How will the Darcy marriage fare when Darcy and Elizabeth spend their honeymoon secluded in London before heading to Pemberley for the holiday season?
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
“Progression Vol. 1: A Continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice” is a “Pride and Prejudice” sequel that captured and maintained my interest during the hustle and bustle of this past holiday season during a time when I had many pressing commitments and errands that longed to pull me away from this story. As many readers are aware, I love “Pride and Prejudice” sequels! As I peruse various online sites and reviews on Goodreads and on Amazon, I find myself drawn to sequels that deliver a well-developed story based on Austen’s themes, while at the same time telling a story that includes its own set of interesting new characters and original storylines.”Progression Vol. 1″ delivered these things and more as a sequel that I loved from the very beginning until the very end!
This first volume covers the first several months of the Darcy marriage while delving closely into the various events that shape their marriage from its earliest beginnings. The beginning chapters describe the double wedding ceremony and the breakfast celebration of the Darcys and the Bingleys. Told from multiple points of view, we gain a glimpse into this momentous day, while also reading several flashbacks of the events that led to this joyous celebration. Here, Mrs. Covey also shares the perspectives of these numerous guests in regards to their feelings towards the Darcy couple. The absence of the Matlocks from the Darcys’ wedding is eventually perceived as a troubling sign for the new couple, leaving Georgiana upset and anxious about how this will all affect her brother’s new marriage.
After they depart from Meryton, the Darcys decide to enjoy their honeymoon in London, where they remain joyfully secluded within each other’s company. While they savor their marital bliss and come to enjoy the intimacies of their new relationship, this type of isolation is considered a social indiscretion by several members of the Ton. Inevitably, tongues to start wagging about the suitability of the new Mrs. Darcy. An envious Caroline Bingley, who is also very eager to smear Elizabeth’s character, joins in to circulate some unpleasant rumors about Elizabeth, while she also tries to conceive a plan that will allow her to find a wealthy husband for herself.
Georgiana plays a large role in this story. Her relationship with Elizabeth and her family are paramount to Georgiana, as she seeks to create a meaningful bond with her new sister. She finds herself conflicted by the tension in the Fitzwilliam families, as she is keenly aware of how her extended family feels towards Elizabeth. Her relationship with Darcy also evolves quite a bit, as she tries to exert some independence from her older brother, who doesn’t readily accept this type of conduct from her.
There’s nothing like the holidays at Pemberley, especially when the Bennet and Fitzwilliam families are invited to join the Darcys for some holiday fun. Mrs. Bennet is the mother-in-law who must have her share of the conversation, which helps to drive Darcy to return to his taciturn shell. Forcing himself to find a way to enjoy, I mean endure, the Bennet clan, Darcy decides to demonstrate his good manners for Elizabeth’s family, only to find himself eventually receiving unsolicited advice of a rather personal nature from his mother-in-law. It’s humorous moments, such as these, that help to join the bonds between Darcy, Elizabeth, and their extended families.
This sequel evolves in a manner that feels true to Austen’s own intentions, especially regarding her creation of flawed, yet likable characters who seek to find ways to make the best of difficult situations while maintaining their charms, their loyalties and their sense of humor. I found Mrs. Covey’s story to have a steady pace that kept my interest throughout the story. She not only created a carefully balanced amount of tension between Darcy and Elizabeth throughout her storyline, she also found interesting ways to present a variety of obstacles for them as a new couple amongst their own families and various members of society. One of the sequel’s biggest strengths is the addition of several new characters, including Colonel Fitzwilliam’s younger brother, Matthew Fitzwilliam, and the mysterious and cunning Marquess Thornhaugh. There’s also a bit of sizzle in the romance department, which felt well placed, and yet, not overwhelming within the story.
I will be back in a few weeks to review “Progression Vol. 2,” which is the next book in this new series. Mrs. Covey is presently writing volume 3 in this series. To read more about Mrs. Covey, you can enjoy an interview with Jodi Covey, as well as a chapter from this new book.
I’m also happy to share with my Just Jane 1813 readers that Jodi has offered a giveaway of her ebook, “Progression: Vol. 1,” for my readers! Please leave a comment on this post by midnight ET on April 17th. The winner will be announced on this blog on April 18, 2016.
I want to thank Jodi Covey for her generous giveaway offer for my readers and for writing a “Pride and Prejudice” that adds some spice and charm in a continuation of Austen’s story.
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