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Renée Beyea holds an undergraduate writing degree from Taylor University and a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary. She serves as full-time wife, mother to two sons, and ministry partner with her husband, an Anglican priest and chaplain. Her free time is devoted to crafting stories and composing poetry that delight the senses and touch the soul.
on April 24, 2016 :
As this is a short story collection, I've decided to do a series of mini reviews for each.
I appreciated that the author included a foreward to explain how her collection works. She advises that the reader should definitely be already familiar with Jane Austen's original Pride & Prejudice story before tackling these shorties to get the most out of them. They appear to be arranged so that they match up with where the variation story begins it's deviation from canon, but don't really need to be read in that order. That said, I think I'll just take them in the order they were written.
'Words in the Wind'
Loved it! A bit of magical realism maybe? Or maybe a wink toward old Gothic Romance stories? Lizzy finds little scraps of paper with bits of a message along the way for her annual pilgrimage to her grandfather's grave that lead to something truly special when she discovers the truth about two men both of whom her first impressions got wrong.
'A Fine Stout Love'
I am not generally a fan of poetry, but the verses in this one that whimsically won over Darcy's heart made this a sweet and unique story. This alternate story of Darcy and Lizzy was more a sweet, humorous vignette.
'Neither Slumber Nor Sleep'
I enjoyed this variation that took place late in the original story while Jane and the sisters are in London for wedding clothes and Lizzy pines for Darcy who has stayed away on a duty to his aunt. Definitely has some dream-like qualities to it.
'Gold, All Gold'
Another with some magical realism, but this time it was difficult distinguishing reality and dream world and the end left me a bit confused because of the dreams within dreams maybe? Or not. I'm not sure. Still, loved the creative plot and seeing Darcy and Lizzy sharing her dream world.
Oh my! Darcy writes poetry to his betrothed and through a stranger series of circumstances, his intended is not the one to receive his passionate overtures. Definitely the best for last in this collection.
I enjoyed the follow-up afterward where the author explains the origins of her stories. I'm always curious about that so I found it as engaging as one of the story.
All in all, these were precious and full of gentle humor and sweet romance. There is an inspirational influence, but I think even those who don't read inspirational fiction would appreciate this collection. But the prime audience is most definitely the Austen lover.
My thanks to the author and blog tour host for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 48 days after purchase)