Pride & Prejudice Villains Revisited – Redeemed – Reimagined: A Collection of Six Pride and Prejudice Variation Short Stories Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File Size : 5031 KB
- Print Length : 307 pages
- Language: : English
- Publication Date : December 15, 2015
- ASIN : B019ERAY9G
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #502,001 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Story 1 Mr. Collins
reimagined as a strong, direct, clever man who adopts the Austen persona to get through the all-important one year probation as Lady C's curate. In this story he wants to marry Charlotte, not Elizabeth, so his obnoxious behavior is deliberately intended to make him unattractive to the second Bennet daughter. He deceives Charlotte as well, and means to tell her the truth once he is permanently hired. But he is inadvertently sabotaged when Darcy becomes engaged to Elizabeth. Lady C throws a fit and fires him. Giving his last sermon, he happily tells her off. But to everyone's surprise, it is Anne who actually has the ownership of Rosings. She insists that Mr. and Mrs. Collins remain. Lady C eventually becomes reconciled. Collins and Charlotte live very happily at Hunsford.
Story 2 - Caroline Bingley
Similar to the Mr. Collins story that starts off this anthology, Miss Bingley is playing a part to get what she wants. But she doesn't want Darcy - she's been in love with a servant since she was 14 yrs old. Here it's sister Louisa who's the snob and social climber. Caroline is still underage, so to avoid being pressured into a society marriage, she picks a man who will be uninterested in a shallow, obsequious socialite. Fitzwilliam Darcy is perfect for her plan to remain single for the next year. She deliberately acts in a way to disgust him.
It's amusing to read Caroline's thoughts on the primary romances of P&P. She finds her brother's waffling exasperating, since she can tell Jane is deeply in love with him. She secretly admires Elizabeth and thinks Darcy is Miss Elizabeth's perfect match, so why can't they get together and work things out? Caroline finally gets her HEA ending, and even becomes a welcome guest at Pemberley.
Story 3 - Mrs. Younge
This was an excellent look at how difficult life could be for the working class, especially a woman without family or friends. Through Austen we only see Mrs. Younge from Darcy's point of view, which is that she and Wickham must have been working together. Instead, the authors posit a very different story: that Darcy's arrogance left Mrs. Younge in the difficult position of trying to determine what was best for Georgiana, without sufficient guidance from her guardian.
Georgiana initiates the event in question when she greets Wickham as an old family friend. Darcy had not given any warning to Mrs. Younge about him, so although she views him dubiously, she doesn't feel she has a firm reason to forbid Wickham from her young charge. She writes to Darcy for guidance, but he throws her letter in the fire and never reads it. She's horrified when she discovers that Georgiana planned to elope with Wickham, but is given no chance to defend herself before Darcy fires her.
The story details how Mrs. Younge returns to the boarding house she visited at the beginning of this story. First she becomes an assistant, and then ends up managing the operation and turning a steady, if modest, profit. She's feeling happy with her life when Darcy once again barges in, demanding to know if she knows where Wickham and a young lady named Lydia might be found.
Angry and resentful at her previous poor treatment, she refuses to give him the information he needs. She doesn't want money, she wants him to investigate what happened at Ramsgate and know the truth - that she did the best she could despite having no help from Darcy. He returns to ask again, and Mrs. Younge lets go her resentment when he promises to look into the Ramsgate affair. She gives Darcy the info needed to track Wickham down.
Mrs. Younge finds out obliquely that Wickham and Lydia did marry. Darcy does investigate Ramsgate, and apologies for being mistaken about her. She herself accepts the proposal from the boarding house's owner, and ends up with a happy and successful life. This is a delightful take on P&P. It gives us a view of how obnoxiously arrogant Darcy was, before Elizabeth's refusal made him reconsider his behavior.
Story #4 - George Wickham
The authors state up front this was a hard story to figure out how to write. I loved the approach they took, which was creative and unexpected. Lydia is mourning George's death, when she discovers an old battered notebook. It was an irregular diary; Wickham wrote in it only when something notable happened.
She is shocked to read the earlier entries, that show clearly how George lied and deliberately deceived others, including her. Unhappy to learn the truth, yet unable to stop reading, she reads how his actions were quite different than what she had thought. She learns he never really loved her, although he enjoyed bedding her and had what seemed a mild fondness for her.
But little by little, George is beginning to change. At first the difference in his attitudes is almost imperceptible. Then he writes an entry of how he finally comes home when the war is over, to meet his baby daughter for the first time. He feels a rush of complicated emotions, different than any he's felt before.
Subsequent entries show Lydia that her belief in George as a good man is finally justified. He loved their children, and fell utterly in love with his wife. In the final entry, he writes how thankful he is that in his old age, he had such a wonderful life.
Summary: I thoroughly enjoyed this collection! The stories went in unexpected ways and were very well-written. I think this is the best book I've read from these two authors. I'll be keeping this in my permanent collection.
There are some minor errata, but nothing too egregious. The one glaring exception was on page 272, where Mrs. Younge uses the word "collaborate" - I'm sure the authors meant to use "corroborate".