- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Meryton Press (October 15, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1681310120
- ISBN-13: 978-1681310121
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,832,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Letter from Ramsgate Paperback – October 15, 2016
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But first … I believe that most P&P readers wonder what exactly happened in Ramsgate between Georgiana Darcy and George Wickham. Jane Austen leaves this episode rather vague so we are left to our own imaginations. Until now. Suzan Lauder gives us every smarmy detail of the nefarious plot and its players.
Fortunately, this time around we have Lizzy Bennet coming to Georgiana’s rescue, albeit anonymously. The letter referred to in the title brings Lizzy and Mr Darcy together, and at first all proceeds well between them. But the road to happily-ever-after is by no means smooth for our dear couple. There is plenty of angst in both their hearts and sufficient mutual misunderstandings to satisfy even the most die-hard of P&P fans – Pride and Prejudice being the ultimate tale of angst brought on by misunderstandings, mostly caused by (of course) the pride and/or prejudice of our hero and heroine.
And for his part, this is where the “socially retarded” Mr Darcy enters the picture.
Fortunately (again), this time Georgiana saves the day … and is the vehicle for reuniting our dear couple. Their reunion could almost be the equivalent of a “meet cute” – well, you’ll have to read the story to see what I mean.
I very much enjoyed this carefully-written story; even my anal reading eye could not uncover more than one or two minor text errors. The story flows well while taking the reader on a journey of non-canon relationships and interesting new characters.
What I liked most: The cover. It is simply gorgeous.
The Hunsford proposal. It is absolutely brilliant. Gut-wrenching, and a bit more deliciously amatory than the original – although this is still a clean read.
The letter that followed the proposal is likewise brilliantly constructed.
What I liked least: The scenes that take place at the Exeter Exchange zoo and references to Chunee the elephant. I really did not need a reminder of the horrendous prison-like menageries that existed until recent times. And still exist in some places, such as roadside zoos. Nor of the reminder of Chunee’s horrifying end. (To be fair, this detail was presented separately in author’s notes. But it was a jarring note after such a pleasant read.)
The author’s conclusions about disguised handwriting. Having studied the psychology of handwriting for a number of years, I was not completely convinced that the subterfuge would have been successful. On the other hand it wasn’t completely out of line so for the sake of the plot line I let it pass and suspend disbelief. Sometimes the reader has to do that or you end up never enjoying a story, and just drive yourself nuts.
In short: An enjoyable read with just enough wretchedness amongst the characters to remind you that you’re reading a P&P variation! I gave it four stars out of five. (I'd give it 4.5 stars but they don't let you do that.)
Entering before canon, Elizabeth accompanies her aunt Gardiner to visit lady Edwina in Ramsgate. Meeting Georgiana, the two young girls become fast friends and confidants.
Elizabeth grows concerned about Georgiana's close relationship with Wickham but she leaves before the big debacle unfolds.
Darcy receives an anonymous letter, alerting him of the goings on in Ramsgate and from there on the story joins the timeline of canon. I was, as mentioned previously, mighty impressed with the clever way the author changed the story. It felt new and fresh with no rehash in sight. When ODC meet they feel an instant attraction but that does not leave an easy road to HEA... Darcy still does not approve of her connections, inferiority of birth or her relatives behaviour, neither is Elizabeth blind to Darcy's exaggerated pride and conceit.
It all culminate at the Hunsford proposal which in my humble opinion was sheer genius. What an deliciously heart-wrenching scene.
There is a lengthy separation where especially Darcy do everything in his power to forget Elizabeth... Letters will aid their way to HEA though. At their reunion I was a bit puzzled at Elizabeth's reaction. It all ends well of course, in a short epilogue that I would have loved to see a bit longer and more elaborate.
Heartily recommend this book!
First of all, the cover is beautiful. So I hoped the story would do it justice.
I was intrigued with this author adding depth to Mrs. Younge. Giving her background and some dynamics made for an interesting read. Turns out she's not so spineless as canon and other JAFF makes her out to be.
And that is essentially the first scene, the one in which Darcy hires her and next thing you know we are in Ramsgate. The difference this time is that Lizzy is also in Ramsgate.
When Wickham comes into the picture, Isabel Younge is only thinking with her libido; in fact during her interview with Darcy it almost seemed like she was in heat. Anyway, Wickham convinces Isabel of the infamous elopement scheme but now we have a reason for Darcy's early appearance in Ramsgate: Lizzy is the one behind the title "Letter From Ramsgate." (Btw the way she wrote her letter was clever...I knew it was coming but I liked it. She uses the same "strategy" later in the story). Georgiana is pretty annoying during this whole scenario. Her head is way too up in the clouds of romance so I rolled my eyes a lot at her. She gets better though.
So Lizzy saves the day it seems and from there we have a Darcy in Hertfordshire who knows Lizzy because she is Georgiana's friend. So it seems this story is to proceed with little angst. In fact, Hunsford seems to be only too good to be true. She accepts and they have an improper interlude of sorts. But then she makes the mistake of asking him a question that sets him off. I won't give away the bulk of the conversation, but I found myself sympathizing with Lizzy when all was said and done (FYI yeah he rescinds his offer *gasp*). There is to be a "Hunsford" that we know after all, but be prepared for the roles to be reversed.
This was one of those Darcy characterizations I found hard to read. He was a jerk and even when everything pointed to him being a jerk he wouldn't relent. Even when he had a chance to make amends he preferred to do his duty and seek a wife elsewhere. He really didn't deserve Lizzy. And yes he eventually wins her back (the setting for which was original and adorable but I digress), but I can't believe she took him back and so quickly! What the hell?! There was even a scene before at a soirée where he approached her and it seemed she'd forgive him. I couldn't believe it. But then she redeemed herself for me...for a while.
Georgiana and new character Lady Edwina Moore (a friend of the Darcy's and a friend of Mrs. Gardiner) helped ODC get back together pretty much. But speaking of Lady Edwina, I knew from the moment the first hint was dropped that she and Colonel Fitzwilliam had a thing but I was disappointed that we didn't read more of that particular relationship. I really wanted to see them interact.
And my final note was that I knew the infamous letter would be present in this story, and I knew it would come not from Darcy but Lizzy (goodness I cringed at seeing her sort of grovel). I found the tables being turned interesting.
I would probably read this again. It's certainly a different story and entertaining.