Friday, May 31, 2013

Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise

A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas

In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship Pemberley's Promise. She's prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr.Darcy turns her world upside down.
When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society's rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?

What a delightful story! I absolutely loved it! I was wondering how realistic it would feel with Darcy and Lizzy making their way across to America on a ship... but it surprised me how it really did seem feasible. I was also worried about the length, it being quite a long story compared to the other variations I had read, but I didn’t need to worry as the story flowed so well and I didn’t want it to end! I think the story didn’t seem to drag at all because of the amount of ‘screen time’ Lizzy and Darcy had. There were not many scenes or large periods of time where Lizzy and Darcy were not together, which is good as the best scenes are always when they are together!

I loved the prologue; Darcy and Lizzy meet in a carriage 2 years prior to the meeting on the ship and they get off to a good start and have an interesting conversation.  However, neither finds out who the other is, so when they meet 2 years later, they both have that feeling of having met before but it takes a while for them to properly put two and two together.  I really liked this running theme through the story and the question of when the other was going to realise they had already met!

The first half of the book was wonderful.  All the scenes on the ship were full of detail and the relationship between Darcy and Lizzy and how it developed was fun to read. Darcy was the perfect gentleman and he was so considerate to Lizzy; what he did for her was an act of the utmost chivalry. We see their relationship flourish through morning walks up on deck and many incidents aboard the ship, Pemberley’s Promise.   Darcy and Lizzy are both portrayed very well and she captures the essences of their original characters really well.

I thought it was very clever and interesting seeing how a prior meeting between our heroine and hero would affect the events which we see happen in the original; the meeting at Netherfield, the Netherfield Ball, the visit to Pemberley, Lady Catherine’s ‘visit’ to Lizzy, Lydia’s elopement. I found it a lot of fun to see how some of the iconic conversations which take place in the original are affected because of this prior relationship as well, and seeing Caroline Bingley’s rising suspicions about the two of them!   

Georgiana was a fun character.  Her relationship with her brother was very sweet and I really enjoyed seeing her caring side towards her brother and also her detective nature coming out when trying to work out the reasons behind Darcy’s low spirits and who this mysterious Elizabeth from Longbourn is.

The romance in this story was wonderful.  Whilst being completely clean, it was still highly romantic; secret meetings and stolen kisses. I was very pleased with how the question of when the couple’s mutual love would be realised wasn’t drawn out for too long and (without giving too much away) that once it was realised, it was never doubted; it annoys me when a heroine keeping thinking ‘he loves me’, ‘he doesn’t love me’, ‘no wait he does!’ the entire story, or vice versa!   The ending was wonderful; it links in very cleverly to the beginning of the story which takes place on the ship and it is a very satisfying and pleasing end! There is also an epilogue showing what happens to each of the characters in the story, which I like to have at the end of a story.

So, I shall bring my thought about this wonderful book to a close. If you can’t get enough of Darcy and Lizzy and want to read a story where they are thrown into completely different circumstances then this is for you. The trip to America is a very different approach to the story and it is accomplished extremely well.  It was a highly enjoyable, witty, romantic and interesting story to read; I highly recommend it and I look forward to her other work!

Your affectionate friend,
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  1. I've always been a little "leery" of Austen rewrites - firstly, just because they aren't Jane Austen, and secondly, because they're not always clean (I'm very careful about what I read.) But, as the ones you write about are "clean", maybe I should try one or two.

    Just curious - do you read/watch the films of other classic novels (Dickens, Tolstoy, Gaskell, etc.) or just Jane Austen novels (who is the best, anyway :))?

    1. I was always "leery" as well. And there are so many stories out there which are not clean! But, I assure these are clean and I have really enjoyed them. I always make sure I tell myself to remember it won't be as good as the original (what is?) and then my enjoyment of the book isn't diminished :)
      But, it all depends on personal taste.

      Jane Austen is the best but I have seen a few Dickens (Little Dorrit) but not read any Dickens. I also am currently reading Gaskell's North and South (and I will be doing a post on it soon) and I am really enjoying it. I have also seen the mini-series of North and South and I loved that (which is why I wanted to read it) I am also going to read and watch Gaskell's Wives and Daughters soon :)

    2. I am looking forward to reading your post on North and South. I enjoyed N&S quite a lot, but I didn't find it as well-written as Pride and Prejudice, the novel I have often seen it compared to (I'm not saying there aren't similarities between the two, just that N&S isn't as good as P&P). N&S didn’t quite have P&P’s strong and realistic characterization and dialogue.

      I thought Elizabeth Gaskell was an interesting author because I noticed that she balanced dialogue and description in N&S, not having the book lean heavily on dialogue (as in Jane Austen's novels) or description (as in Charles Dickens' novels). I haven't read Wives and Daughters yet, but I watched the miniseries, which was quite good. Besides, it has Mr. Collins from the '05 P&P in it as a likeable character.:)

      You should try reading Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë. It’s a easy and fun book to read for being a classic, though I thought it was a little too melodramatic.

      I think I should start leaving a pseudonym, just so you know that this anonymous is me when I comment.:)
      ~Kitty (as in the one from Anna Karenina, not from P&P:)

    3. I think there are a lot of similarities (from the mini-series the proposal scene in the middle of both stories seems very similar (at one point I could see Margret breaking out into 'From the first moment I met you your arrogance and conceit etc' haha) and the general relationship and how it develops between the hero and heroine is very similar to pride and prejudice. I will discuss this in my post and see how it goes with the rest of the book.

      I agree in that I prefer pride and prejudice; the humour is better and I prefer the more dialogue to the description (Dickens is too much description)

      I am sure I will sometime but it sounds too melodramatic. I prefer more realistic stories!

      Right, I shall now know you as Kitty :)
      ~ Mrs D

  2. Do you recommend Lost in Austen. Please answer soon


    1. Hello,
      I recommend it if you are not an Austen purist and enjoy spins offs such as The Lizzie Bennet diaries.

      Otherwise, maybe not.
      I watched and quite liked it; it was a bit of fun!
      ~Mrs. D

  3. Ok thanx for the quick reply.


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