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If you are looking for a book that follows P&amp;P story line, this one isn't the one. It is definitely a variation and it also contained nods to other Austen books. I noticed Sense and Sensibility as well as Persuasion but there might have been others that I missed. I enjoy Jennifer Joy's writing. I found a lot of humor in the book and had a number of laugh out loud moments. Lady Rutledge is a hoot. I thought her antics very entertaining. Some aspects of the story didn't seem to get finished in this book making me wonder if some people might get their own book at some point (Or maybe already have but I haven't read them yet?). Lydia's problems don't really get dealt with after Darcy saves her and maybe Caroline and Colonel Fitzwilliam? Jane and Bingley as a couple weren't even part of this book since they didn't meet until the end. It would be fun to see more books with Lady Rutledge in them.
I don't always agree with characterizations in variations but try to set aside my own prejudices to allow the author to make the characters who he/she wants them to be. This one had some interesting differences.
********Spoiler: Who would have thought that Mrs Bennett could become less hysterical and actual try to teach Lydia proper behavior? That Lydia would go as far as to attempt suicide because she didn't get her way? That Caroline could decide to be nice? That someone could actually love Caroline before she turns nice? That Darcy and Elizabeth didn't need to have disagreements? And that in a sense, Mr. Bennett is the &quot;bad guy&quot;? I say that because negative behaviors in others seem to disappear when he is out of the picture, Mrs. Bennett being the prime example. Were all her hysterics and nerves a result of the way Mr. Bennett treated her over the years? And the fact that she didn't discipline her daughters or see to their educations?************
I thought the narrator did a good job using different voices for the characters but with my particular speaker system I had a harder time hearing the deeper voices sometimes. Had to have my volume up really high. But that might just be due to my system or settings.
I received this audio book in exchange for a review.
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In this Pride and Prejudice variation, Mr. Bennet passes away on the day of the Meryton assembly, leaving his five daughters nearly destitute. Mr. Collins offers marriage to Lizzy and she refuses, knowing that her family will be forced to leave Longbourn, but also that her father would never have consented to the match. When Lizzy finally meets Mr. Darcy, his kind acts and manner endear him to her. She longs to know more about him, but Lizzy and her family are forced to leave Longbourn soon after. When Lizzy takes a position as a companion to a kind but eccentric woman, she's thrown into Mr. Darcy's company, but can he still befriend Lizzy now that her station in life is so far below his?
This was a very sweet variation that I've listened to twice now. I love variations that allow for some character growth for the rest of the Bennet family. We don't get to see Mary or Kitty, and Jane is already perfection itself, but I loved the evolution of Mrs. Bennet's character. There's an all new character, Lady Rutledge, a meddling but kind woman who leads to some hilarious scenes. I can imagine Jane Austen writing a character just like her.
There's not much angst between our couple, just plenty of very sweet moments. Lizzy's spirit was a bit muted in this story, she's drowned in feelings of sorrow and guilt which were portrayed very well. Darcy was so kind and understanding, relating his own experiences with his parents and showing her that life can still contain joy. I loved every moment they were on the page together.
The narration was perfect, as always, Stevie Zimmerman IS Lizzy and Darcy for me. She has the perfect voice for both of them. This was my second time listening to this one, and I'll be visiting it again soon!