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We all know that, in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself.
But what if Mr. Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other?
Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain with ample prize money and a sister for whom he needs to provide while he is at sea. Meet also Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr. Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.
I have waited a long time to read this story that has been quite popular within the JAFF community for several years. Knowing that Meryton Press would be creating a published version of this story made me even more eager to read this book. In Fair Stands the Wind, Catherine Lodge’s story asks the question that many of us have asked as well. What if Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth met under circumstances that made them more likely to become friends who eventually come together under circumstances that aren’t forced as much as they are convenient for both of them?
We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and somewhat prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company and that Elizabeth Bennet is also somewhat prejudiced because she believes her wit makes her an excellent observer of human character. But what if their circumstances were considerably altered from canon and Mr Darcy is now the second son who was sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is now trapped by her family’s circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other?
In Catherine Lodge’s debut novel, Fair Stands the Wind, readers meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. When he meets Elizabeth Bennet, she’s a young gentlewoman who needs a husband for financial security while at the same time she is trying to resign herself to marrying her cousin, Mr Collins, the infamous “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.
When Elizabeth and Darcy meet in Meryton, there are a few misunderstandings between them because Darcy is a Captain of the Royal Navy and a second son, (Yes, I said the second son!) who harbors a few secrets that Elizabeth has difficulty unraveling for herself. Nonetheless, an important friendship grows between them during this time while Darcy is also handling a few difficult personal issues in his own life that are causing him a significant amount of stress. At the same time, Elizabeth’s father is very sick, placing the entire Bennett family in a tenuous position to find husbands for the Bennet sisters in order to secure their futures.
Darcy and Elizabeth eventually come together as a means to secure their own personal security, more than for any romantic love between them. Once they are married, Darcy is quickly off to sea as Elizabeth remains to care for their newly purchased home. As she cares for their new home and Darcy’s family, Elizabeth feels something pulling him even further away from her until she is forced to confront the possibility that Darcy may not be the person she thought that she married.
Fair Stands the Wind allows readers to imagine a Pride and Prejudice story with less pride and prejudice between Darcy and Elizabeth, but with quite a few secrets standing between them. The story is well-written and moves at a pace that makes this feel like a quick read. I think readers that love Persuasion and Captain Wentworth, will see echoes of them that they will enjoy in this story.
From my own preferences, I enjoy JAFF stories where the tension between Darcy and Elizabeth is of a more internal nature versus an external nature. I also enjoy when their relationship and coming together is built in a more gradual manner and unfortunately, for me in this story, this aspect felt more rushed than I prefer it to be between them.
For readers who prefer a unique take on Darcy’s character and how this changes their story, Fair Stands the Wind offers a nice change of pace for JAFF readers. There are plenty of departures from canon to keep readers happily flipping pages right until the very end, while also including just enough aspects from canon to allow readers to relate to the storylines and the supporting characters. I am glad to welcome Catherine Lodge to the JAFF community and I look forward to reading more stories from her!
Meet Catherine Lodge
Catherine Lodge is a semi-retired lawyer and lecturer, living in Yorkshire–a part of the UK even more beautiful than Derbyshire. One of five daughters, although by birth order regrettably the Jane, she found 19th Century literature early in her teens and never looked back–even if that meant her school essays kept coming back with “archaic!” written in the margin next to some of her favourite words. She still thinks that “bruited” is a much nicer word than “rumoured.”
After years of drafting leases and pleadings, she finally started to write for fun in her forties and has never stopped since. Much of this will never see the light of day, having been fed to the digital equivalent of a roaring bonfire, but “Fair Stands the Wind” is the first book she thinks worthy of public attention.
She spends her day fixing computer problems for friends and family, singing in her local choir, and avoiding the ironing.
It’s Giveaway Time!
Meryton Press is giving away 8 eBooks of this story. Please enter the Rafflecopter below by September 15, 2017, to enter this giveaway.
Terms and Conditions:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.
A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of Fair Stands the Wind by Catherine Lodge. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
08/30 Babblings of a Bookworm; Guest Post or Vignette
08/31 My Vices and Weaknesses; Character Interview
09/01 Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Excerpt
09/02 Interests of a Jane Austen Girl; Review, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/03 Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview
09/04 Half Agony, Half Hope; Review, Vignette
09/05 Of Pens and Pages; Review, Excerpt
09/06 Diary of an Eccentric; Guest Post, Vignette, Giveaway
09/07 From Pemberley to Milton; Guest Post or Vignette, Excerpt,
09/08 So little time…; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
09/09 My Love for Jane Austen; Vignette
09/10 Margie’s Must Reads; Review, Excerpt
09/11 My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt
09/12 Just Jane 1813; Review
The paperback is available through Amazon and the eBook should be available soon.
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