REVIEW of “Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion” by Regina Jeffers

Each lover has a theory of his own about the difference between thee ache of being with his love, and being alone. (W.H. Auden, “Alone” – Regina Jeffers uses poems or parts of poems in every chapter.)

I have to admit that I was really eager to read Persuasion from Captain Wentworth’s perspective because after reading Darcy’s P&P and Edmund Bertram’s MP, I could not wait until reading lovely Frederick’s account of the story: when he decided that Anne was his soul mate after arriving at Kellynch, his thought about the Miss Musgroves or Anne´s family, his almost extreme jealousy, etc.

From my point of view Regina Jeffers has recreated his thought well enough. However, the part that I have enjoyed more is what is not told by Jane Austen in Persuasion: what happens after the engagement?

Could you imagine Anne standing up to his father and Lady Russell? Could you imagine Anne being a bit cheeky when talking about Mrs Benwick with Frederick? Could you imagine Anne being secretive? Maybe you could but I highly recommend reading how Regina Jeffers has described her and how her personality glows when she is with her love, Frederick.

How do you think Anne deals with the life in a ship during war time? What happens if she almost loses his husband? What happens when she is facing a better life than she ever expected?

I like the way Anne is developed and obviously I enjoy the adoring Captain Wentworth and his undying love for Anne.

As you could have realised my favourite part is the sequel to Persuasion, this sequel is intertwined with the story by Jane Austen, Regina Jeffers starts on the same point as the original but mixes that story with the sequel. It is a good idea as Wentworth is thinking about his life with Anne while he is severely wounded.

I have read several JAFF books by Regina Jeffers and I highly recommend them, have a look on Amazon for instance and check the reviews, I will post reviews of her books as soon as I can. However, I have already reviewed one of her books that I really liked: Mr. Darcy’s Fault. I have read a few that I would like to reread but I have also taken advantage of her amazing sale for Mother’s Day and I bought three more that I did not have!

(picture from her website)

4out5 stars

REVIEW of “When They Fall in Love” by Mary Lydon Simonsen

One of my top ten variations of Pride and Prejudice: I simply love everything that happens on When they fall in love: Darcy and Elizabeth in Italy by Mary Lydon Simonsen.

After the proposal at the parsonage, Darcy chooses a bride and in a few months they are married and eventually they have a lovely daughter, Alexa. You can imagine how Elizabeth may be feeling.

However, the book does not start at that point. The book introduces the happy Bingley family and her governess, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzy is the governess to her nice niece. She depends upon them in everything, her father has had financial problems and she is happy to be with her niece but she has sadly realised that her friend, Charlotte Collins, née Lucas, was more sensible than her.

Elizabeth goes wherever her older sister and brother go, she is content with the situation as she is going to France with them. Jane had a difficult labour whit Cassie and she is going to different spas to take the waters.

Almost all the places where they are going in France are suggestions of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley’s best friend. They keep travelling around France and Elizabeth is delighted with Paris or Aix-en-Provence, however she is not so happy when the whole family gets and invitation to go to Italy. Her unhappiness is not because she dislikes Italy, au contraire, she would love to go to Italy directly if it not were that the host for their stay is Mr Darcy.

Elizabeth’s feelings changed drastically after reading Darcy’s letter before leaving Kent. She begs Jane not to go with the excuse that her dad needs them and that their trip has been for over a year and it is time to go home.

Eventually, the invitation needs to be accepted and with her reservations about how Mr Darcy will receive her, they start their trip to Italy. Before they thought, they meet their host and everything starts to spark:

“Miss Elizabeth, it has been too long” Darcy said, extending his hand (…)

Without thinking, she removed her glove and lifted the hand that had been pinned to her side. Looking into Mr Darcy’s gray-green eyes, Elizabeth offered it to the gentleman, and when he accepted it, she knew she was in trouble.

I have omitted a key detail on this review but I have to add that misunderstandings are always around and it is really nice to leave the English etiquette and propriety and have a more relaxed vision of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. Now it is your turn to read it and she what is going on. What questions do you have after reading this review? I would have a few, write them on the comments and let’s see if I can answer them…

Last tempting excerpt:

Although Darcy looked directly at her, it was as if he was seeing through her. “If you could read my mind, Miss Elizabeth, I think you would be surprised at what you would find there”.

