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The Goodness of Men Paperback – September 23, 2017
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About the Author
I have a degree in English with a concentration in British Literature and a Masters in Education. I love to travel, bake, and watch college football with my husband of 17 years and 3 rambunctious sons. My goal in life is to make not only my children, but also my students feel that they are loved, and to bring magic into everyone's world. My weaknesses are yellow cake with chocolate frosting, French bread with real butter, and my father's Arabic food, namely grape leaves, and falafel. I live in California where I dream of Disney adventures and trips across the pond.
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There was no visit to the Hunsford parsonage, so no disastrous proposal. Elizabeth was able to come to a new appreciation of Darcy during a stay at the home of a friend, Phillip Turner, who filled in for Charles Bingley (though not so unaware & gregarious in nature) & later at Pemberley. Mrs Anderson (Turner's aunt) had invited her childhood best friend Mrs Gardiner & her niece Elizabeth Bennet to visit her at Chenowith when their trip to the Lakes was truncated to a stay in Derbyshire. Mr Gardiner had returned to London. All did not run smoothly with Darcy & Elizabeth's romance as Lady Cecilia Markham, filling in for Caroline Bingley, & her parents intrigued together to capture "the most eligible bachelor in England". Col. Fitzwilliam assisted Darcy to achieve his heart's desire. Mrs Margaret Wickham/Anderson was a sympathetic character whose inner strength eventually shone through.
Lydia was unsurprisingly still a self-centred, manipulative creature with no care for the consequences of her actions as she flaunted herself around Brighton, however she demonstrated a high degree of personal cunning to ensure she got her way (the first sister married). She eventually received her comeuppance, mainly at the hands of Mrs Gardiner with the approval of Mr Bennet. As expected Wickham & Mrs Younge were deceitful, duplicitous & degenerate. Their plans can unstuck when they were forced to take Lydia to Derbyshire so she could attend (uninvited) Georgiana's birthday ball. Two other victims of this duo's nefarious schemes were revealed & were given an opportunity to confront Wickham whose ultimate fate was well deserved (& well devised).
The concluding paragraphs of the book gave a satisfying summary of the fates & futures of the principal characters, as well as some of the less mentioned but well-loved original P&P alumni.
Really, really good most of the way through the book, but it becomes too unbelievable for me to swallow.
I love the premise that Elizabeth, not having gone to Kent and therefore not having been proposed to or receiving that most informative letter, persists in thinking poorly of Mr. Darcy right up to her visit to Derbyshire. There she finds plenty of evidence that Darcy is quite different in character than she has allowed herself to believe.
But the buildup and the climax?? Lost me there. Wickham would never let Lydia get the better of him and would come up with some other way to prevent her from ruining his scheme. And even if she did convince him to take her to Derbyshire, he most certainly would NOT present himself at the main doors of Pemberley. He would've dropped her off and got that carriage moving outa there quickly. Then Lizzy overreacts to her sister crashing the party. By that point in the story, Elizabeth should be past this kind of nonsense.
There are also some unintentionally humorous spelling errors (spell check is not always your friend, authors!) that should have been caught with more careful editing.
This was such a great, unusual story through most of the book. I was sorely disappointed when it went off the rails. Still, it's written well enough to be worth a read.
No angst but highly entertaining in a unique and refreshing way.
Especially thought the introduction was a perfect amount of the information that was necessary, no more no less. (Not a big fan of a long introduction but no introduction can be confusing.)
The Hunsford proposal never happened as Charlotte became ill and Elizabeth never visited her.
The summer of 1812, Elizabeth ventures north with the Gardiner's but her uncle is called back to London due to a fire at his warehouse. Elizabeth and her aunt continues their journey to a friend of Mrs Gardiner who owns an estate 5 miles from Pemberley. Entering the estate grounds, Elizabeth sees a familiar figure, harvesting potatoes in a field... The character development from there on was lovely. The author sends us on a wonderful journey, slowly letting Elizabeth discover Mr Darcy's true character. It was a trip worthwhile with some very romantic moments between ODC.
The astute Mrs Gardiner guided her niece gently to a better understanding but her wake up call came in the form of the young widow, Mrs George Wickham. Having received letters from Lydia, reporting of a very much alive George Wickham, Elizabeth finally understands who has the goodness and who has only the appearance of it.
Her insecurities however has not abated and the beautiful lady Cecilia Markham at Georgiana's birthday ball pose a threat to her equilibrium but it was her own sister that shook it to the core.
An epilogue shows the fate of most of the characters but it was a paragraph at the end in the cave that made my neckhair stand. Absolutely loved it!
My only complaint would be the abrupt ending after ODC reach an understanding. I can never get enough of ODC and want to see them happy after their understanding is reached.
Heartily recommend this book!