The Unthinkable Triangle: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Kindle Edition
|Length: 277 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- The language is poignant and strikingly expressive; Mr. Darcy's ardent love, intense yearning, and anguish is palpably felt in every speech, action, and description. Beware readers, it will melt your heart! (Meredith Esparza - 'Austenesque Reviews')
- With the multitude of emotions that I experienced as I read The Unthinkable Triangle, in my mind, it rightly became 'the unforgettable triangle'! (Janet B. Taylor - 'More Agreeably Engaged')
- Joana Starnes was able to transmit such intense feelings that Darcy's despair was my own at a certain point. 'The Unthinkable Triangle' is full of feeling, and for that it is a book full of soul. I highly recommend it. (Rita Deodato - 'From Pemberley to Milton')
- I love Darcy, I love Elizabeth, I love Colonel Fitzwilliam and I want no one hurt here... but I do want a story that resembles a realistic love triangle, fraught with sorrow, regrets and misunderstandings!!! Basically, I want it all!!! The good news is Starnes certainly delivers all of this for us. Once again, Joana Starnes has written a P&P variation that deserves to be read, savored and celebrated. (Claudine A. Pepe - 'Just Jane 1813')
- The Unthinkable Triangle is another winner for Starnes. Her writing is beautiful, seemingly effortlessly moving from hope to regret to despondency and back again and taking readers along for the tumultuous ride. The Unthinkable Triangle is a contender for my Best of 2015 list and easily makes my list of all-time favorite Pride and Prejudice variations. (Anna Horner - Diary of an Eccentric)
- 'The Unthinkable Triangle' is delicious angst. (Christina Boyd)
- I have read a few other stories where Colonel Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth briefly end up together but they have always left me feeling disappointed when Darcy and Lizzy get together. Not so with this book. I liked how the characters in the book felt very true to Miss Austen's versions of them and how they reacted to the situations they were put in felt very realistic. (Tina Carter - 'Half Agony, Half Hope')
From the Inside Flap
- From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley ~ A Pride & Prejudice Sequel
- The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion
- The Second Chance ~ A 'Pride & Prejudice' ~ 'Sense & Sensibility' Variation
- The Falmouth Connection ~ A 'Pride & Prejudice' Variation
- Miss Darcy's Companion ~ A 'Pride & Prejudice' Variation
- Mr Bennet's Dutiful Daughter ~ A 'Pride & Prejudice' Variation
- Publication Date : September 23, 2015
- File Size : 1874 KB
- Print Length : 277 pages
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B01537J6DQ
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #119,769 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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First, let me note that my review is actually 4.5 stars, but I did not feel I could round up to 5 stars for reasons I shall explain below.
Joana Starnes is one of my favorite JAFF authors, and as someone who reads JAFF for guilty pleasure literally all the time, it's not even close. Consequently, I bought this book virtually sight unseen, i.e. not having read more than the summary, because I knew I would be in for a compelling journey into Austenland. I think her best attribute, displayed to great advantage in this latest novel, is that she conveys the depth of what Mr. Darcy describes in P&P as his "passionate admiration and regard" for Elizabeth. You are left in no doubt that these two people are not only well-matched intellectually and emotionally but also physically and romantically. Ms. Starnes writes simply the most delicious--though thankfully chaste as far as sex is concerned--romantic scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth. Their love fairly leaps off the page with the same vitality with which the two lovers experience it. She's especially good with describing Darcy's unconquerable and all-consuming love for Elizabeth. Oftentimes, a simple caress of Elizabeth's cheek or a press of her hand was enough to make me sigh (mirroring Elizabeth's own reaction!). I defy you not to be moved by the tender scenes in the garden and the folly at Blakehill.
Equally impressive was her ability to reduce me to an anxious, occasionally teary-eyed mess during the seemingly interminable period (read: most of the novel) when all seemed lost for Darcy. Whereas Jane Austen had us on tenterhooks regarding the resolution of P&P after separating Darcy and Elizabeth for months at a time several times over the course of the year of their acquaintance, the real angsty center of this novel is the fact that there is no respite for the lovelorn Darcy. He is drawn inexorably into the orbit of Elizabeth’s company over and over again—sometimes due to terrible or unforeseen circumstances but other times due to his inability to avoid the temptation. He simply is incapable of being anything but entirely consumed by his love for Elizabeth. Ms. Starnes pulls at your heartstrings with every weapon in her not-inconsiderable arsenal of emotional devastation. She deftly juggles Darcy’s legendary restraint in the face of his wild impulses around Elizabeth with his despair at the impossibility of living with the titular love triangle by showing that his honor and his love for Colonel Fitzwilliam are central tenets of his existence. I’ve read similar JAFF portraying this love triangle, but I can’t remember any author who handled the “unthinkability” as sensitively as Ms. Starnes does in this novel. The relationship between Elizabeth and the Colonel is not only plausible, it’s absolutely believable. Darcy really has no one to blame but himself on that score, and he knows it within the marrow of his being. Ms. Starnes takes him to hell and back as he ponders how he can possibly extricate himself from a life of perpetual longing for the one woman he can never have but whom he can never ignore.
