“Mind-blowing” is the word that I used after just reading the prologue of The Subsequent Proposal by Joana Starnes.
It is so difficult to review this book because I do not want to do any spoilers. I will do my best. However, I am starting with the first shock for me: Mr. Darcy after believing that Elizabeth is lost for him, he proposes to Anne Elliot!! They talk and they know that their hearts belong to someone else but they are also practical. Darcy wants to take Anne from her horrible relatives and Anne can give Darcy the heir that he needs for Pemberley.
If you have read Persuasion, you will know that Anne’s father, Sir Walter Elliot is a vane and selfish man who only cares about his appearance and also about titles and wealth. I simply do not like him but Joana Starnes has showed me the only time that I cannot resent him for something done against Anne in favour of his elder sister: he imposes a six month period before announcing the engagement in order to give Elizabeth Elliot time to find a husband. Although Darcy does not agree with him, he cannot do otherwise.
Darcy is content with the arrangement and he decides that it is time to write Charles Bingley about his involvement on separating him from Jane Bennet and how she may love him in return.
Some weeks past and Bingley appears at his town house, he has just read the letter and asks him to accompany him to Netherfield. Eventually Darcy accepts and takes Georgiana with them.
The word awkward is an understatement to describe the first meeting of Darcy with Elizabeth but at the same time they way Joana writes Darcy’s feeling is adorable. However, Elizabeth is not herself, Georgiana describes her as “shy” (can you believe it?).
Every contact that Elizabeth and Darcy have is very “romantic” from the desperate point of view of Darcy who loves Elizabeth beyond boundaries but at the same time he is an honourable man who is engaged to another.
In case you have forgotten, characters from Persuasion are included and who else if not Captain Frederick Wentworth is here and he is very interested in Elizabeth Bennet!! Yes, as you read it, “what is going on here?”. (Read it and enjoy!)
To make things more complicated, the annoying Mr. Wickham has to be the baddie, again. Lydia, again, is the black sheep of the family and she needs protection. She is not going to be left alone as Mr. Darcy starts his journey to save her and another gentleman as well, Captain Wentworth. I will just mention that there is a duel with guns and it does not end very well :S The danger is great and people get hurt in duels.
Remember one thing while reading the duel: there are no rules in hate and rancour. Wickham is not a gentleman even if he wants to believe he is.
I am not going to tell you anything else about the story, only remember that in this story we still have around Lady Russell, Mrs. Bennet, Bingley and Colonel Fitzwilliam among others.
There is an amazing happy ending after a lot of “need-to-be-honourable” moments, aching hearts, misunderstandings and “Caroline Bingley, my bad”.
By the way, walks in the park are very entertaining! 😉
“We must endeavour to subdue our minds to our good fortune: we must learn to brook being much happier that we both deserve!” (said by a character in the book)