A Lie Universally Hidden by Anngela Schroeder – Review + Giveaway

alieuniversallyhiddenebook-coverA Lie Universally Hidden  is my first read from Anngela Schroeder except her short story called Winter’s Awakening, which was my favourite from the anthology: Then Comes Winter.

You can start a book in many ways, but my favourite is when the author starts in medias res, with a character talking to another. When the characters are talking, it feels I’m part of the story immediately. The prologue of the book is spot on! It’s a dialogue between Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Anne Darcy not long before the latter’s death. Hundreds of emotions alternate while you read it. You would like to be in the same room and shout at them; you would like to prevent the premise. The fact that Lady Catherine is horrible is the icing on cake. I love it! I love all the characters. My personal favourite is Kitty Bennet’s sudden, but understandable change. Kitty has a lot of potential and I think Ms Schroeder was able to her justice. I always thought that except Lydia, Mary and Kitty are more like their father than their mother. After all, Mary reads a lot and finds comfort in books, just like Mr Bennet. It is indifferent that the book is religious or philosophical. Kitty was always following Lydia, because she was close to her in age and probably she thought that Mrs Bennet might see her too. What Anngela did with her is a very stunning twist in the plot and her friendship with Georgiana is one of the best parts of the story. By the way, for a change, in this story Lydia is more sensible than her mother, which makes her more interesting and likeable.
James Hamilton, is an interesting new character. In the beginning of the story you cannot not like him, maybe also feel pity, but for the second part of the book he has changed. Actually, I’m not convinced he has changed, but more like the author withholded some information in the first part and revealed in the second, so we think he has changed, when he hasn’t.
I can’t really explain, but in the first 20-30% of the book, I felt that Elizabeth’s words were strange, almost uncharacteristic, at the same time, my favourite dialogue is when Darcy and Lizzy talks about accomplished ladies. The author doesn’t quote or repeat the original, but comes up with her idea which is true to Austen and her characters. Tiny thing, but well done! By the time Elizabeth set Mr Hamilton straight, she is definitely herself.
A wonderful scene is when -again 🙂 – Elizabeth and Darcy are in Mr Hamilton’s estate, Ashby Park in the library. It reminded me of Shakespeare. Darcy talking to himself loudly enough for Elizabeth who is ‘hiding’ to overhear it. Darcy sounded like Hamlet and Elizabeth like Beatrice in Much ado about nothing.
I’m afraid, Ms Schroeder made Darcy sexier than he was by making him play on the bagpipes. Yay!

I have found something which could have been avoided. Ms Schroeder came up with a perfect idea to expose Lady Catherine without using the original letter, and it would have been enough. I can’t imagine why Lady C. did not burn/destroy the original and there is also no explanation for it, so I consider it as a mistake, although it does not take away from the book’s value.

Again, it’s a little change, but it makes a difference, when the author writes about some rooms in the Darcy House. Usually it’s referred by the name of colour the room is painted, like green room, yellow room, etc. In this case, Ms Schroeder has an eye on details and considering we sort of know Anne Darcy, Darcy refers to the rooms as her mother named them, for e.g. Wood room, Sunshine room…
She also makes the characters play ‘Condor or Courage’, which we might know as ‘Truth or Dare’. It may seem just a game, but in terms of the plot and writing, the Anngela Schroeder managed to make the book more fascinating and avoided using cliches.

As the prologue was spot on, I have to say the ending is right up there with the very best as well. However I feel the epilogue is a bit rushed, the last sentence of the book is top draw. Great book and an excellent author!

*****

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Author Biography
I have a degree in English with a concentration in British Literature and a Masters in Education. I love to travel, bake, and watch college football with my husband of 16 years and 3 rambunctious sons. My goal in life is to make not only my children, but also my students feel that they are loved, and to bring magic into everyone’s world. My weaknesses are yellow cake with chocolate frosting, French bread with real butter, and my father’s Arabic food, namely grape leaves, and falafel. I live in California where I dream of Disney adventures and trips across the pond.

Author Links:
Facebook
Twitter: @schros2000
Goodreads
Amazon

Anngela is giving away two autographed hard copies (US mailing addresses only) 2 kindle versions (Open to international winners), an autographed copy of Then Comes Winter (US mailing address only) and an autographed 5×7 of the A Lie Universally Hidden book cover

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

*****
Blog tour:

January 16/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
January 17/ From Pemberley to Milton/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 18/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post
January 19/ So Little Time…/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
January 20/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 21/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review
January 22/ Just Jane 1813/ Excerpt Post
January 23/Austenesque Reviews/ Author Spotlight & Giveaway
January 24/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 25/ Every Savage Can Dance/Book Review & Giveaway
January 26 / Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
January 27 / Austenesque Reviews/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 28/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Excerpt & Giveaway
January 29/ Savvy Verse & Wit/ Guest Post & Giveaway

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20 thoughts on “A Lie Universally Hidden by Anngela Schroeder – Review + Giveaway

  1. Very well done and detailed review! I have to disagree about keeping the letter tho’; people do tend to keep things that matter to them even if it reminds them of something they don’t want to think about, of if their discovery could be disastrous. Ever seen the film “Vertigo?” When Scotty tells Judy “Never keep a souvenir of a murder” as he discovers her complicity in said murder? Sometimes people keep these souvenirs to remind themselves of what is at stake. Or how they have overcome the difficulty. Or because they think they’re smarter than other people. Or because they think it’s the best way to keep it from falling into the wrong hands. Lots of reasons, but it seems a universal truth. I thought it perfectly believable. Otherwise a nicely done review!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I didn’t think about what you’ve just said, but it makes sense. However in this case, a few line about “the why” would have been nice. The date explanation was good enough…I still think, the author could easily have come up with something to say why it was kept.

      Like

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