My one minor complaint about this particular aspect of the book stems from a throwaway characterization, revealed during one of Elizabeth’s internal monologues after her searingly inconvenient epiphany regarding Darcy, of Colonel Fitzwilliam as “a handsome man.” Of course, handsome is as handsome does, but when Jane Austen herself explicitly describes him as not particularly handsome (albeit “in person and address most truly the gentleman”) especially in comparison to his cousin’s aristocratic good looks, it’s a puzzling inclusion. I realize that it’s a fairly common phenomenon in JAFF, but it’s truly unnecessary in light of the reasons Elizabeth gives for her engagement. Frankly, it just forcibly brought to mind the great inequality between Darcy and Fitzwilliam, and the Colonel just does NOT win that fight.
Fair warning: HERE BE SPOILERS!
Why, then, am I so disinclined to give 5 stars to this book when I enjoyed being pulled apart emotionally for the best part of 6 hours and 300 pages? Look no further than the Epilogue—a notoriously fickle creature that can either satisfy or destroy your lasting impression of the book (cf. J. K. Rowling). The penultimate chapter of the story has a realistically heartrending conclusion to the love triangle: love conquers all except the bonds of another love. Colonel Fitzwilliam has no choice but to cede the ground to one he must acknowledge a worthy victor, but it’s a Pyrrhic victory for Darcy and well he knows it. The loss of what had been not merely a lifelong friendship but indeed a brotherhood between himself and the Colonel, while amply compensated with the hand of the great love of his life, is lingering and deep for both Darcy and Elizabeth. Never again can the two men be what they once were to each other, despite their best intentions to move on. At least you’d think that.
Imagine my dismay to read that the solution which had presented itself somewhere in Act II was in fact the ending which Ms. Starnes used in the epilogue. Without truly ruining this ending—which anyone can see from a mile away because, let’s face it, JAFF is not really the fount of originality—I can only say that a few lines cannot and should not erase a heartbreak that had to be profound for someone who professed to love Elizabeth as deeply as the Colonel had done. Ms. Starnes attempts to convince us that he not only moved on but actually found a more than adequate substitute for his disappointed hopes in about 2 pages. Two pages to go from heartbreak to a happy, idyllic life? Clearly the Colonel was not as in love as he believed himself to be. At the depths of his despair, Darcy resolved never to marry, and reading that, you could not fail to believe him. It’s yet another reminder of why Elizabeth could never truly be happy with Colonel Fitzwilliam when Darcy’s sensibilities complement her passionate nature so completely. My final impression was that Colonel Fitzwilliam had settled, not unlike Marianne does in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (I pity you if you believe Jane Austen’s solution to Marianne’s heartbreak). Still, it’s not the biggest crime in the world to try to move on from the irreparable loss of both one’s great love and one’s dearest friend. I just wish Ms. Starnes had done justice to that process by allowing us a longer glimpse into Colonel Fitzwilliam’s life after the Darcys’ wedding.
Bottom line: The endlessly fascinating love story between Darcy and Elizabeth lives on in yet another romantic and compelling novel by Joana Starnes.
There may be some hints at SPOILERS within but I must have my say:
We all know of the stages of grief. Darcy gives us those in detail as we read his POV at the beginning: shock, denial, anger, depression, bargaining with GOD and acceptance. My heart ached to read of his anguish and his struggles with himself, with his heart, mind, body and soul struggling to change, to reverse course, to offer support when and where needed as walls crumbled in upon his world!
I have read the other recent book with this same premise, Pride and Proposals, and I did love that book. Additionally I read another novel in which Col. Fitzwilliam is in love with Elizabeth, unbeknownst to her but not Darcy. BUT for some reason, this author’s way with words dug in and twisted as this dear man slowly works his way up to a proposal and then has to live with the fact that not only is there never to be an opportunity to offer such but he must then live his life watching her at another’s table, bearing his children, walking by his side. And because that man is as dear as a brother he can’t close the door to that relationship, to the possibility of being frequently in that company.
I dearly love Colonel Fitzwilliam so a tale such as this has few winners for me BUT Elizabeth and Darcy MUST have their HEA. It is a guarantee for me in reading Jane Austen Fan Fiction. My heart goes out to the Colonel; I hate to see him “settle”, but priorities are such that ODC are at the top of the list for their happily ever after. The epilogue did address the issue somewhat.
Then there is the dilemma of a “Dear John” letter. I have lived long enough to know how many a soldier was stabbed through and through on a battlefield with this betrayal by his loved one…Are we to read of this here? And there is the awakening from unconsciousness to hear, “Farewell, my love, be happy.” spoken to one’s fiancée by one who is near, dear and TRUSTED! And even earlier in this tale an ironic discovery by a hateful, nasty roué of a relative who upon watching across the theatre floor determines where Darcy’s gaze falls and realizes what it reveals…will that tidbit be used against both parties?
There are all the complications we know of from canon: family background, behaviors and no connections, relatives in trade, the alliance between cousins dreamed of by two mothers, the hauteur from the ton upon learning of the pairing, no money, no dowry, etc. which come into play in this story again. We also read of Richard’s military service, of some of the campaigns in which he serves, of people he meets and of a consequence of battle.
This story is another top effort by this author. It is not only one I can highly recommend but also one I will re-read in the future.
Top reviews from other countries
Without giving anything away, when things did kick off, the chemistry and sexual tension between our heroes was written superbly, a prime example of how you don't need to be explicit to create something magical, tantalising and beautifully romantic all in one.
I'm just so sorry I've finished it so fast & really really hoping that Ms Starnes is working on her next! Job very well done Joana!