A story set in the late '40's American South all by itself would h ...
A story set in the late '40's American South all by itself would have been enough to grab my britches, but stir in Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice story and my interest rose to a fever-pitch. This was one of those stories that doesn't easy one in and let them get comfortable. It grasps one by the senses. I laughed, I sighed, I nearly cried, and I had moments of despair and triumph. I absolutely could not put this book down. It was a romance and a re-telling, but it was also so much more. I felt like it was the story of several women that happen to have romantic entanglements or at least erotic encounters as they find their way clear to their own brand of happiness. Not that the men don't play good, interesting roles, too, but this was where my mind focused and how it processed the story. So, I'm going to do a bit of something different with my summary. I'm going to summarize the gals that caught my attention and made me feel oh so many things. Bear with my quirks! There is Lizzie Bennet, spitfire and non-conformist who has lost her way. She is content with her home on the farm, her family, and her simple life until one Fitzwilliam Darcy jostles her out of her fog and gets her good and angry enough to engage with life again- particularly if it is sparring with the wealthy arrogant, annoying jerk. Just when she starts to heal, her past rears up and shatters more than one person's happiness. Next, there is Jane Bennet, oldest and most beautiful of the Bennet sisters. Jane carries a disease in her body that made no promises how long she would live. This puts a death knell on a marriage and children as far as Jane is concerned. Thus it nearly crushes her when she falls for the lively, handsome Charles Bingley who buys Netherfield Plantation because it is close to his construction contracts with the military. Charles is everything she could want in a man and she enjoys their time while knowing there is an expiration date on anything really developing. Charles' sister, Caroline accompanies him when he moves to Meryton. She is snobbish and cruel, conniving, and set on having her way. She settles for cheap, tawdry encounters and dreams of a life of wealth to distance her from her dark past. Something is broken inside her and the milk of human kindness just isn't there. She will do whatever it takes to have Fitzwilliam Darcy, the biggest catch of them all. Charlotte Lucas, mayor's daughter and best friend of Lizzie, dreams of escape from her overbearing, sometimes abusive mother who hides a cruel side behind her public face. Charlotte wants out so badly that she latches on to the worst possible man for escape. Lizzie suspects why Charlotte doesn't even try to find a compatible guy and it breaks her heart for Charlotte's future chances. Charlotte must walk her own path and hopefully find a ray of happiness in the dark. And finally, there is Georgiana, William's sister and a woman before her time because of a youthful mistake in love and in trusting old family friends to have her best interests at heart. She has done her penance and now is emerging into the world shy and terrified that she can't judge characters and will make another big mistake. It is the misery of her usually taciturn brother and the relapse of her mentally fragile and broken cousin that force her to step up and be there for the men in her life that were always there for her. So, there were many threads in this story. William and Lizzie had the m
November 14, 2015