In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship Pemberley's Promise. She's prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr.Darcy turns her world upside down.
When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society's rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?
What a delightful story! I absolutely loved it! I was wondering how realistic it would feel with Darcy and Lizzy making their way across to America on a ship... but it surprised me how it really did seem feasible. I was also worried about the length, it being quite a long story compared to the other variations I had read, but I didn’t need to worry as the story flowed so well and I didn’t want it to end! I think the story didn’t seem to drag at all because of the amount of ‘screen time’ Lizzy and Darcy had. There were not many scenes or large periods of time where Lizzy and Darcy were not together, which is good as the best scenes are always when they are together!
I loved the prologue; Darcy and Lizzy meet in a carriage 2 years prior to the meeting on the ship and they get off to a good start and have an interesting conversation. However, neither finds out who the other is, so when they meet 2 years later, they both have that feeling of having met before but it takes a while for them to properly put two and two together. I really liked this running theme through the story and the question of when the other was going to realise they had already met!
The first half of the book was wonderful. All the scenes on the ship were full of detail and the relationship between Darcy and Lizzy and how it developed was fun to read. Darcy was the perfect gentleman and he was so considerate to Lizzy; what he did for her was an act of the utmost chivalry. We see their relationship flourish through morning walks up on deck and many incidents aboard the ship, Pemberley’s Promise. Darcy and Lizzy are both portrayed very well and she captures the essences of their original characters really well.
I thought it was very clever and interesting seeing how a prior meeting between our heroine and hero would affect the events which we see happen in the original; the meeting at Netherfield, the Netherfield Ball, the visit to Pemberley, Lady Catherine’s ‘visit’ to Lizzy, Lydia’s elopement. I found it a lot of fun to see how some of the iconic conversations which take place in the original are affected because of this prior relationship as well, and seeing Caroline Bingley’s rising suspicions about the two of them!
Georgiana was a fun character. Her relationship with her brother was very sweet and I really enjoyed seeing her caring side towards her brother and also her detective nature coming out when trying to work out the reasons behind Darcy’s low spirits and who this mysterious Elizabeth from Longbourn is.
The romance in this story was wonderful. Whilst being completely clean, it was still highly romantic; secret meetings and stolen kisses. I was very pleased with how the question of when the couple’s mutual love would be realised wasn’t drawn out for too long and (without giving too much away) that once it was realised, it was never doubted; it annoys me when a heroine keeping thinking ‘he loves me’, ‘he doesn’t love me’, ‘no wait he does!’ the entire story, or vice versa! The ending was wonderful; it links in very cleverly to the beginning of the story which takes place on the ship and it is a very satisfying and pleasing end! There is also an epilogue showing what happens to each of the characters in the story, which I like to have at the end of a story.
So, I shall bring my thought about this wonderful book to a close. If you can’t get enough of Darcy and Lizzy and want to read a story where they are thrown into completely different circumstances then this is for you. The trip to America is a very different approach to the story and it is accomplished extremely well. It was a highly enjoyable, witty, romantic and interesting story to read; I highly recommend it and I look forward to her other work!
Your affectionate friend,