The Besties Take On Emma Approved Part Four

Ang: Y’all know the drill!
Kim: We, the besties, have been reviewing Emma Approved ten episodes at a time during the Emma group reading of amazeballz.
Ang: The first week, we reviewed 1-10.
Kim: The second week, we reviewed 11-20.
Ang: The third week, we reviewed 21-30.
Kim: And this being our final week, we are reviewing 31-40.
Ang: Y’all ready for this?!!
Kim: LET’S BURN THIS MUTHA EFFER DOWN.
Ang: BOOOOOM.

Without further ado,
we proudly present to you our final bestie review of Emma Approved,
episodes 31-40, that is.

31. Listening, Again
bestie description: Alex storms in, and we swoon.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Emma admitted that she has been wrong before? Did pigs just fly?
Ang: Pissed off Mr. Knightley is HAWT.
Kim: ALEX SUPPORTS YOU EMMA.

Ang: Smiley Knightley has all the adorbs.
*pets screen*

Kim: Wait, how did Izzy’s husband not know she wanted to finish school?
Ang: Because poor writing…I mean, men = dumb.

32. Back in Business
bestie description: Emma channels Daft Punk and Harriet starts a club.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Step away from the Krav Maga lessons!
Ang: Dude, but really. Emma seems to think the best way to communicate with people is by pushing them around, can you IMAGINE if she knew Krav Maga?
Poor Knightley would be black and blue.

Kim: Alex wants Emma to work on their communication. *swoon*
Ang: OoOoO PICK ME! PICK ME TO WORK ON COMMUNICATING.

Kim: Emma and Alex have a moment and Harriet should have just turned her butt around and left without a word…come on girl!
Ang: BACK. OFF.

33. Back in the Saddle
bestie description: Emma is unstoppable and we fear for all our safety.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Intimate gathering of stuck up rich drunk people…yay?
Ang: *weakly waves pom-poms*
Kim: Poor Knightley is going to get an ulcer because of this woman.
Ang: We might need to start a Protect the Knightley Club.
Kim: Oh yeah, heaven forbid she be financially responsible!
Ang: She’s above us common folk. Hair flips and fancy shoes are her concerns.
Money? Pffft. That grows on trees.

34. Attitude and Gratitude
bestie description: We meet Emma’s dad’s Harrie (wha…huh?), and Emma downs wheatgrass.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Emma is the master of delicate situations said no sane person ever.
Ang: #fact
Kim: I heart Maddy Bates.

Ang: With all the hearts.
Kim: MAMA. I feel like Emma has met her match!
Ang: I wanna see Jane!
Kim: The Queen of England! bwahahaha!

35. Flies to Honey
bestie description: We eat fancy jams and fall harder for Maddy.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Can we please always be in Alex’s office?
Ang: Yes.

Kim: People can pay me with pie any day.
Ang: MAMA, you can feed me pie EVERYDAY!
Kim: All I’ve learned from this is that the rich and powerful love an open bar.
blah blah blah plot
Ang: blah blah blah need more Alex

36. Internal Troubles
bestie description: Emma laughs in the face of details and planning.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Is Emma sane?
Ang: No.
Kim: “I have to back you call, Emma.”

Ang: BMart in the HOUSE.
Kim: Martin and Harriet awkward adorbs of sadness.

Ang: Emma really could have used those Krav Maga lessons right about now.
Kim: Am I the only one who wants to punch Emma in the face?
Ang: 
“Men can be so insensitive.” #irony

37. Cinderella in the Making
bestie description: Harriet is worked to the bone for her own good.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Never saving the whales! Down with the whales!*
Ang: Death to the beast that shall not be named!
Kim: If Emma is the fairy godmother I’ll stick with the wicked stepmother.
Ang: Truth.
Kim: Blah blah blah plot stuff
Ang: Blah blah blah Jane Fairfax
Kim: OoOoOH! KNIGHTLEY’s name was said!

Ang: Kniiiiiightley.

