality that make them appealing for contemporary retelling. The Bennet Women, by debut author Eden Appiah-Kubi, is a new adult tale inspired by Austen’s Pride and Prejudice centered around the young women living at Bennet House on a private college campus who experience the ups and downs of life and love. We shall see if this diverse offering of modern characters can translate the social conflicts and romance from early nineteenth-century into modern-day.

The Bennet Women opens with the introduction of EJ, the RA (Residential Assistant) of the Bennet House, rushing around on the day of one of the school’s biggest social activities, a dance. The women of the house have gone mad as a result of learning that some famous faces will be seen there and EJ has been putting out fires. She’s excited to dress up and cut a rug at the dance with her friends. But, then after squeeing over the arrival of a surprise guest, she is deflated when an arrogant guy who happens to be the Continue reading “The Bennet Women, by Eden Appiah-Kubi — A Review”

Austenesque, Book Reviews, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words, by Shannon Winslow — A Review

From the desk of Katie Jackson:

In a November 1814 letter to her niece, Jane Austen wrote that “nothing can be compared to the misery of being bound without love.” She had brilliantly illustrated her point with many unenviable couples in her novels serving as warnings of what her protagonists should strive to avoid. Likewise, readers found in her most famous story, Pride and Prejudice, a hero dutifully resigned to such misery and a heroine determined to evade it. Prolific Austenesque author Shannon Winslow explores that hero’s path from misery to love in her latest Pride and Prejudice adaptation, Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words.

Fitzwilliam Darcy believes that he is destined to fulfill his familial duty by securing a society-approved mate for himself and proper mistress of Pemberley—and by choosing prudently, hoping for mutual respect at best, and knowing that love was neither desirable nor wise. “My early years had taught me, again and again, that to love was to suffer pain. To love was to surrender a part of oneself, to give the object of that love power over one’s life – power to wound or to destroy, either by accident or with intent.” (189) Therefore, Darcy resolutely heeds his late father’s advice by discreetly selecting a decorous lady from a suitably wealthy and consequential family, ever mindful of his family’s expectations and his own responsibilities. “To choose the wrong path, to be careless of the way, to neglect minding every step, was to invite calamity of a kind most painful and permanent.” (171) Continue reading “Fitzwilliam Darcy in His Own Words, by Shannon Winslow — A Review”

Austenesque, Book Previews, Emma Sequels, Pride and Prejudice Sequels

A Preview & Giveaway of From Highbury with Love, by Corrie Garrett

From Highbury with Love by Corrie Garrett 2021Happy Friday dear readers. The seasons are changing here. I hope to get into the garden this weekend. How about you?

Today we are delighted to preview a forthcoming novel by Corrie Garrett, From Highbury with Love. Technically it is crossover fiction, combining the characters from two of Jane Austen’s novels: Emma and Pride and Prejudice.

Talking about crossovers, this is an emerging subgenre in Austenesque fiction that is trending. While Sybil G. Brinton’s 1913 Old Friends and New Fancies was the first to incorporate this technique of blending multiple storyline characters into a new narrative, more recently Joana Starnes’ The Subsequent Proposal: The Tale of Pride and Prejudice & Persuasion (2013), and Mr. Darcy’s Persuasion, by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright (2021) have expanded the practice to much acclaim. I suspect that we shall see many more authors embracing this device in the future.

Since there are far fewer Emma sequels than Pride and Prejudice, (by the thousands, if you want a wild guess) the choice of combining the residents of Highbury with Pemberley is refreshing. Author Corrie Garrett has kindly offered us an exclusive excerpt from her new novel to give a peek inside the story and a generous giveaway chance for three digital copies of the book that releases next month. Enjoy! Continue reading “A Preview & Giveaway of From Highbury with Love, by Corrie Garrett”

Austenesque, Book Previews, Regency Era

A Preview & Excerpt of Sons of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Reimagining, by Elizabeth Adams

Sons of Pemberley by Elizabeth Adams 2020Hello Gentle Readers. 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. Continue reading “A Preview & Excerpt of Sons of Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Reimagining, by Elizabeth Adams”