on March 17th 2013
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When Georgiana Darcy comes to Netherfield to visit her brother, she becomes friends with a neighbor, Elizabeth Bennet. After Miss Darcy has returned to London, she invites her new friend to stay with her at the Darcy home in town ... unbeknownst to Mr. Darcy.
Will this change in circumstances lead to a change in affections?
When Elizabeth Adams approached me about being part of her latest blog tour, I was honored to join other Austenesque bloggers in promoting her new audiobooks and her latest collection of vignettes titled “Meryton Vignettes.” I loved “Unwilling,” by Ms. Adams, which I reviewed earlier this year, and I am looking forward to reading “Green Card” one day. However, “The Houseguest” holds a special place in my JAFF heart because it was the second JAFF story I ever had the pleasure to read. So, it is with a bit of a sentimental feeling that I post this review for “The Houseguest” audiobook.
Elizabeth Adams’ hugely popular JAFF story was just as enjoyable as an audiobook as it was as an ebook, and this time around, I loved revisiting this nicely paced and well-written variation. Events in this story begin in a similar timeframe to Austen’s story, but while Darcy and Bingley are visiting Netherfield, Georgiana also comes for a visit and strikes up a friendship with Elizabeth Bennet. Eventually, Elizabeth is invited to stay as a houseguest at Darcy House in London, at the request of Georgiana Darcy. When Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives earlier than expected back in London, he finds himself in the company of the one person whose presence he’s been trying to escape; the vivacious and charming Elizabeth Bennet.
As Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves spending more and more time together throughout Elizabeth’s time in London, their feelings towards one another begin to change. Will they both come to recognize the feelings they harbor for one another deep within their own hearts? Meanwhile, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Darcy’s extended family, which includes Darcy’s aunt, who becomes determined to help Elizabeth make an eligible match while she’s in town. As Darcy witnesses this process, he grows more and more determined to make Elizabeth his wife, but when a secret is revealed to her about Darcy’s past actions, Elizabeth finds herself unable to be in his company. Left to his own devices to piece together the reasons for Elizabeth’s hasty retreat, Darcy is forced to reexamine his own actions and intentions towards Elizabeth and her family.
Rereading this story was a great trip down memory lane for me and it certainly reminded me why I fell so hard and so quickly in love with the JAFF world! Ms. Adams’ story has wonderfully developed characters, both new and from canon, and the liberties that she takes with the storyline are subtle enough to feel true to Austen’s own story and diverting enough to take on the life of a whole new story. That’s quite a feat for a JAFF story! I had forgotten how long this story was and I soon found myself relishing the way that Ms. Adams took her time to grow the relationships between her central characters.
The relationship between Georgiana and Elizabeth was also a wonderful addition to this story. I loved watching them bond with each other through their shared experiences and how they built their trust and feelings for each other over time. Even though Georgiana is mainly clueless about Darcy and Elizabeth’s growing attraction for one another, she’s still seen as a central connection between both of them throughout the story.
I didn’t miss the Wickham storyline. I would have liked some more emotional angst in this story, but I didn’t miss it on behalf of the Wickhams, that’s for sure. Perhaps a scene or two where Elizabeth would’ve had to witness one of London’s most eligible bachelors enjoying a flirtation or two with an alluring young lady that his aunt deemed as a desirable match for him?
The narration of this story, which is performed by Brigid Lohrey, is very well done. Ms. Lohrey does a lovely job conveying the feelings and actions of the characters through the inflections and tones in her voice. I loved how she captured the tender moments shared between Darcy and Elizabeth through her narration of the story, especially when I could imagine Darcy slowly raking his fingers across the back of Elizabeth’s hand or the way he would try to deepen their kiss when she wanted to “test” his devotion to her. She also did a good job seamlessly narrating the scenes through various transitions, which at times varied between slow and steady narration and then quickly transitioned into scenes filled with more intense emotions and swifter actions. I found myself really looking forward to listening to this audiobook and would definitely listen to more JAFF audiobooks narrated by Ms. Lohrey!
Thank you to Elizabeth Adams, for providing me with a complimentary copy of this audiobook in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Elizabeth Adams loves sunshine and a good book. If she had her druthers, she’d live in a villa on the Mediterranean and go tango dancing every Friday. She makes great cookies and often laughs at inappropriate moments.
She is the author of The Houseguest, Unwilling, and Meryton Vignettes: Tales of Pride and Prejudice. You can find more information, short stories, and outtakes at elizabethadamswrites.wordpress.com.
Brigid has always enjoyed reading classical literature. She loves Austen’s work, (and has even been to the Austen Museum in Bath!) and so jumped at the chance to narrate Elizabeth Adam’s The Houseguest as soon as she read it, as it was such a great story with colourful, quintessentially English characters which she loved bringing to life.
Brigid is a character actress and started narrating audiobooks three years ago. She began with the RNIB for whom she has narrated seven Australian titles from romances to psychological thrillers. For Spoken4 (available on Audible), she has narrated Kelly Rimmer’s When I Lost You and is also currently narrating Kelly’s latest book, A Mother’s Promise, which will be out in December 2016.
As well as audiobooks, Brigid has voiced commercials and corporate jobs for both the UK and Australian markets, as well as bringing characters to life in Radio Dramas such as the English rose Emma Finney in Dark Shadows: Beneath the Veil, and Dream Commando Wahn in Dr Who: Dreamtime with Sylvester McCoy for Big Finish Productions.
Find more at www.brigidlohrey.com Follow on Twitter @brigidlohrey
Elizabeth Adams has generously brought along two audiobooks to giveaway of “The Houseguest” for my Just Jane 1813 readers. She would like to offer one audiobook to a U.S. reader and one to an international reader. Just leave a comment on this blog post by midnight, ET, on December 9th. The winner will be announced on this blog on December 10, 2016. Doesn’t this sound great?
I’d like to thank Elizabeth Adams, not only for her generous giveaways, but for turning her lovely JAFF stories into delightful audiobooks! I hope lots of readers are able to enjoy them.