- File Size: 586 KB
- Print Length: 321 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0989025942
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Heather Ridge Arts (March 19, 2018)
- Publication Date: March 19, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07BFJ326K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,154 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Ladies of Rosings Park: A Pride and Prejudice Sequel and Companion to The Darcys of Pemberley Kindle Edition
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|Length: 321 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I really, really love the first person narrative device Ms. Winslow uses here. Each lady of Rosings Park (Anne de Bourgh, Lady Catherine, Mrs. Jenkinson and Charlotte Collins) has her say in telling Anne's story, with a new speaker every chapter. While there's occasional overlap, it generally flows in a continuous, chronological line. What's most fun is when we leave one narrator mid-scene and the next chapter picks up at the same spot, but from another narrator's point of view.
The book is broken into three parts that relate events from three distinct phases of Anne's life. The first coincides with the period of time during Pride and Prejudice and includes all of those events, and their immediate aftermath, as experienced and/or perceived by the residents of Rosings. In the second part, Anne's health is the primary concern. Dr. Essex is the latest in a string of doctors Lady Catherine has brought in to cure her daughter's debilitating headaches, poor appetite and weakness. He suggests a completely different regimen than has been attempted previously, and he has a knack for managing Lady Catherine. The last section of the book describes a series of suitors Lady Catherine arranges to come to Rosings. Eventually Anne is betrothed to a man she admires with her mother approval.
It is really admirable how each "voice" in these chapters is distinctively different from the others. Anne's personality just shines. Her imaginings are especially delightful, as she considers all the things she would say and do if she only had the courage and the physical stamina. She's bright and observant. She loves her mother but isn't blind to her shortcomings. Lady Catherine's chapters are uniformly self-congratulatory. The woman's ego knows no bounds, and she's clearly not as perceptive as she thinks she is. Poor Mrs. Jenkinson is in the unenviable position of trying to be Anne's companion, nurse, lady's maid and friend, and she often must follow Lady Catherine's directives against her own better judgement. Dear Charlotte, of course, doesn't live at Rosings, but she provides a valuable perspective from an outsider's point of view.
There's even a little bit of mystery sprinkled in here, too. Anne still misses her father, who treated her with warmth and love and, sadly, died when she was a young teenager. But Lady Catherine hints to the reader about some weakness in his character that isn't known to Anne.
My only reservation with the plot is a curious detail that doesn't seem to have anything to do with the rest of the story. When Anne's betrothal is announced at Pemberley, Georgiana's reaction seems to beg some explanation. It's obvious to the reader (though not to Anne) that she's distressed, but nothing further is ever mentioned about it. Why bring it up if it has no bearing on the rest of the story? This is a minor quibble, though, in what is otherwise an excellent story told in an admirably creative way. I love it.
When Jane Austen wrote 'Pride and Prejudice' she introduced us to characters true-to-life (in her era and in ours) and we fell in love with each one - the good ones and the bad. Austen made them real for us - and then the story ended ...it seemed 'too soon'!
In "The Ladies of Rosings Park', Shannon Winslow has managed to enter into well-known characters' minds and let us know not only what happened next to that particular person but what they thought and how they considered events. Each character has their own concept of what is happening at that moment and we are allowed entry in into their thought process. It's a fascinating 'ability' to watch events unfold and suffer the character's interpretations and attitudes as they occur. And, its a fascinating way to follow developments in a familiar but highly emotional period in the lives of those P&P people we thought we knew so well in the past.