What fate awaits the Bennet family after Mr. Bennet is seriously injured during a horse riding accident?
Book rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Audiobook rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Source: I was provided with an audiobook from the author for a fair and honest review.
After reading so many lovely reviews for Nicole Clarkston’s debut “Pride and Prejudice” variation, “Rumours and Recklessness,” I was thrilled to collaborate on a review and a giveaway for her new audiobook release of this book.
The story takes place over several days and opens the morning after the Netherfield Ball, where we meet a restless Mr. Bennet, who has decided to do something he hasn’t done in many years; take a horseback ride through the frosty fields of Hertfordshire. Along the way, he unexpectedly meets Mr. Darcy, who is taking one last ride before leaving with his friends for London. The two men enjoy a conversation together as they travel towards Oakham Mount. After parting ways, Mr. Bennet is left injured and unconscious from a horse riding accident.
Soon thereafter, the Bennet family finds themselves in an awful predicament, as they are forced to wait for news regarding Mr. Bennet’s medical condition. Thrown into a complete fit of nerves, Mrs. Bennet finds herself more anxious than ever to preserve her family’s place at Longbourn by having one of her daughter’s marry Mr. Collins. As it appears more than likely that Elizabeth will agree to be Mr. Collins’ wife, fate steps in when Charles Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy decide to go to Longbourn to see if they can be of any assistance to the Bennet family.
Before long, a rather hasty engagement occurs, leaving many to wonder if the tables have truly turned for the better. Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves in a strange and unsettling situation, with both uncertain about whether or not their engagement can lead to a happy marriage. Although Darcy harbors rather strong feelings for Elizabeth, she isn’t aware of his regard for her and she finds herself frustrated and angry in her new situation. Can they both come to a mutual understanding and develop a relationship built on love and trust?
After Darcy and Elizabeth suffer a rocky start to their engagement, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Georgiana join Darcy at Netherfield. They soon become acquainted with the residents of Meryton and find themselves mixed into some of the tumultuous events that begin to unfold at Longbourn. Will their attempts to support Darcy lead to more chaos and uncertainty? Meanwhile, events also unfold in London, where Darcy’s staff play a role in supporting their master, while various characters travel back and forth to London throughout this variation.
Since I typically enjoy forced marriage scenarios, I found great pleasures in reading this forced engagement scenario because I loved witnessing Darcy and Elizabeth’s struggles and reactions as they handled various conflicts and obstacles together in this book. Ms. Clarkston gives us a story that gradually develops the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth, providing readers with those tender moments of stolen glances and sweet kisses. As they slowly begin to look towards each other for support throughout this difficult time in their lives, they come to learn more and more about each other, which allows them to understand the true nature of their feelings towards each other.
Ms. Clarkston constructed a story that builds upon canon in a way that respects Austen’s original characters and crafted them within a storyline that felt plausible in most places and yet, original, with its own infusion of new characters that supported her storyline. In this variation, we are able to enjoy the characters that we love to hate, such as Caroline Bingley, George Wickham, and Catherine de Bourgh, who are cleverly crafted within new twists and turns in this storyline. There’s also plenty of lively dialogue between the characters and new takes on Austen’s own words which add to the interest of this story. There were a few places that felt a bit slow and could have been pruned back a bit to move the story at a steadier pace. However, this wasn’t a frequent issue throughout the story, so I was able to stay happily engaged in this story.
As an audiobook narrated by Stevie Zimmerman, who is new to my ears, this story was read with a clear strong voice that transitioned easily between the male and female characters. Her tone and pace are a good fit for this story and captured the overall essence of Ms. Clarkston’s story. I would definitely listen to more audiobooks narrated by this reader.
If you’re looking for ways to fit audiobooks into your reading routines, this recent post, For the Love of JAFF Audiobooks, has lots of great tips!
Nicole Clarkston has generously offered to giveaway a copy of her newly released audiobook of “Rumours and Recklessness” to one Just Jane 1813 reader. Please leave a comment this post by midnight ET on March 28th. The winner will be announced on this blog on March 29, 2016.
I’d like to thank Ms. Clarkston for her giveaway and thank her for writing a “Pride and Prejudice” variation that offers readers a wonderful journey for their favorite characters! I look forward to reading more JAFF by this debut author.
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