38. Surprise, Surprise
bestie description: Emma and Frank Churchill meet, and we all find out they are both manipulators. Plus, outrageous flirting.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: Knightley and I have the same-ish keyboard.
*cuddles keyboard*
Kim: “How old was the whale?”
Ang: #AdorbsKnightleyIsAdorbs
Kim: I hate to be the voice of reason but Emma is insane. I gotta say, I love seeing Emma crumbling under pressure.
Ang: #fact
What the what? Frank Churchill.

Kim: Really? Do you really not know Jane, Frankie?
Ang: Liar liar pants on fire.
Innnnnnteresting, sort of?

39. Benefiting the Greater Good
bestie description: Emma is all cleavage and it’s obviously for Frank freaking Churchill. Because classsssy.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Flirty Emma makes me gaggy.
Ang: The. Worst.
Kim: OF COURSE HE WANTS TO BE NEAR JANE.
Ang: Her dumbness level is off the charts.
Knightley interruption for the win!
Kim: “How pretentious the party was?”
Snarky Knightley is my hero.

Ang: Did Frank just feel up Mr. Knightley’s leg?

Kim: And check out his ass??


Ang: The hell just happened?

40. Two for Two
bestie description: Frank has motives and Alex seeees them!

bestie thoughts:
Ang: Emma’s gonna “deal” with Harriet? By dealing with her does she mean, EAT HER FACE.
Kim: You better give that girl a raise!
Ang: I like your shirt, Mr. Knightley.

I also like your fancy new haircut and your face.
Kim: Emma’s disdain for Jane makes my cold dead heart happy.
Ang: YESSSSS.

BONUS:

41. Karma is a…
bestie description: Things finally get interesting!

bestie thoughts:
Kim: IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG.
Ang: HELLLLZ YES.
How sad is it that we’re excited over seeing one of THE MOST hated characters from TLBD. They’re totes playing us, aren’t they, best?
Kim:

Final “final” thoughts with the besties!
Things we’d like to see:

Ang: Personally, I’d like Alex and Darcy in a room together for a side by side comparison, which is a totes legit thing to want.
Kim: I’m excited to see how this Caroline story line plays out…the woman is the devil. I love it.
Ang: Truth. I’d also like to see a Knightley/Emma kiss, for reasons.


Kim: Yes! MORE FACE SMOOSHING!
Ang: ALL THE FACE SMOOSHING ALL THE TIME.

Thanks to the lovely collaborators and readers of Indie Jane
for letting us muck of their beautiful site with our ridiculousness!
We’ve had a blast.
Until next time,
PEACE.

Need more besties in your life? You can find Kim & Ang on the Twitter. And make sure to check out the swoontastic, Emmy award winning Bestie to Bestie for all your Knightley needs.

*Kim lives in Alaska, but she is deathly afraid of whales…it’s a totes legit phobia.

The Besties Take On Emma Approved Part Three

Ang: blah blah blah review Emma Approved
Kim: blah blah 40 episodes 4 weeks 10 episodes a week
Ang: during epic Emma group reading of epicness on Indie Jane
Kim: first week 1-10
Ang: last week 11-20
Kim: this week 21-30
Ang: CAN WE TALK ABOUT KNIGHTLEY NOW?!
Kim: Yesssssssss.

Without further ado,
we shall bless you
with a bestie review of Emma Approved,
episodes twenty-one through thirty, that is.

21. Fine Tuning
bestie description:
In which, we meet Emma the spirit animal.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: I’m starting to wonder if Emma’s definition of friend is vastly different from ours?
Kim: HOW DARE SHE SHUT A DOOR IN KNIGHTLEY’S BEAUTIFUL FACE!
Ang: Dead. To. Me.
Oh, and Emma can just whip up a song, you know, because that’s a thing that’s super easy to do.
Kim: Obviously it’s not, since the woman can’t rhyme for shit.
Ang:

22. Planning Perfection
bestie description:
In which, Emma shoos Mr. Knightley further proving she’s dumb.
Oh, and her lies are justified.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: If Lizzie had lied to Charlotte like Emma lied to Annie, shank to the face.
Kim: Annie is a fool for not slapping Emma when she had the chance.

