How will the love of one sister affect the fate of another sister?
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Source: I received a ARC from the author for a fair and honest review.
Recently Cat Gardiner, author of “Villa Fortuna,” wrote in a blog post about how challenging writing a novella can be for a novelist. Within this genre, there’s the need to exercise great restraint in an attempt to bring readers a well-developed story within a limited amount of words. There’s also the challenge of getting your readers to care for your characters and help them become immersed within your story, all which is set within a shorter duration of pages, scenes, etc.
Rose Fairbanks has risen to these challenges within her latest release, a novella titled, “Mr. Darcy’s Kindness.” In a little over 100 pages, this novella tells the story of how Elizabeth may have reacted, had Jane felt compelled to save her family once Mr. Bingley left Netherfield, by considering a marriage to Mr. Collins. After much discussion and some debating between the sisters, Elizabeth decides to allow her sister to go to London, in the hopes that she will reconnect with Mr. Bingley, while she brings security and joy to her mother, and ultimately her whole family, by marrying Mr. Collins.
During this time period, Darcy has also left Netherfield, as he tries to diminish his feelings for Elizabeth. Their separation leaves him with little relief and he soon finds himself in unchartered territory. Perhaps his upcoming visit to Rosings Park can help him find some solace from his tenuous situation?
Meanwhile, Elizabeth settles into her life as the wife of a clergyman, where she also finds herself developing a friendship with Anne de Bourgh. Throughout this time, she starts to reflect upon her recent decisions and comes to understand more about her own desires and dreams. Will the arrival of Lady Catherine’s family at Rosings Park throw her heart and mind into a tailspin?
I enjoyed how Ms. Fairbanks included a good balance of angst within a story that read at an even, steady pace. The relationship between Jane and Elizabeth was heartfelt and filled with beautiful sisterly devotion. I admired that Elizabeth was so brave in the face of her struggles because she had such a deep love for her family and ultimately, wanted to give Jane the hope that one day, at least she would be able to marry for love. Jane’s storyline was the one place I would’ve liked to see developed more within this story, especially her time in London.
Ms. Fairbanks also did a good job turning Mr. Collins into a tolerable character. Through his wife’s cleverness, he is able to become a somewhat respectable husband. Elizabeth’s behaviors towards her husband have a touch of Charlotte’s wisdom added to them, bringing some light humor to the story.
This is a novella that pulled at my heartstrings, while also causing a slow-forming smile to creep across my face. Rose Fairbanks created a story that benefits from her engaging writing style and her unique storyline. From the very first pages of her gripping prologue, I found myself gladly turning the pages of this novella to see where Ms. Fairbanks would take her characters throughout this story. Some readers may be wary of reading a novella with this storyline, but I felt that Ms. Fairbanks handled this story with good taste. I enthusiastically recommend this story to every JAFF reader!
You may want to grab some tissues and cup of comfort, to help you savor a “Pride and Prejudice” variation that allows us to imagine how love can transform our lives when we are moved to pursue unselfish actions for the people that we love.
Check out my recent interview with Rose Fairbanks, where she explains her inspiration for this story and offers a giveaway for this novella.
To add “Mr. Darcy’s Kindness” to your nightstand, visit Amazon.
To read what your friends are saying about this novella, go to Goodreads.