A few months ago, I was in Wisconsin at the Midwest Horse Fair where my 15-year-old daughter was competing in the Epic Night of the Horse Youth Star Search with her wild mustang, Comancheria. I ran into fellow author, Jane Grix and, in true awesome-ness, she happened to have an extra copy of her latest Pride and Prejudice variation, Accepting Darcy.
Don’t you love when you run into people and they give you a new book? Greatest. Day. Ever. 🙂
Full disclosure: Despite my focus on writing Amish fiction and women’s fiction, I love Regency writing and have begun writing Regency under the name Catherine Eleanor.
I have to confess that I was more than thrilled at this new acquisition and I couldn’t wait to get back to New Jersey so that I could begin reading it.
Except I didn’t just read it. I devoured it.
The premise of the novel is a “what if” situation. What if Elizabeth had accepted Darcy’s first (and not very gracious) proposal?
Like a great detective, Jane Grix morphed a very plausible backstory that weaved into Elizabeth saying yes to Darcy, rather than giving him a piece of her mind. I had never thought about that possibility and Grix does an amazing job of realistically crafting an alternative ending to the novel.
My only complaint? It wasn’t long enough. I would have loved another two…no, three hundred pages! Her character development, witty dialogue, and accurate descriptions of the time period made the novel so enjoyable that I was actually sad when it ended! I wanted more. And that is the sign of a good book. No…a great book.
I’ve read one other novella by Jane Grix and several novels that she wrote under the pen name Beverly Farr, but this was my first Regency novel of hers that I have read. It won’t be the last.
As an aside, just like the Amish fiction genre, there are a lot of people who jump into writing Regency novels and novellas. Some, like my fellow authors who blog for Austen Authors, are top-notch, quality writers who focus on the literary aspect of Jane Austen as they create entertaining stories for our readers. But there are also a lot of writers who, frankly, can’t write very well (and don’t care), have no concern for Austen’s contributions to literature, and focus just on publishing books in the hope that Regency enthusiasts will buy them.
It irks me when I see the genre flooded by less scrupulous “writers” who create a cloud of noise for true authors.
So I felt extra compelled to write about this novel by Jane Grix. I was beyond impressed and have added her to my list of favorite Austen authors. I think you will, too.