23. Moment of Triumph
bestie description:
In which, it becomes even more painful to watch Emma.
And that’s saying A LOT.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: “Curse the small child that sneezed on her!” -Emma
best.line.YET.
p.s. She needs to be nicer to Mr. Knightley… or else.
Kim: I see a rude awakening in her future.
Ang: blah blah blah James blah blah blah insisting blah blah blah writing on the wall

24. Vingt-et-un
bestie description:
In which, Emma takes clueless to a whole new level.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: She called herself subtle.
Kim: Creeper is just hanging out in her neighborhood?
Ang: I think what he just said was: “I’m in politics, I professionally lie to people.”
Kim: *bangsheadonwall* just get out of the car Cher…errr Emma.
Ang: Emma right now:


Me right now:


Kim: But look at how sweet Knightley is!
*swoooooon*
Ang: He doth own all the adorbs!

25. Should Have Listened
bestie description:
In which, Emma becomes even more unlikable.
Oh, and has a mental breakdown.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: “Who needs that personal growth stuff when you have wine from Tuscany and shoes from Milan.”
Has she just given up on being likable, relate-able, or even a good human being completely?
Kim: SHE IS NOT A NORMAL PERSON, BESTIE.
Without Knightley this show would blow.
Ang:

26. New Direction
bestie description:
In which, a man is described as pert.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Watching Emma have a breakdown is surprisingly satisfying.


Ang: Truth.
It’s good that Emma knows she doesn’t need anyone and is incapable of love.
Kim: I think it’s for the best.
Ang: Wait. Did Izzy just use the word dain? Wha…huh?
Kim: And why is it so hard to find a sit down place for kids to eat?
Ang: Is there nowhere near by with pasta or pizza or a plateful of french fries?!
I have so much confusion.
Kim: Something is wrong with her.
Something is wrong with you, EMMA.

27.The Need to Help
bestie description:
In which, Emma says she won’t jump to conclusions.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: Were her other “clients” clients or more friends and family who’s lives she decided to make better?
Kim: If this is how Emma “takes care of the rest of the world” we are all DOOOOOOOOOOM.
Ang: WINKING AGAIN.
Kim: YOUR SISTER IS NOT A CLIENT.

28. Sister Attack
bestie description:
In which, Emma guilts and manipulates Izzy into doing something she wants because Emma knows best!

bestie thoughts:
Ang: Greeeeeeat.
King: John sounds like a complete arse.
Ang: Hap-hap-happy household.
Kim: Peeps be hitting each other all the time in this series.


Ang: The hell? Use. Your. Words.

29. Change of Plans
bestie description:
In which, Emma decides she knows what’s best for a married couple, because that makes sense.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: She *seems* thirty.


Tell me, Emma, what does a thirty year old *seem* like?
Kim: “Is this normal?” If insanity is the new normal then yes.
Ang: These people’s problems make me want to shank them in the face.

30. Winners and Losers
bestie description:
In which, we wax poetic about semantics.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Did Alex just ask Emma to lunch? Like a lunch date?
Ang: OHMYGOSH I MISSED THAT.
I was too busy mocking this:


FOR SHAME! Now she’s making me miss swoony moments with Mr. Knightley!
Kim: Ummmm obviously Alex has perfect timing.
Ang: EMMA YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MARRIAGE.
Kim: Life ruiner strikes again!!

Final thoughts with Ang

Of Secondary Characters & Comparisons

Comparisons aren’t fair. As a reader, I try my hardest not to compare one book to another. It is my goal to treat every sparkling vampire book equally and fairly, because that’s how I roll, yo. And I’m really truly desperately trying not to compare Emma Approved to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but it’s not easy. Honestly, it’s not even Emma or Mr. Knightley that I’m struggling with the most (even though, for the record, I still dislike Emma immensely), but the supporting cast is the hardest pill to swallow. I’m longing for a bestie like Charlotte who will smack Emma upside the head. A sister like Jane who will comfort Emma with a cup of tea, but still tell it to her sister straight. Or a sister like Lydia, who not only offers comic relief (HOLLA), but doesn’t worship the ground Lizzie walks on and brings Lizzie’s worse prejudices to light. And let us not forget Figi and Bing and Caroline and Mary and Kitty Bennet and even Lizzie’s costume theater parents. They were a rich cast of characters that made Lizzie’s world stronger, more interesting, simply more. And while Knightley is shaping up to be a wonderful best friend and counselor and supporter and all around swoon worthy, I can’t help but feel bad for Emma that she’s got nobody else to stand up to her or even simply tell her the truth.

