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Mistress: A Pride and Prejudice Variation, with Parts Not Suitable for Those Who Have Not Reached Their Majority Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
In the hands of a less skilled writer, this could have been a disaster. It wasn't. Turner writes with sensitivity and the reader certainly understands how motivated by love and compassion is Mr. Darcy. It reminded me a bit of Jean M. Auel's novel, The Valley of Horses, where the heroine, a victim of vicious rape, finally learns what "pleasures" are all about from a Cro-Magnon Darcy type! It also reminds me of a novel I read a long time ago, Marnie by Winston Graham (author of the Poldark series), in which the main character, a young woman who's a serial embezzler, must confront the past in order to overcome her "frigidity" with her husband.
It's an interesting new path to Darcy's and Elizabeth's happily ever after, and sensitively written. I do have a few caveats/suggestions:
1. Readers may be disgusted to read about Mr. Collins's skill as a lover (or lack thereof.) It's mentioned briefly but visually, so hold onto your cookies.
2. Elizabeth's "frigidity" is referenced, and seemed an anachronism to me. In checking with the online etymology dictionary, it appears that the term actually was used for male impotence for several centuries, but it wasn't until Sigmund Freud came along around the turn of the last century that the term became more associated with women's aversion to sex. (Freud was a dirty and misogynistic old man whose sexual skills were probably on a par with the Rev. Collins.) So, yes, a bit of an anachronism, similar to the use of "sibling," another early 20th century psychology term, in Regency tales (which Turner didn't use, but a whole lot of JAFF writers do.) A thought - maybe no one ever bothered to wonder why women weren't enjoying sex prior to 1903, so the term was never applied to women until then?
3. Sorry, can't help bring up one of my pet grammar peeves, and that's inappropriate use of nominative and subjective pronouns. What am I talking about? Well, if you've ever heard someone say, "I got tickets for she and I" and it felt like chalk squeaking on a blackboard, then you understand. Ms. Turner repeatedly used "her" and "him" as predicate pronouns: "That is her" is said by both Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam, Elizabeth says, "It is him," identifying a tenant who refuses to pay his rent. Sorry to be Henry Higgins here, but I am certain that no self-respecting 19th century British gentlemen or gentlewomen would have fallen into such error. "That is she." "It is he." They may sound off to our modern grammar-mangling ears, but they are correct.
4. I can't help but have some suspension of disbelief issues with Elizabeth's suggestion that they try it on for size. Yes, she's a widow, but especially as one who suffered through the sex she'd experienced, and as a creature of her time (remember, this was even before the prudish Victorians!) she would not have been capable of such a 20th century post-birth-control attitude. If you can accept the unlikely premise, though, you'll enjoy a lovingly-told tale of erotic devotion. Read it with your own Mr. Darcy close by so you can give him, ahem, a detailed book report when you're through.
All in all, it's a well-written novel and I'm blushing only slightly to admit that I read it.
She shows Darcy to be the man that he really was as a loving, honest and sincere man with deep feelings. She also shows his strength when he tries his best to protect the woman he loves in so many ways.
She shows the strength of Elizabeth and what she did to protect her mother and sisters by marrying someone she didn't love and took his abuse.
However, through her strength, she still remained true to herself and her love her of her family. She showed strength beyond a doubt when she made an agreement with Darcy.
All ends well and love endures. This is one of the best novels I have read and I wish Ms. Turner the best in all her novels and look forward to more from her!
The sexual aspects were well-handled and necessary to the plot. Speaking of the plot, it was original and very well executed. Lizzy was thoroughly scarred by an abusive marriage (sexually, emotionally, and physically) and she's too traumatized to consider leaving the cocoon of an unfulfilling but safe & lonely life--even when she realizes she loves Darcy. But, because she loves him, she wants to at least try to overcome her fears for his sake, thus the idea of a trial relationship without marriage.
The Bennet family dynamics and the effect of the Collins experience scars not only Lizzy but Kitty as well. Mrs. Bennet, as usual, just makes matters worse. Both Lizzy and Darcy are portrayed beautifully, but Darcy, is more sensitive and understanding than I've seen him portrayed before. He instinctively understands Lizzy's fragility and they both put each other's feelings ahead of their own. The results are beautiful to behold.
I don't particularly like when either of ODC has been married before. This story left me with some images of Collins and Lizzy that are unwelcome. On that account I will not reread it, therefore the 3 stars.
Mr Bennet's death the day after the Netherfield ball leaves Elizabeth with little other choice than to marry Mr Collins. Widowed two years later, she is determined to never marry again. Mr Darcy's return to Netherfield changes that somewhat but the horrible experiences in the marital relations with Collins makes her hesitant. It's up to Mr Darcy to change her perceptive of the marital bed...
This is done and written beautifully.
Elizabeth is still left with issues like bad dreams and Darcy never really let go of his anxiety to further harm Elizabeth. This changes their relationship into their future which is natural under the circumstances but does not sit well with me.
Good story, well written, still will not reread it.
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