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Such a shame. This variation started out well with a good premise. I liked the descriptions of Rose Cottage and the early interactions between the characters but the second half of the book became a confusion of unconnected threads of the story. The characters actions and decisions were often a surprise and were not foreshadowed. This could have been a lovey variation but needs a great deal of rewriting and editing.
I enjoyed this book’s journey about ODC it was well written, had a fabulous plot and flowed to the conclusion on clouds of love! This is going in my reread pile! Well done to this Author for her first book I will definitely follow her and will eagerly await her next creation!
This book started out sadly, with the death of Mr Bennet. It continues with a gentle telling of the developing love of Darcy and Elizabeth. There is a bit of angst as Mr Collins does his best to interfere. This is lovely variation and I look forward to more from this author.
Who knew Mrs. Bennet was an avid gardener, knowledgeable in all aspects of growing green things?
What a very good thing for Mrs. Bennet in her greatest loss: the death of her husband.
Jane is married to Bingley as the story begins and Mr. Bennet has died unexpectedly. Bingley purchased Netherfield Park and had intended to repair and refurbish the dower house there for Mrs. Bennet. Now, suddenly, the need is immediate.
A post-Hunsford Darcy comes to Meryton with his experience in building and maintaining. His gardener arrives and Mrs. Bennet is able to emerge from her room to begin planning the renovation of the neglected garden at Netherfield Dower House.
This is an improved Mother Bennet, who relies on Elizabeth for support and occasionally chastises her youngest and favorite daughter. She insists on mourning behavior and does not allow Lydia to abuse her trust.
The hum of bees is the voice of the garden. ~ Elizabeth Lawrence
In every garden, invaders appear: weeds, some of them noxious!
The noxious weed in this book is the not-so-good Reverend Collins. Eventually, someone (an unusual and surprising savior) will have to apply a hoe (and maybe pesticide) to remove him.
I always like a “Papa Bennet dies” story where Mama Bennet actually grieves for her husband. She is realistic about what her marriage had been and regrets her mistakes – very refreshing after all the “Crazy Mama Bennet” stories.
There is some violence in the story but it is not overblown and is necessary to the plot.
This is the first published book for this author. Information at the book’s end shows she has several other stories being prepared to be published. I, for one, will be watching for them.
I say, if your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life. ~ Bill Watterson
For a first published work, this is very well done. A.K. Madison is a talented writer and storyteller, who knows how to develop a plot, and create characters that you can care about. After the disastrous proposal at Hunsford parsonage, Mr Bennett dies unexpectedly, and the Bennett ladies are helped by Bingley and Darcy to start a new life at Rose Cottage, on the Netherfield property. Elizabeth learns more about Mr Darcy, and her bad opinion of him is reversed.
This is a common premise for JAFF works, and it is done well here. ODC find there way to each other fairly easily. However, I'm not fond of variations in which the villains are so bad so as to be monstrous. There is a certain "icky" factor to these stories that overshadows any romantic content, and casts a pall over everything. In this tale, Lady Catherine and Mr Collins are the monsters, with Caroline Bingley coming in a close third. To make it even more gruesome, Lady Catherine's behavior is blamed on the "French disease" supposedly passed on to her by her late husband, a noted rake. The villains are so horrible to Elizabeth that I have to imagine that she would bear the psychological scars for the rest of her life. And then there's Darcy, always promising to protect her from these people, but time and again she is attacked, so his promises seem pretty ineffectual, however good his intentions.
I always like variations where Mrs Bennett acts a little more reasonably, and in this one the death of Mr Bennett seems to have worked wonders on her attitudes, much as you would think that the reverse would be true. Mary, Kitty and Lydia also seem to calm down after their father's death, so we don't have to endure too much of their annoying behavior. Jane is already married to Bingley, and Mary is given more of a role, which is nice.
The book is well written and well edited. Aside from the extreme horrors visited upon Elizabeth, I recommend it.
This novel has it all.. drama, romance, suspense. And ir is well written ..a pleasure to bread! No misspelled possessive here! Darcy, arriving after Mr. Bennett's death, throws himself into reforming a cottage on the Netherfield estate to be an acceptable home for Mrs. Bennet and her daughters. Highly recommended.
I really enjoyed reading this story for the second time. It keeps on flowing and keeps you on your toes.
Sad that Mr. Bennet dies, but I enjoyed Mrs. Bennet getting over her spells and being and avid gardener, and her love of her girls.
I like Darcy and Bingley being heros. I grossed out on Collins, but that was always possible. And Wickham had a change…that I am pleased to say made him more likable. Catherine will get her just. Feel sad for Charlotte.
If you want love, honor, excitement, and to know the horror of Collins and Catherine as well as Caroline, you need to read this book. Maybe like me, and more than once.
As a first time writer, I say, write more…You did a great job.
I enjoyed the characters - well - most of them had redeeming qualities - and those who didn't got the end they deserved. Mrs Bennett got to be pleasant after some of her pressures shifted... Darcy never gave up. What a supportive gentleman in the Bennett's time of need. Elizabeth's time of need. Plot line had overwhelming positives with concerted group effort or Darcy effort to solve each problem as them came up... Nicely written with its own unique story that I very much enjoyed. Great accurate editing! Yes! I am anxious to read more from this author!
The Pemberley meeting is dropped from this story, giving our familiar P&P characters an entirely new script. When Mr. Bennet dies unexpectedly, Bingley's marriage to Jane really does end up saving the Bennets from the hedgerows. Darcy arrives to help, and a derelict building on the Netherfield estate is swiftly renovated to become Rose Cottage, a new home for the surviving Bennets.
The romance of ODC takes place at Longbourn and Netherfield, rather than in Derbyshire. Elizabeth comes to regret her rude refusal, and Darcy proves his constancy.
Although the villains are somewhat over the top, which is a negative, like other reviewers I enjoyed this saner, more sensible version of Fanny Bennet. She regrets the unhappiness of her marriage and realizes they were both to blame for growing apart from one another.
Mary steps up to help Elizabeth, dropping her excessive piety. Lydia starts to grow up, which is such a plus it took my review to 5 stars, LOL.
The hero is unexpectedly not Fitzwilliam Darcy, and the violence in the incident is handled tastefully.
I'm impressed to learn this is a first novel. Although the lack of angst in the ODC romance makes it feel a little repetitive by the ending chapters, the pacing is consistent throughout and the added depth to the side characters is well executed.
This is an alternate second half to P&P, and definitely deserves your time. I'll be looking for future stories from this author.