How would the Darcys have handled the various challenges presented to them throughout their first years of marriage while also facing the challenges that many landowners faced in England during the Napoleonic Wars?
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
When I finished reading this first book, in what Sophie Turner has planned as a possible seven-book “Pride and Prejudice” series, I knew I had found a sequel that even Jane Austen herself would have enjoyed reading! Ms. Turner has crafted a sequel that closely adheres to the events of Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice,” while fleshing out a piece of historical fiction that brings readers face to face with many of the challenges that England faced during this tumultuous period of war.
Ms. Turner writes here with a voice that demonstrates her careful attention to historical details regarding the difficult events of this time period while she skillfully weaves several personal storylines, which include characters from Austen’s work, alongside new characters that she has created for this series. She also includes the events surrounding the Hundreds Day War, the Battle of Waterloo and the Corn Laws in her storylines, and shows us how these events may have affected the characters’ lives in the early years of the Darcys’ marriage.
From the earliest pages, we are invited to explore not only the Darcys’ new relationship but also the earliest stages of sisterly bonding between Georgiana Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. As the two young ladies become acquainted with each other before the Darcys’ wedding, we can sense that their relationship will also receive special attention throughout this series.
I loved that Ms. Turner’s characterizations of Austen’s characters felt very true to canon. She delves into Elizabeth and Darcy’s characters in a way that feels very similar to Austen’s interpretation of their personalities and then creates them as a married couple with her own proper, yet romantic style. Mr. Darcy continues to be reticent and quite staid in public, yet when he’s alone with Elizabeth, we get to share in their very sweet, private moments as they are learning how to build their new marriage together.
The newlyweds start their honeymoon with a month alone in Weymouth and then Kitty Georgiana join them before they all travel to London to help Georgiana prepare for her own entrance into society. Elizabeth is quietly grateful to begin her new role as Mrs. Darcy in London too, since this means that she can learn how to manage their smaller London home before she is in charge of their much grander estate, as the Mistress of Pemberley.
I love when London is the setting for the Darcys’ relationship because we are able to enjoy many of the sites and activities that London has to offer, as each JAFF author tends to find new ways for readers to explore London along with them. During their time in London, Elizabeth becomes acquainted with many of the family and friends that will now occupy their lives while at the same time she is hoping that her sisters are able to find suitable matches for themselves.
As Georgiana slowly enters society and her music continues to play an important role in her life, she finds herself being courted by more than one eligible suitor. I love when Georgiana finds herself in this situation, as she did in Joana Starnes sequel, “From This Day Forward,” because we get to explore the trials and tribulations associated with her decision-making process. With £ 30,000 in her dowry, I am not surprised that she finds herself in this position with!
One of these men is serving in the British Navy, and Ms. Turner does a spectacular job drawing our attention to interesting information about the experiences these men faced in the navy. You can really tell that Ms. Turner has done her homework regarding the lives of these servicemen and how their efforts during the war had tremendous effects on both their personal and professional lives.
The family eventually travels to Pemberley, where Darcy and Elizabeth continue to adjust to their new lives together. As Elizabeth settles into her new role, she feels the weight of harboring a secret that she believes she must eventually share with Darcy. Will her concerns turn the tides of their marriage into a sea of uncertainties for her own future?
Ms. Turner’s story really serves as a close examination of the daily occurrences of their lives, and this becomes the backbone of this story. Darcy and Elizabeth’s marriage does remain the focus throughout the book, and I loved sharing their external and internal struggles in this story. As they try to build a marriage based on trust and respect, they are also faced with challenges that felt similar to ones that Austen herself would have also conceived of for them, had she ever penned a sequel to the book. The story is not filled with overly dramatic and sensational events, which I loved because it gives readers a very realistic, yet quite a romantic reading experience with our beloved characters.
As far as “Pride and Prejudice” sequels go, I believe this is not one to be missed! I look forward to her next book in this series, “A Change of Legacies,” which will continue these engaging stories where Elizabeth and Georgiana both face life-altering events. I know we can count on Ms. Turner to bring us a series that reads quite true to canon while at the same time, sharing the pages with some very intriguing new characters that she has fashioned to provide us with an epic “Pride and Prejudice” series.
Sophie Turner has offered our Just Jane 1813 readers an opportunity to enter a giveaway for a readers’ choice copy of “A Constant Love.” The winner can select an ebook or a paperback copy of this book. A paperback copy can only be redeemed by a reader with a U.S. mailing address. An ebook will be sent to any international winner. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post by midnight ET on February 17th. The giveaway winner will be announced on this blog on February 18, 2016.
I want to thank Sophie Turner for this great beginning to what promises to be a wonderful “Pride and Prejudice” series. I also want to thank her for the numerous ways she has supported this blog. I wish her much success with her ambitious writing efforts!
Please also feel free to check out this Pinterest Board, at Just Jane 1813, titled “Austen at War: Love is a Battlefield,” which highlights a lot of images, articles and amazing facts surrounding the events in the books I’ll review this week.