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Friday, September 3, 2010

Darcy's Voyage by Kara Louise

Title- Darcy’s Voyage
Author- Kara Louise
Publisher- Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN- 978-1-4022-4102-4
Format- Trade Paperback
$14.99 US/ $17.99 CAN/ 7.99 UK
How I Read it- Trade Paperback ARC
Rating- 5 CROWNS

A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas

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?

My thoughts:

Normally I add a summery of the book. Although this time I am not going to do that, this is one of those books that if I start writing about it or talking about it I will never stop and then I will end up giving away spoilers. This is what we at Royal Reviews would call a Royal Read.

A Royal Read usually begins its life with the a variation of the following conversation:

Crazy Reader: 'You HAVE to read this book!'
Unsuspecting Victim: 'But I'm already reading '________' at the moment and my TBR pile is huge!'
Crazy Reader: Don't care. Promise me that you will read this book next. It's brilliant!'
Unsuspecting Victim: Oooookay. What's it about?

Unsuspecting Victim is then effectively nagged into reading said novel just so that Crazy Reader will have someone to discuss the book with. In most cases, Unsuspecting Victim is then converted and will begin recruiting for the next Crazy Reader.

I enjoyed this Darcy’s Voyage immensely, while the characters are true to those created by Jane Austen, they have a fresh feel to them. I found that in some ways I liked them better than the original, and I know that I will probably get a few comments that disagree with the statement that I just made, but I feel as though they have a new depth to them which enhances the story. I also enjoyed that fact that we see more of who Darcy is in this book, Jane Austen stated that she never wrote a scene in which the men are left alone because she simply did not know what men spoke about while alone, so in some ways that left her novels one-sided, whereas Darcy’s Voyage offers a broader perspective.

If I were ask what book I would recommend for a reader looking for a Jane Austen spin-off this would be that book. Not only is it creative and original, it is time-less yet fresh, and beautifully put together. This is the prefect book for those who loved Pride & Prejudice yet yearn for more.

I would like to say Welcome & Thank You to Kara Louise for this lovely guest post.

Kara Louise author of Darcy’s Voyage Guest Post

Thanks for inviting me here today. These are great questions and I really had to think about them!

While writing about another author’s characters, was it limiting or freeing? What were some challenges that surprised you and how did you overcome them?

In answering the first question, I am going to cheat and say that it was both, and hopefully I will be able to explain why.

Firstly, I believe it is limiting in that we must endeavor to make the characters that Jane Austen penned fit into our story and portray them so that their words and actions in whether it be a variation, or a sequel, or a prequel be comparable to the original. Our story and the direction of our plot must incorporate these fundamental traits. If not, we must construe the circumstances so that they fit in seamlessly without coming across as out of character. This is, of course, unless the story is a variation where we have purposely made the character different as hers, which I have not done.

It can also be limiting depending on how much we are able to glean from her narratives. Pride and Prejudice is written from Elizabeth Bennet’s perspective, although not her point of view. We see things through her eyes, which means we may see them through her prejudice. That would particularly be true of Mr. Darcy, and since we only see him when Elizabeth is in the scene, there is a lot we do not see. We have a good, general concept of his character, but it is far form complete.

On the other hand, I think it is freeing because we already pretty much know whose these characters are (and some of them are real characters!). I think many people consider them like family, they know them so well. I believe that most Jane Austen writers began writing stories because of a love for the characters and a desire to know more, whether it be scenes Miss Austen only recapped slightly, omitted completely, or a variation on what she wrote.

The stories I have written stemmed out of a desire to interact with these beloved characters and go on a whole new journey with them. In Darcy’s Voyage, Darcy and Elizabeth meet on a ship bound for America, and the events that take place on the ship greatly affect the story as they then later meet in Hertfordshire, as Jane Austen originally penned. To me there was great delight in figuring out how these two people would have responded to the same situations, but with a whole different background between them.

One challenge of writing about another author’s characters is that there is likely to be a louder outcry if you do not conform to your reader’s perception of who that person truly is.

As an example, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have been with us for over 200 years, we have seen them portrayed in several film adaptations, and many of us have read Pride and Prejudice many times through. And now there are more and more books about them on the market. Everyone has their opinion of who they are, and as you insert them into the events of a new story, chances are there will be some who will say, “He would never do that!” or “She would never say that!”

One challenge I’ve had is how to further the process of a particular plot device when I feel their character might not go in that direction. In Darcy’s Voyage, I know there will be many who will say neither would have made such a voyage to America, Elizabeth would have never traveled alone, nor would she have stayed down in steerage.

Since that was vital to my story (or there would have been no story)m I had to bring about credible reasons behind these stretches. For example, I wrote that Darcy was traveling to America to retrieve his sister, who had previously gone over with Mrs. Annesley to see her son and daughter and new baby. She talked Darcy into it to remove Georgiana from the power and presence of Mr. Wickham. This story begins just after Ramsgate, when Georgiana almost elopes with Wickham. Darcy would probably have otherwise not agreed to allow her to go. He owns the ship and had to trust it was an excellent ship that would get her there and back. Of course, when Mrs. Annesley cannot return because she gets ill, Darcy himself decides to retrieve her.

This may be a little fanciful, but I tried to put as much background into why they would do something to make it at least somewhat plausible. I think that is what I tried to, and while some still may complain, I hope that if you have read the book, you will be able to simply enjoy the story,

Thank you for allowing me this time with you today!

About The Author

Ever since Kara Louise discovered and fell in love with the writings of Jane Austen she has spent her time answering the “what happened next” and the “what ifs” in Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s story. She has written 6 novels based on Pride and Prejudice. She lives with her husband in Wichita, Kansas. For more information, please visit her website, Jane Austen’s Land of Ahhhs.

Thanks to Sourcebooks I have two copies of DARCY’S VOYAGE to giveaway.
To enter please leave your name and a valid email address.
Contest ends September 30, 2010

Visit Angela Renee @ Renees-Reads


Blodeuedd said...

Awesome, I do love what if's and so on when it comes to Austen. I even created an shelf for Austen fiction lol

Mystica said...

I love sequels of P&P but have only read two. Please throw my name in the hat for this one if overseas readers are permitted.


Anonymous said...

This sounds like an enjoyable book. The Austen spin offs with zombies and vampires aren't really my style. Adventure on the high seas now is just what I like. I look forward to reading this book.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Patricia B.

buddyt said...

This sounds like a good read for Jane Austen fans.

If the giveaway is open worldwide, then please enter me.


Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Kara Louise said...

Thanks for a great review on my book and the interview! Good luck to all who have entered the drawing! And to those who do read it, I hope you'll enjoy it.
Kara Louise

Alaine - Queen of Happy Endings said...

Great review and interview. I haven't heard of this one but I'm going to go and put it on my list of must buys. I'm a huge P & P sequals and rewrites.

Luthien84 said...

I'm also an overseas reader and hopefully I and a few others are allowed to enter this giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Please count me in!

dawna45123 @yahoo.com


Renee said...

This contest is international, so please feel free to enter!!!!!!!!!

-The Queen of The Quill

Audra said...

I've been so excited by all the buzz about this book; I've been particularly taken with Ms Louise's interviews -- she seems clever, interesting, down-to-earth, and most of all, a passionate fan. Thank you for this interview/review -- and the giveaway!

thesibylqueen at gmail.com

Hannah said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one! I read a few of Kara Louise's other variations earlier this year, Assumed Engagement, Assumed Obligation, and Something Like Regret and I really liked them.

I'd definitely like to sign up for this one.