Questions. Questions. Questions.
Are you  struggling with Emma Approved too?
Is it strictly Emma that’s holding you back?
Or do you miss costume theater and sisterly love as much as us besties?
OR do you love love love Emma Approved and wish never to be parted from her?
Do you feel the show is a vast improvement on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries?
Annnnnnnnd let’s just take a moment to discuss Mr. Alex Knightley.
Because nom.

Need more besties in your life? You can find Kim & Ang on Twitter. And make sure to check out the swoontastic, Emmy award winning Bestie to Bestie for all your Knightley needs.

The Besties Take On Emma Approved – Part Two

Ang: Annnnnnnd we’re back!
Did ya miss us?
Kim: Duh.
Who wouldn’t?
Ang: Fact.
Kim: Anywhoozles,
As you’ll remember,
we besties are reviewing the first forty episodes of Emma Approved
here on Indie Jane during the epic group reading of Emma epicness.
Every Wednesday for four weeks we will review ten episodes.
Last week, we reviewed episodes one through ten.
This week, we will review episodes eleven through twenty.
Cool beans?
Ang: The coolest.
Kim: Then what are we waiting for?!
Ang: Brownies.
Kim: mhmmmm…brownies!

Without further ado,
we proudly present to you
a bestie breakdown of Emma Approved,
episodes eleven through twenty, that is.

11. Underwhelmed
bestie description:
Emma interferes with Harriet’s life…like a boss?

bestie thoughts:
Kim: BMart is my homeboy.
Ang: HOLLA.
Kim: Oh heeeeey! Rare bird spotting in Alaska!
Ang: I wanna be a bird in Alaska.*
Kim: Emma’s judging is not bestie approved.
Ang: TOTES.

Ang: Nope. No cliches here.

12. The Rooster Obstacle
bestie description:
Nervous Harriet and Marin are adorable.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Martin! You flirty mcFlirtyson!
Ang: The awkward adorbs is TOO MUCH for my soul.
Kim: Dude! Someone tape Emma’s mouth shut.
Ang: Can I get a witness!?

Kim: Not a genius, Emma, just crazy.
Ang: Or to put it in PG terms, a freaking psychopath.
p.s. The Emma Approved theme song makes me miss Lizzie with all the missing.

13. Tweetception
bestie description:
#EmmaIsOutOfControl

bestie thoughts:
Kim: “Harriet is fine just the way she is!” -Alex
Ang: She’s snapping now? can’t.even.
Kim: Manipulation + Twitter = Inevitable Train Wreck
Ang: #ForTheLoveOfGodListenToKnightleyEmma

14. Hashtag Miracle Worker
bestie description:
Alex winked, and there was some plot stuff.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Alex’s wink is the best!


Handshake = You’re officially THE CUTEST!
Ang: Hashtag Slayed.

15. Ambition and Fruition
bestie description:
Possibly the worst advice ever given.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Brainwashing much?
Stop being superficial, Emma!
Ang: I am sure and confident that Emma is the worst.


Kim: NO YOU DON’T.

16. Giving Thanks
bestie description:
Thankfully you don’t have a friend keeping nice sweet gentlemen away from you.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Sad Harriet makes me sad.
Ang: Sad Martin makes me sad.
Kim: Sooooo thoughtful wrist cushion.
Ang: Yeah, so thought… HAWT KNIGHTLEY ALERT.
Kim: EMMA IS A LIFE RUINER.

Ang: I’m sorry.
Was I suppose to feel sorry for you, Emma?
Because I don’t.
I really really don’t.

17. First Impressions
bestie description:
Introducing Senator Douchenozzle.

Ang: BLECH!

Kim & Ang: RUN HARRIET RUN!

18. Practice Date
bestie description:
James is so freaking fake, damn politicians.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Touching Alex’s face!!!!


Ang: Imagine that, Emma’s come up with another HORRIBLE plan.
Kim: Alex sees what’s happening with Senator Douchenozzle!
Ang: That’s because he’s not blinded by his own greatness.
Kim: Word.

