Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Journey by Jan Hahn

I have just finished reading my second variation by Jan Hahn after thoroughly enjoying An Arranged Marriage .The Journey was equally as brilliant - it was nice to read a variation which was full of proper adventure and real danger!

"Danger: Shortly after the Netherfield ball, Elizabeth Bennet begins a journey to visit her relations in London with her travelling companions, Mr. Bingley's sisters and the proud, arrogant Mr. Darcy. Suddenly, their carriage is abruptly stopped, and Elizabeth hears the menacing cry, "Stand and deliver!" Abduction: The leader of a band of highwaymen, Nate Morgan, a handsome, masked rogue, plans to seize Elizabeth for his amusement, but Darcy steps forward and offers himself as a hostage in her place. When his proposal fails to secure Elizabeth's release, Darcy makes a shocking declaration-Elizabeth is his wife! Romance: At a time when a woman's future could be ruined by the slightest hint of scandal, Elizabeth's reputation will depend not only upon the actions of a hero but a villain as well. Filled with danger, excitement, daring and passion, The Journey follows Jane Austen's beloved characters from Pride and Prejudice as they embark on a fateful journey that changes their lives forever."

Having been captured by highwaymen, the situation allows for very different sides to Darcy and Elizabeth to come to light. Darcy shows great bravery and quick thinking in the face of danger as well as great compassion in offering to give himself for ransom instead of Elizabeth - the extent to which he will protect Elizabeth is touching.  Elizabeth's independent nature helps in this situation - she is a feisty one! Her bravery throughout the whole ordeal is remarkable.

I really enjoyed seeing the two of them have to face such appalling circumstances and learn to really trust each other and live without the luxuries they are accustomed to. As well as this, seeing them play the part of a happily married couple when they are arguing all the time when the highwaymen aren’t around is quite amusing – they switch between moments of genuine compassion to anger, heated arguments back to teasing banter! As they try to cope with such peril the image of an unshaven and unkempt looking Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley trekking through the woods covered in mud, falling in rivers and hiding from highwaymen (as well as being forced to travel with a pig - yes, you did read that correctly!) is all completely unheard of and a very strange situation to find them in! It was very interesting though, seeing them in such a situation, facing the elements and struggling for survival - Elizabeth sums it up when she laughs at herself for worrying about her soon to be ruined reputation when she currently fears for her life!

The character and leader of the highwaymen Nate Morgan brought an interesting addition to the story - one of which is competition for Darcy!  Elizabeth seems to develop a soft spot for this particular highwaymen - the highwayman who also seems to have a soft spot for Elizabeth and who is showing her undue attention compared to what a prisoner should receive!

Once the adventure is over and they have returned to civilisation now the problem arises from the fact that Darcy and Elizabeth have spent three days - and nights - in the same room! Unfortunately for the romantic Lizzy who wishes to marry for nothing but the deepest love, everyone is assuming she will marry Darcy - but she isn't going to accept him just like that, oh no. Darcy, clearly in love with Lizzy, is very downcast by this rejection but does he walk away? Of course not!  Mr Darcy remains the gentleman and does all in his power to save her from the gossip columns, as well as some other things to help and please her which I will not disclose in this review. How he can be still so considerate when she has refused him... What a gentleman.

Of course, the happy ending we expect and love does eventually come around and it is wonderfully romantic... As are many scenes which follow but again, you must read it for yourself as I don't which to ruin it for you!

In the final chapter we get a few glimpses into their life after marriage as well as the fates of other characters from the story, which I always like to red.  It was very interesting seeing the Wickham and Lydia situation take place when they are married - I always wondered how he would act if he had already secured her. There is also a fantastic epilogue which was very clever and a perfect and completely fitting ending for this particular story. 

This was a brilliant story full of adventure, danger and romance. I look forward to the next book from this author which I believe is being published shortly! 

Your affectionate friend,
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