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Goodly Creatures: A Pride and Prejudice Deviation Paperback – March 1, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beth Massey lives in Chicago with her husband of forty plus years. Her first love as child in Chattanooga, Tennessee was the theatre. She spent her youth preparing for a creative life on the stage. A voracious reader, she devoured plays and novels with an eye toward imagining how she would play certain characters. Beth joined the Chattanooga Little Theatre’s youth troupe at age eight. She was awarded a work study scholarship to Monticello College in Godfrey, Illinois in the theatre department. While there, she played numerous roles—from Shaw to Shakespeare. After transferring to Barnard College in New York City as a junior in 1967, she switched her major to literature. But, ‘the times they were a changing.’ She threw herself into the struggle against war, racism and the emerging women’s liberation movement that had broken out all over the United States. One of her first acts of expressing her convictions was to participate in the Columbia University student strike in the spring of 1968. It was during this time, she met her husband Bill. Together the two—first as friends and then as partners—have devoted their lives to political activism. Beth spent her working hours as a payroll manager. In 2008, her job of seventeen years was outsourced. Given a compensation package that allowed her to stay home with an already retired Bill, she embraced the opportunity that working ‘9 to 5’ had made a challenge for most of the years of their marriage. Though Bill’s ability to be active has been curtailed by AMD, COPD and a debilitating essential tremor, his wit and knowledge are as sharp as ever. Ms Massey now spends her days in the company of her well-informed best friend and the two are free to engage in a great deal of conversation. Jane Austen would approve. Beth may have left a life in the theatre behind, but the desire for a creative outlet and a need to sketch the human character is still fervent. Goodly Creatures is the first endeavor of her new found leisure time.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 636 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1470045346
  • ISBN-13: 978-1470045340
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,850,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Beth Massey lives in Chicago with her husband of forty plus years. Her first love as a child was the theatre. A voracious reader, she devoured plays and novels with an eye toward imagining how she would play certain characters. Beth was recruited to the Chattanooga Little Theatre's youth troupe at age eight. At Barnard College in NYC, Beth threw herself into the struggle against war, racism, the emerging women's liberation movement and the Columbia University student strike of 1968. While there, she met her husband Bill. Together they have devoted their lives to political activism.

Now that both are retired from their day jobs, Ms Massey spends her days in the company of her well-informed best friend and the two are free to engage in a great deal of conversation. Jane Austen would approve, and Beth is quite certain that like Dawsey and Juliet they have had a discussion that encompassed Jonathan Swift, pigs and the Nuremberg trials.

Beth may have left a life in the theatre behind, but the desire for a creative outlet and a need to sketch the human character is still fervent.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark on June 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Yes, another positive review from me - everyone is going to think I am softening in my old age. Actually, I did read one that was complete crap recently, but I'm getting tired of having to defend my negative reviews (I much prefer defending my positive ones) and clearly the author has dear friends who would certainly castigate me should I go against all of those 5 stars.

To begin, I like to support new writers, so I am willing to overlook the odd grammatical/spelling/punctuation error that would be caught by an editor, so long as it doesn't distract from the story. Yes, this one did have a few minor errors, but unlike the majority of self-published authors, she had actually read it before publishing.

Secondly, this author does not do the horrid "head hopping." Yes, we are given multiple points of view, but they are divided into sections. Well done there.

I have seen the other reviews that complained about the use of P&P characters, either that they were used in this traumatic storyline or they were not at all like Darcy and Elizabeth. Although I do not post reviews for them all, I do read most P&P variations, and this is often a problem. Well, it is true here as well - but wait!

From almost the very beginning, I had to throw P&P out the window. Other than names, this book and its characters have nothing to do with it really at all; HOWEVER, I was pulled in by about 4% into it.

Since reading "The Journey," which I enjoyed a great deal, I have come to realize that our beloved Jane Austen has inspired some authors to write really good books, and I don't know if it is devotion to Austen that makes them call their characters Elizabeth and Darcy or it's the only way they think they can sell them.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By chatty1082 on April 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I would classify it as a Historical fiction combined with our beloved "Pride and Prejudice". It's historical because the writer delves into the landscape of the times and raises issues to the forefront.
In this alteration the story starts out 6yrs earlier. Darcy is married and he meets Elizabeth at the theater. He is with his wife and Viscount Wolbridge(col F's older brother). The Tempest is being played out and this definitely sets the stage for the book. The unthinkable happens to 15 yr old Elizabeth and to keep her out of harms way her family procede to protect her. This involves Darcy and Anne Debourge Darcy.
The story is quite intricate and we learn alot about the characters. The author does a fabulas job keeping the characters we love the way they should be and she adds a few characters that are dispicable but also some characters you will grow to love. I won't lie, the journey this book takes is long and full of angst but well worth it. Our favorite characters are better off for it. And I just love how in the epilogue we learn everything that ougt to be!! Really enjoyed this book. A definite read for ALL the JAFF readers out there.

Oh by the way this author inserts Jane Austens words very adeptly. You will recognise them imediately. They may not becoming out of the mouths of who you expect, but it is done so perfectly you will love reading it. Also you will find references to Jane Austen's other novels
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By mathilda on October 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although I agree that this fan fiction was more well written and edited than many, the basic premise is difficult to accept. I did not enjoy reading a scene where one of my favourite characters from literature is raped, or did I want to read about Darcy having another wife. The story changes the characters too much, and while this is an imaginative retelling of where those characters may have gone if their beginnings were different, it is not a "what if" scenario I enjoyed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Rubenstein on September 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, I NEVER give five stars. The only books that get five stars have to be generation spanning, personally and socially moving epics of the first order. Every other book I feel is excellent just gets four stars.

Yes, this book is that good. To read it as merely 'fan fiction' is to do it a massive disservice.

Using our favorite P&P characters as basic sketches, the author develops them as characters who are fully her own. She then uses them to weave this amazing tapestry of love, tragedy, courage, forgiveness, evil, healing and redemption (with a dash of the politics of revolution).

I should warn you that this is often a tough read. It begins with a terrible, violent act of hate. This act spawns much hardship, indignity, fear and pain. As the story develops there are many moments of confusion and misunderstanding as to where the guilt for this act rests. As with many P&P variations, these misunderstanding are what keeps our two lovers apart. Unlike these other stories, you don't find yourself yelling at the characters to just get over their vain stupidity and get us to our happy ending. Instead, these misunderstandings make you weep for the pain these characters feel, and weep more over the huge obstacles they must overcome. And my tears really did fall.

But you must persevere through the tragedies to truly feel the joys and moments of relief that are found along the way. As I approached each of these moments, I wept again.

I should also tell you, I'm not really a crier. I don't 'get misty' over movies, and I don't believe I have ever cried while reading a book (not ever Old Yeller). Actually, I have always considered an author's ability to make me laugh out loud as a great indication of book enjoyment and quality.
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