After finishing Ginger Monette’s Darcy’s Hope – Beauty from Ashes ─ which is the first part of The Great War Romance series and you can read my review here ─ you might have thought that the 2 months they said they would meet would fly and would be together sooner than later. HAHA! NO! The story continues in the second book, Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey, and it can be read as a standalone novel but you might be in the dark regarding some mystery which starts in Beauty from Ashes.
If you want to know details about the plot, I’m sorry, but I’m not planning to giveaway more than the blurb, which you can read at the back of the book or below:
1917. Amidst the chaos of WW1, Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy has won the heart of Elizabeth Bennet.
Then she disappears.
Still reeling from the loss, Darcy is struck by a battlefield tragedy that leaves him in a dark and silent world.
Sent to Donwell Abbey to recover, he’s coaxed back to life by an extraordinary nurse. A woman whose uncanny similarities to Elizabeth invite his admiration and entice his affections.
His heart tells him to hold on to Elizabeth. His head tells him to take a chance with his nurse.
But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.
After Elizabeth sailed away, Lizzy’s and Darcy’s first meeting is quite romantic and the events which lead there are very complicated, deliberate, the saying that ‘everything happens for reason’ might be valid here or was it mere happenstance?
From the very first sentence the words are alive, every single description, event, dialogue talks for itself. You will picture everything right away. Fascinating how quickly a well written book can suck you in.
In Beauty from Ashes romance and mystery walks hand in hand, in the sequel, Donwell Abbey, there is a fine line in between. However it comes in full circle when Elizabeth and Darcy finally reunite.
In the first 30-40% of the book there is less emphasis on the feelings and romance and more on the mystery, spies, relationship between the characters, but then meets Lizzy and Darcy, you forget the mystery and love, attachments and passion dominates. Elizabeth is as headstrong as always but she realizes it was nearly for nothing. I don’t have to tell you, it is going to break your heart… along with the big get-together scene in the end (94% in the kindle edition). Have some Kleenex with you. Just sayin’! J And then you thought you read a book where Darcy hits (the) rock bottom? You might revise it after reading Donwell…
One of my favourite passages is that Darcy falls in love with the same women twice without knowing it. They are together, but not. They are at the same place at the same time, they communicate, but it’s not what it seems. Plus, how Ms Monette tortures Elizabeth sometimes is a beautiful touch. I can’t decide if I’m sort of untouched about Darcy’s state when he is at Donwell Abbey -except when emotions are involved and he is in the depth of despair- is because I suspect it’s temporary or because I’m a woman and when it’s about emotions, it touches me deeper than something you might not be able to control as you wish. To see and ‘feel’ Elizabeth’s pain and despair that she cannot share a crucial detail with her love is harder to read for me than what is going on with Darcy.
John Thornton has a slightly bigger part (and significant to the plot) here. Margaret Hale, Colonel Brandon, Marianne Dashwood and the descendants of Mr Knightley also appear in the story.
Mrs Knightley is rather interesting and I have the same feeling as the narrator: “She was as bad as Fitzwilliam’s Aunt Catherine ─ maybe worse.”
Thanks to this series I am quite fond of stories about The Great War now. To read the book you need two passwords: Kleenex and chocolate!
Winner of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 “Picture This” grand prize, Ginger lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.
Three lucky winners will each receive a tin of Downton Abbey Legacy Tea!
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