How would Elizabeth have received Darcy’s first proposal if he didn’t deliver it in person?
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Since reading “A Constant Love,” by Sophie Turner, I have been a fan of her writing and look forward to enjoying all of the books (seven in total) that she has planned for her series. So you can imagine my joy when I saw on Goodreads that she had recently published a new novella that takes place during Elizabeth and Darcy’s time in Kent. It felt like an early stocking stuffer had arrived on my virtual bookshelf!
Early in this story, we meet Darcy and Elizabeth, who are visiting family and friends in Kent. Darcy, already besotted and determined to propose to Elizabeth, is trying to form a plan to find a way to propose to Elizabeth during a private moment with her. As he churns his plan around in his mind, Darcy decides upon an alternate path for his proposal. His unique delivery of this proposal allows Elizabeth to spend hours in quiet solitude, where she is able to consider, and reconsider, and once again, reconsider Darcy’s proposal. After a tremendous of reflection, and a serious lack of sleep, she finds herself slowing revising some of her initial beliefs regarding Darcy’s character.
When Elizabeth and Darcy come together to discuss Elizabeth’s decision, Darcy attempts to clear up the misunderstandings that stand between them. Desirous to demonstrate and share his true character with Elizabeth, Darcy agrees to a compromise, which may be the only way he will ever win Elizabeth’s heart and hand in marriage. At this point, the novella really became even sweeter, because their compromise leads them to spend even more time together, so readers get to witness numerous intimate, unguarded moments between Darcy and Elizabeth. These moments help plant the seeds of friendship and respect between Darcy and Elizabeth. Yet, as they continue to move forward, they are still faced with obstacles that stand between them developing a more intimate relationship.
True to the style of Ms. Turner’s “Constant Love” Series, the characters, plot and setting are very true to canon. Darcy and Elizabeth closely resemble Austen’s own characters, and the same can be said for the other supporting characters, such as the formidable Aunt Catherine and the supportive Charlotte. Many of Austen’s own phrases from “Pride and Prejudice” are also woven into the story, and we find them used in different parts of the story throughout the novella.
While staying close to canon in style and tone, Ms. Turner also adds her own twists and turns to the plot, which adds lovely new dimensions to this story. The story alternates between both of their POVs, which allows the reader to be part of their inner thoughts and reflections. I especially loved Darcy’s inner dialogue, as he tries to teach himself how to court Elizabeth (which has some funny results) and how he feels about Aunt Catherine’s rude and abrasive behaviors towards Elizabeth. Parts of the story are also told through letters between certain characters, which also adds to the development and the intimacy of this story.
At around 65 pages, this book packs a lot of what I love into a “Pride and Prejudice” variation; lots of Darcy and Elizabeth interactions, beautifully crafted language that captures Austen’s tone and style and an ending that leaves us hoping that Ms. Turner will write more “Pride and Prejudice” novellas in the future.
Sophie Turner would love to offer an ebook giveaway of this novella to one lucky Just Jane 1813 reader. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below this post by December 26th. The giveaway winner will be announced on this blog on December 27th, so that the winner can ring in the New Year enjoying this novella.
Thank you to Sophie Turner for writing this endearing novella and for offering this giveaway to my readers. I look forward to having her back on Just Jane 1813, where we will begin our journey into her “Constant Love” Series, which promises to be a sequel readers will enjoy for years to come…