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Just to Hear 'I Love You': An Alternate Tale of Jane Austen's 'Pride & Prejudice' Paperback – September 15, 2014
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About the Author
Sarah Johnson is a professional juggler in the circus of life! Married to her own Mr Darcy for sixteen years, they traveled the world thanks to the US Army. Now back in the civilian life and settled in Texas, where she grew up, they focus on homeschooling their six children and participating in church and community activities. She can often be found writing a manuscript between spills, science labs, and pencil wars, or late into the night when the house is finally still enough for her imagination to run wild! When she has a few spare moments, she enjoys just about anything crafty – scrapbooking, painting, sewing, quilting, crocheting – basically anything except knitting, a craft she swears few left-handers truly ever pick up well. A devotee of all things Jane Austen, she enjoys exploring the story lines Jane never lived long enough to give the world. She is often found discussing with her online friends the intricacies of the novels we do have from our dearest author. It is these discussions that often lead to the plot bunnies that have now become many stories over the last few years, and hopefully further into the future as well.
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Into the fray of course come the Darcy's and Colonel Fitzwilliam.
Now, one of the reasons I gave this 4 stars is the lack of attention given to Elizabeth and Darcy. I knew going in that the storylines would favor Mary (and apparently the Colonel) but I feel that so much redundancy in THAT storyline could've better served the Lizzy and Darcy storyline somewhere. As much as I adored the relationship between Mary and the colonel, it was very slow moving at times for them while all the storylines around them (Lizzy and Darcy and whoa where did Bingley and Maria Lucas come from?) moved at breakneck speed.
I just wanted more of the Darcy and Lizzy chemistry and passion.
That being said I did love the unique storyline of Mary's impairment, insecurities, and the beautiful way Colonel Fitzwilliam overlooked it all and found a way to meet all her needs with love and devotion, including her deepest desire of hearing "I Love You" spoken to her again. No she didn't regain her hearing but you should be able to figure out how this went.
Another character that was endlessly annoying, vindictive, and spoiled was Georgiana. It was reminiscent of her character in LL Diamond's Rain and Retribution. But like many things in this apparently long story, all turned out well for her. ALTHOUGH in her case she really had to hit rock bottom and you kind of saw her character development. Aside from her the only real character development I saw was Richard, and possibly Mary. I'm guessing circumstances made their personalities so but turns out Mary is more like Lizzy with her sense of adventure while Lizzy is the overprotective elder sister. That made some sense but again I missed the usual Lizzy :(
Overall it was a beautiful story I would read again but I felt a good revision would've helped. Some reviewers mentioned the unnecessary addition of the Maria and Bingley storyline and I kind of agree. I don't see a problem with them being added but towards the end redemption was quickly found for everyone!
One final note: the Gardiners played such a prominent role in this story; where were they in the end when Lizzy and Mary were giving birth? Why weren't they invited to any Christmas celebrations?? These are the kinds of inconsistencies the author could've worked on and revised. Even if the story had been longer, I wouldn't have minded haha.
I'd most likely read this again :)
This is the first time, I believe, that I read a book by Sarah Johnson, I need to look that up, however, this one will always be my favorite. I love P&P variations that don't stick to cannon like a religion. That is what fan fiction is all about. I actually could not put the book down until my husband took my glasses off and move the book to the side so I could sleep. He told me I fought him, but of course he won.
Sarah, there are not many stories on Mary, why just because she is plain or the middle sister. Jane and Lizzy are friends a Kitty and Lydia ( God help us all) are friends, so where does that leave Mary? I like where you took her it was a heartwarming love story that I will read again then let my grand daughter read it.
In this story, Georgiana is a manipulative, self-centered, yet naïve young lady of the Ton. She is willing to do whatever is needed to get what she wants!!! She is just a mean-spirited girl, especially when it comes to Mary.
The path of love for Elizabeth and Mr Darcy runs pretty smooth, minus the negative verbal sparring with his Fitzwilliam relations. I love that Mary and Elizabeth have a tight bond, one where Elizabeth had to be Mary's champion, but has turned out beautifully that allows both (especially Mary) to grow into wonderful women.
I adore Colonel Fitzwilliam in this story, he grew up living at Pemberley with Mr Darcy since he was 13 y/o because of a falling out with his father. Therefore he is very protective of Mr Darcy and sees Georgiana for the person she has turned into since her father's passing. The colonel is kind, compassionate, loyal and fiercely protective of those he loves or feels a kinship with. I adore how he seems to understand Mary, and learns to communicate with her in sign language to ease her stress and anxiety.
Other differences in this story that I've never seen in another P&P variation is where the attitude of the residents of Meryton towards Mary and Elizabeth is so negative. After Elizabeth and Mr Darcy are married, they travel to Meryton where Mr Bingley has leased Netherfield, though Mary and Elizabeth are unaware of where his leased estate actually is. Unpleasant scenes arise and the only decent person willing to talk to Elizabeth is Charlotte. This attitude sets up for the end portion of the story.
I felt that the mentioned end portion of this story was a bit rushed and cliche. I know that the Bennet sisters are good-natured and forgiving, I get that, but some felt that they forgave some people too easily and too quickly. I know that it is pointed out as the Christian duty to forgive, but still some were too easy. This was part of the reason why I gave this book a 4 star.
I would recommend this book to all JAFFers because in my opinion the first 80% of the book was fabulous. I think somethings could be tweaked in the last 20%, but overall it was enjoyable.