I’m afraid, I have to start all my Joana Starnes book reviews with the same instructions. Before you buy the book, go to the shop and buy at least 2 bars of chocolate, a box of tissues and ice cream and make sure you can read the book in one sitting. Only the number of chocolates and tissue boxes are increasing with each newly published book. Actually, I’m going to introduce a new rating system. Starting with this review, I’ll rate the books by the number of the above mentioned three essential ingredients on a 0-5 scale.
As it is a tale of unrequited love (without Darcy knowing it) it is clear that there are more angst and quarrel than idyllic scenes, but you still can’t imagine what happens towards the end of the book. It wouldn’t be a Joana Starnes book if there was no major plot twist when you thought everything was alright. From the best to worst: 12 pages. It takes 12 pages for the author to ruin everything in the worst possible manner. The guy who must not be named has to have his share in the events, but he is not the major villain.
It might be quite a picture, but if Ms Starnes has put Lizzy through the wringer for the first 60% of the book than for the next 30% she dunked her all the way in ice cold water. I thought her ‘cruelty’ regarding torturing her characters reached its highest in The Unthinkable Triangle or Miss Darcy’s Companion, but I was mistaken. I have to say, it’s well done! My favourite book of hers! Probably until the next one where she will take torturing poor characters to the next level.
Normally, in a book I find one or two scenes which are exceptional. In this book, I found at least 4. My favourite scenes are: Lizzy and Elizabeth talking after the engagement, the Hatchard’s scene, Mr Darcy and Mr Collins having breakfast together, and as brutal as it may sound how Mr Bennet death is pretty romantic and witty.
It’s very clever of the author that the characters are saying sentences which will ring the bell to Elizabeth and reminds her what Mr or Mrs Bennet, Lady Catherine or Mr Collins had said. In this way Ms Starnes can quote the most famous lines from the original book with grace and ease.
Joana Starnes writes with perfection what Darcy is good at. Insulting without realizing it: talking about love and insulting in the same sentence. To be honest, as bad as it is from the story’s point of view, these lines are the funniest to read.
I love how the author plays with sentences which most likely are Elizabeth’s thoughts (in the beginning of the story, later other characters’) not directly quoted, but can be interpreted as the narrator’s own shock about Darcy’s acts or speeches.
Astonishing how considerate Ms Starnes is when she is dealing with the wedding night: I mean the way she describes how attentive Darcy is. I love the line: “He kissed her again. Leisurely. An unhurried kiss that was sufficiently unnerving under the circumstances, […]” The seemingly idly thrown “Leisurley” gives the essence of the whole scene. The whole wedding night shows that the author understands Darcy.
I think my favourite character is Mr Bingley. What a wonderful man, brother-in-law, husband! The way he steps up and cares for Elizabeth and Jane is something everyone would like to experience.
The epilogue starts with Mrs Reynold’s point of view which proves to be very interesting to read as we have a quick peek into her journals. Her love toward Darcy and Georgiana, then Elizabeth rises from the pages. What a brilliant way to finish the book!
5 chocolates 5 ice creams 5 tissues
If you would like to win a copy of Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter (ebook), share the review, comment or like it. Open internationally until Nov. 23. GMT 20.00
(Each blog runs their own giveaway, so you have 13 chances to win!) Good Luck!
Joana Starnes is the author of:
* ‘From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley’, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ sequel
* ‘The Subsequent Proposal ~ A Tale of Pride, Prejudice & Persuasion’
* ‘The Second Chance‘, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ ~ ‘Sense & Sensibility’ variation
* ‘The Falmouth Connection‘, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ variation where Jane Austen’s beloved characters are compelled to leave their tame and reasonably peaceful lives in the south of England and travel to the far reaches of Cornwall, into a world of deceit and peril, where few – if any! – are what they seem to be…
* ‘The Unthinkable Triangle‘, a ‘Pride & Prejudice’ variation that dwells on the most uncomfortable love-triangle of them all. What if Mr. Darcy’s rival for Miss Bennet’s hand and heart is none other than his dearest, closest friend? And how can they all find their ‘happily-ever-after’?
*’Miss Darcy’s Companion‘ – a variation that explores what might have happened if the warm-hearted Miss Elizabeth Bennet were employed instead of the scheming Mrs Younge.
You can find the author on:
Twitter: Joana Starnes/ Twitter
Goodreads: Joana Starnes Goodreads Author Page
Amazon: Joana Starnes Amazon Author Page
Blog tour: Nov. 17 – Dec. 2.
November 17/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
November 18/ Pemberley to Milton/Book Review & Giveaway
November 19/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 20/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post & Giveaway
November 21/ Margie’s Must Reads/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 22/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review & Giveaway
November 23/ Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
November 24/ Happy Thanksgiving
November 25/ So Little Time… So Much to Read/ Excerpt & Giveaway
November 26/ Just Jane 1813/Interview with Joana Starnes & Giveaway
November 2 / My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Guest Post & Giveaway
November 28/ More Agreeably Engaged/ Vignette & Giveaway
December 1/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
December 2/ Austenesque Reviews/ Excerpt & Giveaway