If you want to know more about this lovely writer, visit her Facebook page or Twitter account.

5out5 stars

(cover picture from WhiteSoupPress)

REVIEW of “Revisit Mansfield Park: How Fanny married Henry” by Sarah Ozcandarli

When I read the title, I could not conceive the idea of Fanny marrying Henry. It went against my idea of Fanny, my dislike of Henry and my love for a happy ending.

Mansfield Park is one of my favourite Jane Austen’s novels and I find Fanny too sweet to end up with someone different from Edmund. However, I wanted to read Revisit Mansfield Park: How Fanny married Henry because it was a challenged not to be biased by my ideas.

It is true that I spent more than half of the book waiting for the author to show that everything was a lie, that Henry is still despicable and untruthful as Jane Austen showed us. I was being a bit mean with Sarah Ozcandarli‘s book because although I was enjoying the letters that Henry and Fanny wrote to each other in order to have a better acquaintance, I kept thinking that it was not possible that Henry was actually in love with Fanny.

However, he was and he wanted to show her how he could changed just to deserve her love. It is a lovely way the book is written because as I wrote before, the love story is mainly seen through the letters they send to each other. There is a great change between the first letters where they write in a very sensible and polite manner and the last ones, where feelings and emotions are so clear and evident.

There are more stories around the courtship that Henry and Fanny have, the Bertram’s do not have really happy news or events but those events are very important to complete the story. We can find Maria and Julia, Tom and Edmund together with their parents. I like Susan, Fanny’s sister, as an important character in this story, we also have Fanny’s parents on Revisit Mansfield Park.

I was lucky to get the story for free on Amazon, but I recommend it, mainly if you dislike the Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park as I do.

4out5 stars

Why JAFF is so great!?

Have a look at this nice article that tells us why JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) is so important and why we need even more!

5 Reasons the World Needs More Jane Austen Fanfic

I totally agree with Elizabeth Ann West on this matter but I will add another reason: the people involved in JAFF.

Obviously I have to thank the writers, they are absolutely amazing and creative. Taking as a reference, Pride and Prejudice, authors are telling us what if, what happened after the wedding, what happened before the wedding, they are meeting in different situations or they are taking the personality of the characters and changing the era.

I started reading JAFF books several years ago, thanks to Amazon USA and UK, I bought paperbooks, at that time mainly by Abigail Reynolds, highly recommended to read The Man who Loved Pride and Prejudicemy first JAFF book. Back then, I was not aware of the huge experience that the JAFF universe is nowadays.

However, my point does not only involve amazing authors writing great stories. I have been following JAFF authors, JAFF bloggers or befriending readers of JAFF stories and I have to say that I have felt extremely welcomed. Around two years ago, when I was commenting on blogs or groups, I felt like an invader because I could read and realise that they knew each other quite well and I was just a newbie. In addition to that, I started mainly on websites and groups with people from the USA and it seemed to me that I was the Spaniard living in England who “dared” to “invade” a new universe.

Needless to say, I was totally wrong, it was just a silly feeling that I had as I was just new in a cybernetic and “geeky” world. (By the way, I love to consider myself geeky, so please do not take any offense).

After participating on a few giveaways, I realised that the authors and the people behind some amazing blogs were just very pleasant and generous as well. I believe I will never forget the first ebook that I won: The Madness of Mr Darcy by Alexa Adams, a giveaway on The Calico Critic. It may sound silly but I felt really happy to win it, not only for the prize (a lovely and tender book) but for starting to be part of that universe. I have been lucky enough to win a few more books but what I adore above all on the JAFF universe is the contact with the writers and also with other JAFF addicts. Being able to write to authors on a post or on their twitter or facebook account is great! They answer you, you can give your opinion or leave a comment, etc. and it goes from “cybernetic”, that normally is related to impersonal, to personal and human.

I just want to thank everyone who belongs to this universe, and I have kept writing universe because it is vast and it is just great. Thank you for being so welcoming and for sharing so much with me and with everyone insterested in Jane Austen.

Keep being so awesome! Authors, carry on writing! 😉 and the rest of the people (readers, bloggers, editors, supporters), keep spreading the JAFF universe!

Thank you very much. Muchas gracias. 😀

Ana

picture of gracias