Friday, 16 July 2021

Mr Darcy's Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright - Review

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright
Today I'm posting a review of a book I read quite some time ago, but I have been very slow in writing my review of this, unfortunately. Mr Darcy’s Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright features characters from both Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion, as you will probably have guessed from the title. I will share the blurb with you and then move on to my review.

Book Description

Two of Jane Austen’s classics collide in this intriguing tale of pride, prejudice and persuasion, set in England’s beautiful West Country.

In the aftermath of the Netherfield Ball, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are determined to find respite—Darcy from the allure of the lady and the feelings she evokes in him, and Elizabeth from the drama unfolding at Longbourn.

Fate is not done with them, however, as they both—unbeknownst to the other—take refuge on the Kellynch estate in Somersetshire, home to Sir Walter Elliot and two of his daughters.

Whilst Elizabeth takes solace from her friendship with Anne Elliot, Darcy finds little comfort in his reacquaintance with the woman fast taking hold of his heart and senses—or, indeed, in the eldest Miss Elliot’s company, whose fluttering eyelashes make her intentions plain.

As for Anne, it is five long years since she last laid eyes upon Frederick Wentworth, and though her regret lingers, she has found some contentment in life... until distressing news of the captain arrives.

When hints of deep secrets emerge—some recently stolen, others harboured for decades—the mystery begins to wrap tendrils around Darcy as he struggles to free himself from its ever-tightening bonds.

Can Darcy discover the truth before it is too late? Will Elizabeth even care if he does? And just what has become of Captain Wentworth?

If you enjoy Austen-inspired variations, then you’ll love this tale of romance, friendship and mystery from award-winning writing duo, Cass Grafton and Ada Bright.

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright
Mr Darcy’s Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion - My Review

My two favourite books ever are Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion by Jane Austen and therefore it’s only logical that this book, which is a variation of both stories should have cropped up as a must read for me!

The worlds are brought together in a variation which sees Miss Anne Elliot being a schoolfriend of Charlotte Lucas, and coming to stay with the Lucases. Charlotte, in turn, introduces Anne to her particular friend Miss Elizabeth Bennet and these two ladies also become friends. The friendship is cemented by Lady Lucas falling ill, of all things. As Mrs Bennet remarks in P&P, Charlotte is essential to the running of things at Lucas Lodge and her mother needs her to step in. Charlotte asks Lizzy if her guest can stay with the Bennets and it becomes clear that Charlotte will not be able to go back to Anne’s home as planned. Anne asks her new friend Lizzy to accompany her and Lizzy is all too glad of an excuse to escape. Lizzy worries that her sister Jane is on the brink of a really stupid decision; Jane is seriously considering marry Mr Collins in the belief that Mr Bingley will never return. Jane is refusing Lizzy’s counsel on this matter, and the best Lizzy has managed is a promise from Jane to defer her decision until Mr Collins pays his return visit to them in about a month. So she is off to Somersetshire.

Mr Darcy, rather than staying in London after his escape to the capital following the Netherfield Ball decides that his sister is out of sorts and a sojourn in the country, in easy reach of the West Country where his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam is currently stationed will be just the thing. He’s off to stay in the dower house of a gentleman trying to make some additional income, a Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynch…

So, now our stage is set. But we have to wait a while before we meet the Captain.

I thought the mixing of Anne Elliot into Elizabeth’s Bennet’s acquaintance was very naturally done and enjoyed the crossing of her path, and so soon too, with Mr Darcy. In canon, Elizabeth puts a lot of the blame onto Bingley’s sisters for luring him away, but here she splits it evenly between them and Mr Darcy and due to Jane’s obstinacy it seems likely that this interference is not only making her sister unhappy, but potentially sending her down a path that there would be no recovery from, so she is especially unhappy to renew her acquaintance with Mr Darcy.

‘Darcy?

Elizabeth shook her head. There had to be more than one family of such name. Calmly, she turned to observe the two tall gentlemen looming in the doorway, her face becoming suddenly warm.

There he was. The very same Mr Darcy , and the last man in the world she had ever wished  to become reacquainted with.’ 

In this book there is a lot of Elizabeth and Darcy face to face time, which is something I enjoy. We also get a chance to get into Mr Darcy’s head, which in this book is an amusing place to be: 

‘You must meet all our acquaintance, Mr Darcy.’ Miss Elliot fawned. ‘For we are to hold a ball on St. Stephen’s Day – an annual event ‘and we would not have you in want of a partner.’

‘It would be an honour, ma’am’.

It would be horrendous.’

Although I found the introduction of Anne Elliot natural I didn’t entirely buy the way that Captain Wentworth was introduced back into Anne’s life. It was possible but didn’t seem likely to me, although I still enjoyed reading it!

In terms of characters I really enjoyed these authors’ renditions of many of the characters including Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Miss Darcy and our two heroines. It’s more of a Pride & Prejudice story than a Persuasion one, as you get more insight into Darcy and Elizabeth’s thoughts and feelings than the other couple. Both couples are put in a situation where they end up spending a lot of time together, which allows both Darcy and Elizabeth to get a fuller understanding of the other and plenty to think about: 

‘Instead of continuing on her way, Elizabeth turned back. She no longer wished to escape and had no desire to clear her head. She wanted to find a quiet corner somewhere and go over every single word Mr Darcy had said.’

The story was a little long for me but that might say more about me as a reader (i.e. lazy, likes a shorter story!) than the story itself, because although I would have liked things resolved sooner there’s nothing in particular that I would pinpoint as being able to be trimmed out. Those who like a long read will be happy with this, because it’s quite a chunky book.

I thought Miss Elliot and Sir Walter made for good reading although they are more unpleasant than in Persuasion, they have moved from characters who are faintly ridiculous to ones the reader will love to hate. The story took some good twists and turns along the way, and I would love to tell you the ones I particularly enjoyed but it’s deep into spoiler territory so I can’t! I really enjoyed this story and I’d rate it as a 4½ star read.

4½ star read

*I was given a copy of this book by one of the authors for my honest review.

* * *

Book Cover: Mr Darcy's Persuasion by Cass Grafton and Ada Bright
Buy Links 

Mr Darcy's Persuasion: An Austen-inspired tale of Pride, Prejudice and Persuasion is available to buy now in Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. 

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CA • Add to Goodreads shelf

Note about comments:  If you have any problems adding your comment please contact me and I will add your comment for you :)


14 comments:

  1. I loved this Clever story too! So glad you enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it was really clever too, and very much enjoyed finding out some things. I couldn't mention particulars on the review but I'm sure you know what I mean. I could almost have applauded it but it would have meant losing my page!

      Delete
  2. I also read and enjoyed this story and add my recommendation to read it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your review. I, too, enjoyed this book.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I was excited about a story that brought these two Austen novels together. I thought it was clever how Anne and Elizabeth met and enjoyed getting Darcy's POV. Enjoyed your review, Ceri!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was blown away at how easily these two stories meshed together. Of course Charlotte would know Anne and she would introduce her to her particular friend. And of course Elizabeth would visit Anne. Wow! I enjoyed this review and it reminded me how much I enjoyed the story. Well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne was introduced so naturally wasn't she, I felt it was really well set up.

      Delete
  6. The curse of the author not being able to comment has struck again! I have a comment to add from Cass Grafton:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review our story, Ceri! Very much appreciated, 😊💕

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the review copy Cass, and for your patience and understanding with my slowness!

      Delete
  7. Lovely review, Ceri. This is definitely going on my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it!

      Delete