19. The Proof is in the Yogurt
bestie description:
Emma lives in a fantasy land. Blah blah blah James boo.

bestie thoughts:
Kim: Is Emma ever subtle?
Ang: Right?
Kim: Boooooring.
I’m bored now.
Ang: Can Mr. Knightley please come back?

Ang: All this shoulder touching is reminding me of:

Kim: Annnnnnd I’m back!
*pets screen*

20. For a Very Special Lady
bestie description:
Emma, you started the life ruining business like 10 episodes ago.

bestie thoughts:
Ang: “No preference beyond a healthy build and long hair.”
Is the senator looking for a horse or a girlfriend?
Kim: Alex Knightley is my hero.
He sees James’s game!
I want Alex Approved!

Ang: Dear Emma,

p.s. For the love of God, HOW OLD ARE THESE FOOLS?!

And now, some final thoughts with Kim on….
Darcy vs Knightley

One of the best things about Emma Approved is that you don’t have to wait to see Alex. He is there from the very beginning, unlike Darcy in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, whom we see but don’t get a clear picture of till hallway through the story. You can instantly fall for Alex, because you see him for yourself instead of through someones else’s perspective, which sadly for Darcy makes Knightley superior. BOOM.

Questions. Questions.
Who’s got the questions?
WE DO.

Did you like the mystery of Darcy in TLBD?
Was the mystery of Darcy what kept you up night after night awaiting that blessed Darcy Day?
Would you say your heart was dizzie from that moment on?
Or do you prefer the straightforwardness of Knightley in Emma Approved?
How he’s a steady character we can meet and fall in love with without the perspective of other getting in the way.

And what of Knightley’s hawtness?
Does it hold a candle to our beloved Darcy?
Because, let’s be frank, why else are we watching Emma Approved?
Plot-schmot.

*Dear Indie Janers, Kim lives in Alaska, which is a million miles away from Ang and is basically the greatest damn travesty ever, ever, ever. The end.

Need more besties in your life? You can find Kim & Ang on Twitter. And make sure to check out the swoontastic, Emmy award winning Bestie to Bestie for all your Mr. Knightley needs.

Review: Suspiciously Reserved

In June of 2012 Indie Jane reserved the novel Suspiciously Reserved by Samantha Adkins. We are re-posting that review as part of our Emma Event. You can enter to win a copy of Suspiciously Reserved on Samantha’s guest post earlier this week.

 

 

Samantha Adkin’s novel Suspiciously Reserved is a modern-day telling of how Jane Fairfax and Frank Churchill (originally from Jane Austen’s Emma) fall in love.

The story focuses on Jane as she first meets Frank on a seaside vacation. Though Frank is precipitously called away by his aunt, he promises Jane they will keep in touch. The two correspond primarily via letter, a charming throwback to an era in which Jane feels more comfortable. They finally meet again in Tugaske, Adkins’ adaptation of Highbury, where Frank and Jane face the constant burden of their secret love that we know so well from Jane Austen. And, as we also know, that secret eventually comes out and we are in for a happy ending.

There are many great parts of Adkins’ adaptation of this story. She focuses on the similarities between Jane and Frank as orphans. Adkins shows how the lovers have a mutual understanding of what it’s like to lose parents and be foisted upon someone else’s family and how there is a sense of obligation toward the happiness of the family, even at the expense of personal contentment. I found this aspect intriguing as I had never truly thought about this as a reason that Jane and Frank are drawn together.

And Adkins does have great fun creating modern quirks for her characters. One I found particularly enjoyable is that our dear Mr. Elton regularly goes for spa treatments! I laughed aloud at that and thought it fit him perfectly. Once we get to Tugaske, it is fun to see all our favorite characters from Emma in their new setting.

All of these delightful smaller details, though, could not entirely shake my nagging frustration with Jane and Frank. Jane is a bookish, shy girl who sometimes comes off as too shy and undemanding. In the few times they are alone together, Jane hardly protests at Frank’s wishy-washy treatment of her. He generally fobs her off with a kiss and a few pretty words. Granted, Adkins makes it clear that Jane is not at home in the “modern world,” but one might expect a little more fight out of her, especially since there is a strong and consistent parallel drawn between Jane Fairfax and the heroine of her favorite book, Jane Eyre. I longed for Jane Fairfax to have the spark that Jane Eyre does to stand up for herself against mistreatment.

