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A Will of Iron Paperback – June 30, 2015
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From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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Top customer reviews
Rating: MA-R: Mature Audience, R-rated. It gets fairly explicit and graphic in places as our characters talk around subjects of a sexual nature.
There is a double meaning in the title. A Will of Iron can relate to the ironclad will of Anne de Bourgh, written in such a way that it could not be challenged. It can also relate to a will of iron as Anne defied her mother’s purpose for her life. Man, talk about the fight of the titans. Lady Catherine applied an iron fist in forcing EVERYONE within her sphere of influence to bend to her will. On the other hand, Anne used a passive aggressive approach and still managed to get things done her way. Totally different approaches and yet both strong willed ladies. Oh-my-goodness, the secrets that these two ladies held is beyond believing.
On the surface of this story we have the P&P characters doing things as they did in canon, living, arguing, grieving, loving, regretting and desperate for a HEA. We are in Kent, post the Hunsford proposal debacle, and Darcy’s bolt for London. Elizabeth is grieving after reading Darcy’s letter and accepting that life must go on. Only it doesn’t.
The twists and turns in this story are not to be believed. We have the diaries of Anne de Bourgh that chronicle the last year of her life. Yeah, she died and in a way, that is not to be believed. Poor Anne. Charlotte Collins and Elizabeth are reading the diary entries in secret and are shocked beyond belief at what they reveal. They also reinforce what Elizabeth had read in Darcy’s letter about a certain person, whose name we do not speak.
Poor Charlotte. The diary she had contained such entries, observations and explicit, graphic scenes that she wouldn’t let Elizabeth [a maiden] read them. Anne did not hold back in her opinions regarding Mr. Collins. She was very condemning of the vicar and his new wife. This no-holds-barred opinion must have been very revealing to Charlotte’s previous opinion toward marriage. Yeah, I really felt for her.
“I didn’t have all the answers, but at least I had a goal. Revenge. Who cared it if would eat me up inside and leave me hollow?” Brandon Sanderson
Anne lead a secret life that we had NO idea about. She had a goal, she had a plan and she implemented that plan. The cost was her life. Poor Anne. I really felt for her.
The Diary: within the pages of her diary were the damning accusations of heinous acts perpetrated by her mother Lady Catherine. OMG!!! That is one crazy maniacal b-witch with no conscious and no remorse. If she wanted something, nothing stood in her way… nothing. She was beyond redemption, beyond reasoning, beyond… sane.
We took forever to get to the HEA part of the story. There were several story threads to follow, and soon the picture began to come into play. As the story unfolded, there were so many surprises that kept unfolding that, at one point, you are saying OMG! OMG!! OMG!!! How is this possible?
In the midst of all the angst, our author was able to bring humor to the table [no pun intended]. As we grieve the loss of Anne de Bourgh, we see her humor in her diary notations and we feel her loss with her cousins and friends. This was a person. She had life, humor, a quirky side to her opinions, and was so kindhearted that she made provisions in her will that shocked and surprised everyone. Oh, I hurt with and for them as they realized that in their avoidance of Lady Catherine, they neglected Anne.
This is a story full of revelations. Some will shock, some are incredulous and some are outright outlandish and insane. However, it is never dull. It did take too long to FINALLY get Darcy and Elizabeth together. I was beginning to get a little frustrated with their attitudes.
I loved our dear Colonel and was a bit perturbed with the author playing around with his feelings and emotions. We don’t mess around with our dear Colonel. However, I soon forgave her because she gave him such a marvelous HEA. I totally agree with her decision.
I’m not sure if Mr. Bennet will survive his visit to Kent. In the epilogue, I wanted to hear more about what happened when he went back home. Did he remain indolent or did he clean house with Mrs. Bennet and her blatant disregard to his edict? Her actions could have cost the family greatly. Her overriding actions were serious and he needed to make sure it never happened again.
I am still going WOW over this story. I can’t get it out of my head. So, I suggest you read it and decide for yourself. Personal note: although I love almonds, I don’t think I will be able to eat almond cake again… ever.
At first I was horrified with the "serial" events, but then as I read on I was Rolling On the Floor Laughing. Do not think me unholy, with all the dire and deadly happenings but this was just so over the top. I read it over one day and, obviously, could not put it down.
As the book description tells you, events commence shortly after Darcy’s disastrous proposal at Hunsford. He and the Colonel have left but return as Anne has died. The doctor is called but Lady Catherine throws him out after hearing his pronouncement about Anne’s condition – the condition that led to her death? Others are called in or show up and the house is in an uproar. Mrs. Jenkinson is fired, the jewelry is counted and then the magistrate is involved. Lady C. will not bury Anne until the Archbishop is present to conduct the funeral service. And when Lady C. reads of a Mr. C., she takes action. Now who could Mr. C. be? Is it the man in the collar?
This tale has a spiraling of interconnected happenings. The POV goes from the reading of Anne’s journals (which have been spirited out of the house), at first by Charlotte and Elizabeth, to reading of both Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s yearnings, regrets and suppositions and back to the journals. There are two readings of Wills: point and counterpoint to each other. The characters of Bingley and Jane have more insight and loyalty than in canon. Their words show some wisdom as to observations they have made. And although not all the happenings are exactly as in canon we do have some pairings we expect and hope for but also a one new and surprising one.
We have most of the characters with whom we are familiar: Darcy, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Mr. Collins, Lady Catherine, Anne, Mrs. Jenkinson, Mr. Bennet, Sir Lucas and Maria, Georgiana, Col. Fitzwilliam and his family, Wickham and we hear a little of the other Bennets back in Longbourn. While most of the action is at Rosings, we spend some time at Longbourn and there are mentions of London.
There are descriptions of an intimate nature. Charlotte will not allow Elizabeth to read one journal due to its content and to Lizzy’s maidenly sensibilities. MA rating. I was very pleased with the outcome. And although I would not have wished for Anne’s demise I was intrigued to read of her observations of the people who came into her circle and of the way in which she sought and planned for her freedom. Her journals are presented sporadically throughout this novel. I do believe some readers may not accept her way of dealing with a mother like Lady C. but if/when you read of the history you may empathize with Anne’s plans and schemes.
The cover was apropos with which you will, I am sure, agree with if you decide to read this story. I do recommend such.
1st Star - helped pass time,
2nd Star - Interesting, diverting, and entertaining perspective(s),
3rd Star - Gripping and highly suspenseful,
4th Star - Interesting character development(s) - laughable at times.
Long Description: Totally doesn't follow the original although some of the original spirit remains in Elizabeth and Darcy. However, the perspective made the story and story-telling totally maddening and gripping at the same time. Some sexual content that lent color to the story telling and a little that wasn't very necessary. Lots of twists and turns that shows just how un-necessarily complicated life can be sometimes but still is. Even with my purist proclivity, I found this enjoyable, laughable, and entertaining. Complete deviation from Elizabeth's visit to Rosings which, to me, made it enjoyable on it's own merits. In other words, the story didn't feel forced and flowed freely and tenderly. To me, a much better read than "Longbourn to London". Consider it for entertainment and soap-opera'ish value. Kind of reminds me of the old soap - Dallas ... with maybe a bit of As the World Turns - or maybe the other way around!? Definitely has drama in it. . . a death, a little mystery. a little jealousy, then sex, then murder, and a whole lot of greed. Can't give it the 5 stars I would of considered if it didn't disturb the original story or at least not in a way that has yet to strike the soul with "5 stars for a retelling of a classic!" (it's not easy to overcome that semi-purist part of me).
Most recent customer reviews
I was very pleased with Charlotte as well !Read more