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Elizabeth Bennet's Excellent Adventure: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary Kindle Edition
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As Darcy tries to recover his life and his betrothed, Elizabeth plans a life of her own; a life that will put her onto a whole different path, a path that largely diverges from the life she has come to long for with Darcy.
Now in the seaside town of Portsmouth, which was quite an original setting for a JAFF story, Elizabeth spends time with some new friends, under the "protection" of another favorite Austen hero, (think Persuasion,) where she is forced to examine her feelings for Darcy and her real desires for her future. Once Darcy appears, the romance begins and we are treated to a lively battle of the suitors... The plot moves quickly, as Jeffers has thrown some nice surprises into this story!
Once the Lydia/Wickham troubles appear, we journey back to Longbourn, to learn how the lovers will resolve their dilemmas. Will Elizabeth and Darcy ever forgive each other for the shame they have brought into each other lives? Or will the consequences of Elizabeth's adventure be too sure to overcome for the couple?
This was a lovely, quick read, with interesting plot twists, in a setting I enjoyed sharing with Darcy and Elizabeth!
I did not think Darcy was portrayed in an unrealistic manner. Those who watched the movies and did not read the book don't understand that Ms. Jeffers's character development of Darcy is in line with Austen's original version of him. He was angry in Pride and Prejudice, and he's angry in this book. Above all, he is honorable, and Ms. Jeffers's way of writing him brings that to the forefront.
I really like the inclusion of Frederick Wentworth before he makes his fortune, just after he is rejected by Anne. The Harvilles and Benwick are portrayed as well.
I read the book straight through, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It's a clean read. It is patently obvious that Darcy and Elizabeth love each other, and there are a few stolen kisses, but Ms. Jeffers does not denigrate the original characters by having them engage in sex before marriage. After they're married, Ms. Jeffers provides romance, but closes the door on the private aspects of the relationship.
Elizabeth Bennet's Excellent Adventure is an excellent read.
I am on a roll reading some of Regina Jeffers’ books as she has some on sale this month in honor of Mothers’ Day. I had read 7 of her books previously so have come to know that I can just about bet on my awarding her books a high star value in knowing of her skills. (One of my recent buys was however a disappointment but that is only one vs. the seven of higher enjoyment.)
As the book description tells us we start off in Kent where Elizabeth has rejected Darcy’s ignominious proposal. Darcy’s reaction here is to write, not one, but three letters. The first is committed to the fire as it contains vile abuses of Wickham in reaction to Elizabeth’s defense of that man. The second is more on the line of a love letter, but that too is not to be sent. It is more to put it all down on paper and to then cleanse his soul of those passions. The third letter is the one of which canon tells us. But as he has his valet pack things to leave after his “walk” things are not placed where they are intended…so Elizabeth receives not a letter explaining why he acted as he did for Bingley’s sake nor the truth about Wickham but one pouring out the depths of his esteem.
And to compound the error his valet made…Maria Lucas goes snooping in Elizabeth’s unmentionables and not only finds the hidden letter but also reads it. I found that bit a stretch as Maria is a shy and retiring girl in canon and I would not expect her to act so precipitously. (But let’s go on.) Maria then confronts Elizabeth about the letter and wants to assign it as one to Jane. In protecting Jane, Elizabeth has to reveal that she is the lady to whom Mr. Darcy directs his attentions. AND not trusting Maria to keep all this a secret she now must seek out Mr. Darcy in London and hope his desires and feelings towards her remain secure, as she must marry to save her and her family from disgrace. A love letter between unmarried individuals is a no-no, an impropriety.
Darcy is only too happy to have a marriage even if it is one of convenience; if the one in his bed is one he loves rather than just one he must chose to sire an heir. But as we read in the book description…Darcy does not show up for the wedding. (And you must know there is a story there.) All of Meryton now looks on Elizabeth as a jilted bride. And she is only too ready to blame herself as having earned this revenge in the way she ranted and accused him at Hunsford. OK, facing a life of disgrace but believing Jane has again secured Mr. Bingley’s admiration, she accepts a future of spinster governess to her sister’s children. But as that may be a few years off and as the community is a hotbed of gossip about her disgrace, Elizabeth slyly plans an adventure, her last gasp of defiant freedom, away for all who know her and judge her.
So we follow her here and there and watch how she connives to mislead any who might follow her…to Portsmouth. There the author has her meet our hero and his Navy compatriots from Jane Austen’s tale of Persuasion. Darcy is not too happy to be a witness to attentions paid by one Captain there.
This story is one in which the author again gives us a study on how Elizabeth’s self worth could have been wounded by her upbringing under Mrs. Bennet’s role as mother, a role in which Jane’s beauty and Lydia’s liveliness seem to be the only values she finds of worth in her daughters. But we also read of Darcy’s observation of Elizabeth impulsive behavior, her sharp wit and her rapier tongue and of how he thinks only of how his life is going to be one of many adventures and surprises with her by his side.
There are several bylines in this story: Lydia, Wickham, Mary, a Captain Vaughan, a Mr. Sloane and his sister and Colonel Fitzwilliam; all of whom help us to appreciate how much Darcy is willing to take on in his desire to prove to Elizabeth his esteem for her and his lasting loyalty.
An Aside: I do have to add that I also found the mention of a pearl necklace worn to her wedding ceremony to be contradicted by the description of the wearing of the necklace purchased on Bond Street. And it was a bit jarring to read how “he affected her” rather than how he loved her…but then I am no expert in the language of the day. I only mention it so that others will know the language is not that which I usually find in other JAFF books. It takes some getting used to and/or some rereading of passages.
The writing expressed the depth of Elizabeth's hurt and also the hurt of the man in pursuit of her heart.
I did like the fact that other characters that were brought into the plot were all connected one way or another and worked out for the best in the end.
A great novel written well and I so did enjoy it!