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Fitzwilliam Darcy is a single man in possession of a good fortune, a broken heart, and tattered pride. Elizabeth Bennet is a young lady in possession of a superior wit, flawed judgement, and a growing list of unwanted suitors. With a tempestuous acquaintance, the merciless censure of each other’s character, and the unenviable distinction of a failed proposal behind them, they have parted ways on seemingly irreparable terms. Despairing of a felicitous resolution for themselves, they both attend with great energy to rekindling the courtship between Darcy’s friend Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth’s sister Jane.
Regrettably, people are predisposed to mistake one another, and rarely can two be so conveniently manoeuvred into love without some manner of misunderstanding arising. Jane, crossed in love once already, is wary of Bingley’s renewed attentions. Mistaking her guardedness for indifference, Bingley is drawn to Elizabeth’s livelier company; rapidly, the defects in their own characters become the least of the impediments to Darcy and Elizabeth’s happiness.
Debut author Jessie Lewis’s Mistaken invites us to laugh along with Elizabeth Bennet at the follies, nonsense, whims, and inconsistencies of characters both familiar and new in this witty and romantic take on Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice.
“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” Oscar Wilde
Make no mistake about it, Jessie Lewis has written a Pride & Prejudice variation with enough mishaps and misunderstandings, that even the most proficient JAFF reader will be impressed with her ingenuity and fresh new takes on Austen’s story!
Mistaken…. Could there be a better word to describe the relationship between Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet? After nursing a broken heart and a bruised ego, make no mistake about it; Fitzwilliam Darcy is ready to change his proud and slightly arrogant ways to win the heart and the hand of the woman he loves. But can he muster enough courage to endure the obstinate Elizabeth Bennet; the only woman in England who seems ready to willfully misunderstand him and take a chance on loving her once again?
This is a post-Hunsford story, where Darcy and Elizabeth gradually begin to see how mistaken they were about themselves and each other. Yet, their misguided actions also cause Bingley and Jane to wind up mistaken about their affections, and ultimately, their own relationship, which becomes the central focus of this story. Therefore, when Jane continues to refrain from demonstrating her true feelings for Bingley upon his return to Meryton, Bingley finds himself being drawn to her sister’s more lively and expressive disposition and before you know it, a most unusual love triangle has started to take shape within this story. Will Jane realize Bingley’s feelings and how will this affect her relationship with her beloved sister?
However, Bingley’s hopes should be dashed when Darcy and Elizabeth come together, and yet, oddly enough, they aren’t, as he continues to be mistaken at every turn. Ms. Lewis employs every gaffe known from canon about Bingley to allow his actions and feelings to feel plausible for the reader. His sisters, Caroline and Louisa, also add to the mayhem of the situation and the enjoyment of the book because they know their brother well enough to believe that he’s capable of such catastrophic blunders and because they are quite funny throughout the story, especially Caroline Bingley, who happens to have some of the best lines in the story.
The relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth is key for me to loving a JAFF story and Ms. Lewis’ talents help to shape a couple that readers will adore spending time with, whether they are in London or at Pemberley, they feel every bit as true to Austen’s own characters. The dialogue between them is witty and has that quick, dry humor that I imagine would occur between them as a married couple, especially from Darcy. Ms. Lewis is also quite a wordsmith, who knows how to wield her pen in order to restore her characters to great comfort once they reach an understanding with one another. While she certainly knows how to spin a web of deceit and despair throughout her story, she also knows how to skillfully balance her story with plenty of romance and affection between our dear couple.
She’s also a true proficient at displaying her tongue-and-cheek humor, even in some of the most unlikely places. No character is off limits when it comes to dearly loving a laugh and/or being dearly laughed at! The addition of some very clever new characters, such as Lord Matlock’s mother-in-law, Mrs. Sinclair, helps to generate plenty of humor and some great plot twists. This is definitely a book to read when you are in the mood to enjoy a JAFF story that contains a variety of humorous situations!
I also loved how Ms. Lewis incorporated several letters between the characters throughout the story, which allowed multiple scenarios to be understood by the readers from other characters’ point-of-views, and which allowed the misunderstandings throughout the book to feel even more authentic. There’s also a great musical piece that readers will enjoy at various junctions in the story and which ties in nicely with the back cover of the book. Yet, the centerpiece of this story is how well plotted and pieced together this entire story is from beginning to end because, in a story with so many misunderstandings, readers need to see how all of these situations can be misconstrued in a plausible, humorous, and readable manner. Mistaken is a very promising debut from Ms. Lewis and Meryton Press.
Meet Jessie Lewis
I’ve always loved words—reading them, writing them, and as my friends and family will wearily attest, speaking them. I dabbled in poetry during my angst-ridden teenage years, but it wasn’t until college that I truly came to comprehend the potency of the English language.
That appreciation materialised into something more tangible one dark wintry evening whilst I was making a papier-mâché Octonauts Gup-A (Google it—you’ll be impressed) for my son, and watching a rerun of Pride and Prejudice on TV. Fired up by the remembrance of Austen’s genius with words, I dug out my copy of the novel and in short order had been inspired to set my mind to writing in earnest. I began work on a Regency romance based on Austen’s timeless classic, and my debut novel Mistaken is the result.
The Regency period continues to fascinate me, and I spend a good deal of my time cavorting about there in my daydreams, imagining all manner of misadventures. The rest of the time I can be found at home in Hertfordshire, where I live with my husband, two children, and an out-of-tune piano. You can check out my musings on the absurdities of language and life on my blog, Life in Words, or you can drop me a line on Twitter, @JessieWriter or on my Facebook page, Jessie Lewis Author, or on Goodreads, Jessie Lewis.
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