I am currently on holiday in the lovely Welsh countryside, and for my first holiday read, I chose Undone Business by the lovely Rose Fairbanks. And I am very glad I did!
"Upon leaving Hertfordshire in early December, Darcy feels certain he provided reasons for Elizabeth to distrust Mr. Wickham. She, in turn, believes Darcy understands Jane’s feelings for Mr. Bingley. Disappointed in her attempts to see Bingley again, Jane despairs of ever finding happiness. Yet, the business of life cannot always remain undone. When Darcy and Elizabeth meet again in Kent, both couples must face the courses their lives have taken. Undone Business explores the cost of both opportunities missed and second chances seized."
This was a very interesting and very different twist on the story. I have never read anything like it, especially where Bingley and Jane are concerned, and I have read a fair few variations now! Because of the unique twists in this stories, this review is going to be so hard to write without giving away spoilers! I don't want to ruin it for you all!
This is a story in two halves; first we follow Darcy and Lizzy, and then the second half we see what Jane and Bingley get up to! Here I will address an issue I read in another review, regarding the story feeling disjointed because of the switch half way and Jane becoming the main character in the story. I agree in that it was a quick change, but I personally think it worked. By this point, Darcy and Lizzy were happy, but Jane was yet to reach her happy ending so it isn't surprising that the story switches to Jane's point of view. Darcy and Lizzy aren't completely forgot for the rest of the story as there are some very sweet little scenes when we check in on the happy couple!
Regarding the quality of writing, once again Rose Fairbanks doesn't disappoint. She is great with her historically accuracy, and her writing is pleasant to read and flows well.
The story begins at the Netherfield Ball, and for a while the story is quite similar to canon, with a few small but important differences, and then it all changes after the disastrous proposal. I don't want to tell you how, because you should read it yourself to find out! Let's just say.... there is still a letter involved, and the letter does prove to be very important, but it is not in quite the same way as we know it!
But back to before the letter though, it was interesting to see Darcy's thoughts building up to the proposal in this story, and seeing just how sure he is that she will accept him, which we know he was, but it was fun to read! Similarly, it was interesting, if sad, to have Darcy's point of view during the ill-fated proposal, as Lizzy spouts all her accusations at him.
Another character who has a good part in this story was Anne de Bourgh! She turns into a bit of a meddler, but with good results!
And so now I will say no more about Darcy and Lizzy, but take it from me, it ends happily and it is a very sweet!
Now to Jane and Bingley, and they are going to be even harder to say anything about! Well, we see what Jane really feels about the Bingley situation and how she is really suffering inside. It was upsetting to see Jane's point of view on the whole situation, especially as she has to put up with the pitying looks from friends and family. And that is all I can and want to say, other than that I have never read anything so unique where Jane and Bingley are concerned, and I don't believe this idea has ever been done before in JAFF.
Oh, I do have one more thing I have to say, there is a very sweet little girl in this story, with brown eyes and thick brown hair, and a slightly mischievous air! Sound familiar? Yes, she is called Sophie! See, now you really have to read it! I am not going to say anything about who this little girl belongs to, but she is a cutie ;)
So, that is all I will say! This is shorter than I usually do for a review, but I can't say anymore without giving it all away! And I don't want to spoil it for you, so you'll just have to read it! It is a well written and very original twist on a fantastic story!
My thanks to Rose for coming up with this unique story - and for naming a character after me! I look forward to reading more stories from you!
Your affectionate friend,