And I also longed for Frank Churchill to be more of a sympathetic hero, for him to have more of a chance to explain himself. Instead, I felt that Frank remained just as distant from my understanding (and esteem) as he does in Emma.

Overall, Suspiciously Reserved is an enjoyable story that offers some insight into Jane Fairfax’s complicated relationships with family, but, in the end, does not quite convince me to give up the prejudice I share with Mr. Knightley against Frank Churchill.

3.5 of 5 stars

*****

Samantha Adkins is a writer and teacher living in Alberta, Canada.  She has published Expectations: A Continuation of Pride and Prejudice, Suspiciously Reserved: A Twist on Jane Austen’s Emma, Subgirl, Subgirl Returns, Not As They Appear, and What’s It Like to Grow Up in Banff?  All of her books may be found on amazon.  You can find out more about Samantha on Twitter, @austengurl, or on her blog www.austengurl.blogspot.ca

Review & Giveaway: A Modern Day Sense & Sensibility

Kaitlyn Saunders latest release is A Modern Day Sense and Sensibility: An Adaptation of Jane Austen’s Classic.  Her plot is identical to Austen’s original, and the character names are essentially the same as well.  A reader who has read Austen’s Sense and Sensibility will know exactly what is happening and who everyone is.

 

The beginning of this story begins with the unraveling of the women’s lives after the death of their husband or father.  The fallout of grief and how it is written was very well done.  The characters’ reactions were true and their modern day life/careers were clever.
Unfortunately for this reviewer, things fell apart rather quickly from there.  The writing mainly follows Ellie (aka Elinor) and she is written so that a reader truly roots for her success and love.  However there is much “head popping” so that a reader is following one character’s thoughts followed quickly by another’s, sometimes within the same paragraph, which is very distracting.  On a few occasions, an event is unnecessarily repeated without providing additional information.

 
There were many references to contemporary culture, such as current books and music.  At one time, Ellie picks up Jane Austen’s Persuasion. While this was a cute wink, it took this reviewer out of the story, wondering why Ellie, an Austen fan, wouldn’t recognize how odd it was that she shared the same name and family order and coincidental life occurrences as Sense and Sensibility.

 
The extended family that saves Mrs. Dashwood and the girls are very likable and their modern life circumstances are inventive in how they serve the plot.  Some more consistency with the details would have improved the believability, such as Ellie and the handkerchief (unless these are still popular among 20 something men).  One breach in logic was the essential need for Ellie and Marianne to get jobs for the family’s financial survival, but not too long after securing them (thanks Brandon), they jaunt off to NYC for an extended stay.
The writer selected interesting parts of the United States to span the plot, and her ability in descriptive writing are among the high points.

 
While there were elements of this book that showed glimpses of hope for an improved novel, too much of it felt like a first draft.  If stars could be given for potential, this one would have three.  However, as it stands, this reviewer gives it two.

 

*****

Kaitlin Saunders is proficient on the works of Jane Austen and finds that literature written by Austen serves to give her inspiration.  At age sixteen, Saunders began her literary career writing her first screenplay, titled “Caroline,” later bringing this period piece to life.  She directed and produced this film, which gained popularity after being aired on local television.  Her first novel, A Modern Day Persuasion, was published in 2011.  Saunders and her husband enjoy cuddling up with their daughter and watching BBC as a family.  You can find Kaitlin online on her website.

