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A Spot of Sweet Tea: Hopes and Beginnings Short Story Collection Kindle Edition
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|Length: 275 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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The first novella brings about a swift resolution to the conflict between Darcy and Elizabeth after the Hunsford proposal. I enjoyed reading Elizabeth's reciprocal letter and Darcy's reaction to it, as well as the Colonel's go-between role, full of double entendres (of not a sexual nature) caused by his misinterpreting the situation.
The other three novellas feature secondary characters: Mary Bennet and Charlotte Lucas from Pride and Prejudice, and Harriet Martin from Emma. All three heroines are characterized by insecurity: their intrinsic worth is unrecognized, even denigrated by others, and they are all in need of "an establishment".
Mary Bennet's story is a sequel to the original book, showing Mary to meet two promising young men and having to choose between them. Charlotte Collins' story consists of missing scenes and her own point of view of the known story of Mr. Collins' sojourn to Hertfordshire. While it still can't endear Mr. Collins to me, it shows a version where Charlotte isn't coldhearted and mercenary, but genuinely appreciates what little there is to value in Mr. Collins and is willing and able to manage the rest.
Harriet Smith's story is a prequel to the events in Emma, her childhood and life in Mrs. Goddard's school and the story of her acquaintance with her canon suitor, Mr. Martin. The dramatic events that temporarily divide them aren't included in the story, but an epilogue allows them to look back and assure the reader of their felicity together.
I very much enjoyed all these stories which bring to life the somewhat neglected secondary characters. The collection has no sexual scenes. All the novellas are also possible to obtain separately here at Amazon
Last Dance from 16% to 39% takes us to Mary Bennet’s thoughts, hopes and fears about Aunt Philip (with whom she is staying while Mama and Kitty are visiting one of the married sisters) maneuverings. Mary is poked and prodded not only for fittings of hand-me-down dresses but to also join in the gossiping groups of other young ladies, to join in the dances, to put herself forward and to get there before Maria Lucas, Mary King and others of Meryton Society. Uncle Philip has hired a new clerk, a Mr. Parris, who, in turn has enticed his cousin, Mr. Lacey, to buy and settle on nearby property and become a landed gentleman. Mary does have an edge here, in that as Mr. Philip’s clerk Mr. Parris and his cousin are invited to dinner a.s.a.p. and they become better acquainted. We observe as Mary receives notice and even as a dance is reserved for an upcoming ball. But we also watch as the one gentleman has a disfigurement and thus takes his place, a place Mary usually occupies, as a Wallflower. How do we judge a man’s worth?
Not Romantic from 39% to 68% is Charlotte’s story as you might have already realized from the title echoing her words to Elizabeth in P&P. But here we learn a very big reason as to just why she feels this way and, I, for one, can certainly understand where she is coming from, considering that history, her age and the era in which she lived. Charlotte is being a realist, BUT she also is wise enough when she sees an opportunity for, if not that a marriage only for love which Elizabeth Bennet wants, then, a way to have a home of her own and to be independent of her family. While her settling for this future may not be a GRAND romance we may breathe out a sigh of relief for how things finalized for Miss Lucas. In this vignette we read of Charlotte’s perverse internal thoughts on manipulating the vicar to more pleasing actions and then her condemnation of her “best” friend for not performing that service herself…How can Eliza be so neglectful as to not use her powers for the greater good?
In Sweet Ginger we read of Harriet Smith from Jane Austen’s Emma. This goes back to when Harriet is brought to Mrs. Goddard’s school and comes to know that Mrs. Goddard has a taste for ginger candies. Harriet is another type of ginger. We read as she has developed certain skills in anticipation of becoming a teacher (with no prospects) in the school. (This reminded me of Jane Eyre’s transition from student to teacher.) But we who know the JA’s story look for and find satisfaction when Margaret and Rachel….Martin are introduced as new students. As Harriet is the first to offer a kindness to them we are dismayed to then read of Belinda’s maneuverings. But do not despair, you know the story. And Maria Grace gives us a little epilogue, oh, so touching. And do you wonder if Robert is encouraging his wife to be best friends with Mrs. Knightley?
This book is nicely wrapped up with several short, sweet little reads of beginnings…and an ending.
Four Days in April. Features Lizzy & Darcy at Rosings. What if Lizzy replied to Darcy's letter following the disastrous proposal and then they spoke.
Last Dance features Mary Bennet in the time following her sisters marriages being forced to socialize in order to marry. Mary has to decide if she wants to pretend to be more like Lizzy or stay true to herself and marry for love.
Not Romantic features Charlotte Collins and delves into her reasons for marrying Mr. Collins. She finds him much less ridiculous than the Bennet girls opinions. We also learn of Charlotte's earlier heartbreak
Sweet Ginger is the Story of how Harriet Smith meets Mr. Martin and charms him and his family.