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Georgiana Darcy has left girlhood far behind her. A young, single mother with two small daughters, she escaped a precarious existence. Now she has returned to her ancestral home, ready to rebuild her life. Her brother, William, welcomed her with open arms and helped her back on her feet. But home is more than a place—it’s a state of mind, and Georgiana has a journey of the heart ahead of her. As her brother falls in love with Elizabeth, the new girl in town, Georgiana finds herself drawn to William’s long-time friend, Sheriff Richard Fitzwilliam, a widower fifteen years her senior. Richard would never want her, or so she believes, but when he’s near, her sorrow vanishes. When Georgiana’s past comes roaring back to haunt her, can Richard and his kind, gentle ways help see her through?
The Journey Home, a companion piece to the award-winning novel, 1932, is a stand-alone “side-quel” novella—a story of self-discovery, acceptance, and romance that details one woman’s journey back from despair and forward to her future.
The Journey Home: A 1932 Side-quel is Georgiana Darcy’s story as she makes the brave decision to journey back home to Meryton with her two young daughters and live with her brother William Darcy once again since her husband George Wickham has been an unfortunate excuse for a husband ever since they married several years ago. Shy, but determined to carve a new life for herself and her girls, Georgiana’s bond with her brother allows her life with her daughters to blossom slowly over time, as they each overcome their personal obstacles. Georgiana and her brother work in unison to protect the girls, Maggie and Ruth, while making every effort to encourage each girl to develop her self-confidence.
Uncle Darcy becomes particularly protective of his nieces and spends as much time as he can to act as a surrogate father in their lives. I enjoyed learning more about Maggie and Ruth; Maggie especially became a favorite character for me in this story. I especially enjoyed how Darcy went out of his own comfort zone to get Maggie to learn to trust him. I loved how perceptive she was and how her Darcy-like observation skills led her to sense Darcy’s desires for a family of his own with newcomer Elizabeth Bennet:
“I wish Elizabeth was my sister,” Maggie said in a wistful voice.
I smiled indulgently. Maggie’s hero worship of Elizabeth began the day we met her, when Elizabeth brought a wayward Ruth back to me at the train station. “Elizabeth is very nice, isn’t she?”
“Yes, and she’s very pretty. And she talks to me. And Unca likes her too.”
I twisted around in the car seat. “What do you mean, darling?”
“Unca talked to Elizabeth at the ice cream party, and he watches her at church.”
Maggie nodded her head. “Unca should marry Elizabeth, and then she’d be my sister for real.”
The Darcys’ relationship is not the focus of this story though; this is really Georgiana’s journey home to finding herself a new home and a new man to love and to love her in return. But will this older man return her feelings and desires for a future together or will the differences in their ages become too large of a barrier for them? Fans of Colonel Fitzwilliam will adore his character in this story; patient and humble, with an understated sexiness that will have readers savoring the experience of his evolving relationship with Georgiana.
The Journey Home is a beautifully written story about second chances that will make readers of Austenesque fiction fall in love again with Mrs. Cox’s cast of characters. I think it was brilliant that Mrs. Cox developed this story as a side-quel, which reads as a companion story to her award-winning alternate era JAFF story, 1932 and that she tells the story from Georgiana’s point-of-view, which allows the reader to immediately connect with Georgiana and experience this story from a new perspective. The events of this story are woven throughout the storyline of 1932 and right after I finished this story, I dove straight into a reread of 1932, which I absolutely loved, even more, the second time around.
This novella has a little of everything that I love in a JAFF story; slow-building romantic tension, great dialogues between the characters, and an engaging plot. I loved watching Darcy and Georgiana become closer over time and seeing Georgiana take charge of her life in a way that was inspiring. Karen M Cox has once again proven why she is one of my absolute favorite Austenesque authors!
Meet Karen M Cox
Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of four novels accented with romance and history: “1932”, “Find Wonder in All Things”, “At the Edge of the Sea”, and “Undeceived”. She also contributed a short story, “Northanger Revisited 2015”, to the anthology, “Sun-Kissed: Effusions of Summer”, and wrote “I, Darcy”, a short story in “The Darcy Monologues” anthology.
Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet little town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.
Channeling Jane Austen’s Emma, Karen has let a plethora of interests lead her to begin many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker – like Elizabeth Bennet.
Connect with Karen:
Visit with Karen on several of the usual social media haunts such as Facebook, (karenmcox1932), Twitter (@karenmcox1932), Pinterest (karenmc1932), Instagram (karenmcox1932), and Tumblr (karenmcox)
It’s Giveaway Time!
I have a giveaway of an eBook of “The Journey Home” for one Just Jane 1813 reader. To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post by midnight, ET, on August 10th. The winner will be announced on this blog on August 11, 2017.
I’d like to thank Karen Cox for adding this side-quel to this great story and for giving Richard and Georgiana their own story!
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