 

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Review & Giveaway: A Fitzwilliam Legacy – A Seasonal Disorder

Christmastime, a time for rejoicing in all the merriment of the season has new meaning for Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as Elizabeth has just revealed that she is with child in A Fitzwilliam Legacy: Seasonal Disorder.  News of Elizabeth’s pregnancy will be affecting their plans for the new year, preventing Darcy’s annual trip to Rosings.  Tensions have been very high with Lady Catherine since the shades of Pemberley were polluted by the arrival of the now-Mrs. Darcy.  And though Elizabeth encourages Darcy to restore his relationship with his aunt, Lady Catherine has never been one to humbly accept defeat.  And after learning that her esteemed nephew will be unable to visit for Easter, and despite having already sent her regrets that she will be unable to visit Pemberley for Christmas, Lady Catherine makes an unexpected visit to Pemberley for the Christmas holidays.  In addition to the presence of the ever-pleasant Lady Catherine and her daughter, Anne, Pemberley is also hosting various friends and relatives.  The house party includes Kitty Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and at his request, the widowed Mrs. Chaney with more guests to join them later.  Though Mrs. Chaney is still in mourning, there is clearly some interest between her and Colonel Fitzwilliam but with the unexpected addition of Lady Catherine’s company, will she put a damper on this season of joy?

 

One of the first points I must make about this book is that it is the first part of a two-volume novel.  And at 348 pages, A Fitzwilliam Legacy: A Seasonal Disorder is not a short read.  Tess Quinn’s writing style is very intensive, incorporating much of the minutiae that take place in her story.  This resulted in insight into some very sweet moments between Darcy and Elizabeth.  However, in the first half of this book, there were some extensive descriptions of minor details that I believed the book could have done without.

The pacing of the story is very slow, the 348 pages encompassing the last week of 1798.  Though much does happen in that week, there were times when I felt that the story was not progressing as quickly as I had hoped it would.  The story itself has been interesting to read in large part due to the effect that Lady Catherine’s arrival has had on the persons residing at Pemberley.  I really loved her characterization.  She may be a terrible person with skewed ideas on her right to influence the lives of her relatives but I love to read about her.

If you like to read a series that is very long, true to character that incorporates extensive research on daily life during the Regency period into the story, then I think you will like this book.  Over time, I’ve found myself looking forward to books with Lady Catherine in them purely to see her machinations go horribly wrong and to see her get her comeuppance and this book definitely falls into that category.

4 out of 5 stars

 

*****

Tess Quinn admired Jane Austen quietly since being introduced to the novel Pride and Prejudice at the age of thirteen.  Her admiration took a more public turn in recent years, reignited by the wide resurgence of interest in everything Austen generated by films and social media.  Inspired to try her hand at writing Austen-based fiction, she posted on a website with intimate readership and drew sufficient encouragement (and courage) to come out ‘officially’ as an Austen-based author.  You can find Tess online on her website and on Facebook.

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Review & Giveaway: Holidays at Pemberley

Set during the first two books in Ms. Adams’ series, running along the edges of Elizabeth’s and Kitty’s stories, Charlotte Lucas’ story unfolds. Her character interested me from the beginning, where she is preparing for her best friend’s wedding and feeling happy but a little bit left behind.

 

The story starts out a little slow, but picks up nicely once Charlotte meets David Westover and the romance begins. Charlotte is a very different sort of heroine compared to Elizabeth and Kitty; she is not so overtly emotional and, at first, sees Westover as a potential husband for purely practical reasons rather than romantic. While she slowly, almost unwillingly falls in love, he is completely oblivious. While Charlotte interested me, Westover felt a little flat most of the time, though he did have a few good, swoonworthy moments. The poor man’s befuddlement is oddly endearing at times.

The pacing was a little weird at times, as if too many scenes were being fit into too few pages. There was a little side plot involving the Darcys that I would have loved to see in greater detail, for example. Other than that, this is a nicely written story. I didn’t like it as much as the first two books, but it was an enjoyable read that tied up the series quite well while leaving a couple of tantalizing threads of possibility if the author should ever decide to return to it.

P.S. I can’t compare this one to any fluffy dessert because, let’s face it, Charlotte is too practical for that. Maybe a sturdy, British tea biscuit…

 

3 out of 5 stars

*****

A devoted reader of Jane Austen since her childhood, Alexa Adams is the author of Tales of Less Pride and Prejudice, the “Twisted Austen” tales Emma & Elton: Something Truly Horrid and Jane & Bingley: Something Slightly Unsettling, and the short story collection And Who Can be in Doubt of What Followed?: The Novels of Jane Austen Continued. Alexa resides in Delaware with her husband, daughter, and cat. She blogs about Austen and Austenesque literature at alexaadams.blogspot.com.

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