Previously I reviewed The Trouble to Check her from the same author – you can read the review here. Maria Grace’s new novella, Snowbound at Hartfield is an intertextual gem. Pride and Prejudice meets Persuasion, sprinkled with Emma. Some of the most ridiculous: Mr Elton, Sir Walter Elliot, Mrs Elliot, Elizabeth Elliot, Mr Woodhouse and respectable: Mr Knightley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mr Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet- Austen characters meet and have to endure each other’s company as they stuck with Mr Knightley and Emma due to a terrible snow storm. Regarding the characters my favourite part is that Elizabeth Elliot is not as ridiculous as we know her from Persuasion and you will see her struggle to cope with her definitely ridiculous father. I love that I feel pity for her. In this variation she is more complex than originally and I cherish the idea of ‘bringing her to life’. Maria Grace did a wonderful job with all the characters who appear. They are true to themselves and at the same time she blends these very different characters in a very Austeneque story. The author is coming up with interesting and original conversations.
We have a story where Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are not the main characters, but the new characters (Elizabeth Elliot and Colonel Fitzwilliam) are referred to as Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam.I find the narration very interesting. The story is mostly told from the Colonel’s point of view, (who –just to warn you- calls Elizabeth Darcy “Liza” which is very annoying and I couldn’t get used to it). You can also look into other characters’ head which brings the characters closer. She also repeats some words as a standalone sentence which might represent hidden nervousness from the narrator’s side.
Here and there, editing leaves some holes, but not in a disturbing way.
My favourite thing in the whole book is how Maria Grace managed to make the most unromantic conversations very romantic. It’s a bit paradox but I absolutely adore Elizabeth Elliot and Colonel Fitzwilliam’s first big conversation. It should be anything but romantic and at the very same time it’s one of the most beautiful scenes. Maybe I just find the truth romantic. The author mentions post-war depression which is luckily not over-written and again with its unromantic byproduct she manages to make it romantic.
You will love the interactions between these Austen characters, not to mention Miss Elliot!
Snowbound at Hartfield Book Blurb
Colonel Fitzwilliam should have been happy facing retirement. No more Napoleon, no more tromping the Continent, and his distant cousin had unexpectedly left him an estate. What was more, two of his favorite people, Darcy and Elizabeth, were travelling with him to visit his new home.
But the colonel wasn’t happy, not when he was forced to watch Darcy exchanging enamored glances with his wife. No, he wanted to pitch his cousin out the window. It didn’t help when Darcy kept lecturing him on the joys of wedded life— as if women like Elizabeth Darcy grew on every tree.
Then the snow started.
Now they were stranded at the home of George and Emma Knightley, another intolerable, blissfully wedded couple who wanted nothing more than to see his bachelor days come to an end. Thank heavens they never thought of matching him with the proud spinster who had also been caught in the storm. That would have been utterly intolerable.
Or would it?
Universal book link books2read.com/SnowboundatHartfield
About the Author
Though Maria Grace has been writing fiction since she was ten years old, those early efforts happily reside in a file drawer and are unlikely to see the light of day again, for which many are grateful. After penning five file-drawer novels in high school, she took a break from writing to pursue college and earn her doctorate in Educational Psychology. After 16 years of university teaching, she returned to her first love, fiction writing.
She has one husband and one grandson, two graduate degrees and two black belts, three sons, four undergraduate majors, five nieces, is starting her sixth year blogging on Random Bits of Fascination, has built seven websites, attended eight English country dance balls, sewn nine Regency era costumes, and shared her life with ten cats.
She can be contacted at:
Random Bits of Fascination
English Historical Fiction Authors
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