As I’ve mentioned before I dearly enjoy a good Jane Austen Fanfiction. Joana Starnes works hold a special place in that category in my opinion.
In this Pride and Prejudice Variaton Elizabeth finds herself in the role of a paid companion to Miss Georgiana Darcy. It takes place mostly at Pemberly. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy living under the same roof? Added to that the fact that Elizabeth as a ladies companion is somewhere in between a member of the household and a servant. Oh she has the opportunity to get to know Mr. Darcy at his best but her situation is so far beneath his own how can there be any hope? And will Mr. Darcy recognise he has found his life’s companion in his sister’s companion?
I’ve read several of her works and each time I’m stunned, awed. At the same time this author makes me scream, curse and cry out several times. I’m not joking. Since I know her personally I’ve told her as much and threatened to throw stuff at her. Unjust some might think but those that have read at least one of her works know what I mean. She tortures us with her pinning and yearning. Oh I know there is always gonna be a happy end for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. Yet how it comes about takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions.
Usually I cry out ‘Poor Darcy’ several times. Oh yes Miss Starnes is positively evil with what she lets our poor Mr. Darcy go through. This time she promised it would be Elizabeth’s turn for pinning, yearning and suffering and she is true to her word. Poor Elizabeth! Though Darcy gets his share as well. I’ve had no doubt in that regard. Evil, genius Miss Starnes.
The writing is not overly dramatic, more subtle. Her books don’t need to point to everything. Joana Starnes writes in characters, places and historical backround very authentic regarding Jane Austen’s work and everything surounding it.
She even includes quotes from the original but in an entirely new conetxt. That is an art in itself, too. Oh and I loved the Christmas gifts and the meeting in the orangery.
Regarding character development there is a lot happening, too. Since Georgiana is one of the main protagonists this time she blossoms under Elizabeth’s influence and isn’t the shy Miss Darcy anymore. And not just her Bingley has more backbone and confidence. And I do remember Colonel Fitzwilliam being Miss Starnes victims in ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’. He is just as charming and teasing as before and seeing their friendship again was a pleassure. Those that have read ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ know exactly what I refer to.
And the new characters fit into the setting, too. They are adding to the plot and make it well worth the read.
Oh and it being mostly set at Pemberly is a bonus. It makes me long to wander the halls and gardens to the famous lake most Janeites know from the Pride and Prejudice mini-series from 1995. I have Lyme Park in mind while reading and picturing the scenes.
All in a another masterpiece of Joana Starnes well worth the suffering she puts us through. Though I advice to read it while at home. Otherwise people might look at you oddly for exclaiming and crying out loud in public.