SERIES: Vintage Jane Austen #5
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction, Retelling
RELEASE DATE: November 27, 2017
Among the cotton fields and farmland of Gilbert, Arizona in the early years of the Great Depression, Mr. and Mrs. Bailey live a simple, but happy life with their five daughters on a cotton farm. When the wealthy Richard Buchanan moves to town, bringing his family, a friend, and a desire to learn about cotton, Matilda Bailey is convinced that he is the perfect candidate to marry her eldest daughter, Alice.
Richard is cheerful, friendly, and likable. His friend Sidney Dennison doesn’t make such a good impression. Eloise Bailey decides he’s arrogant and self-conceited, but when Raymond Wolfe comes to town, accusing Sidney of dishonorable and treacherous conduct, Eloise is angered at the injustice of the situation.
When the Buchanan household leaves town, Alice must turn to the Lord and face, perhaps, her most difficult test in trust, while Eloise takes a trip to visit her friend and may well discover a web of deceit that she doesn’t really want to believe exists.
“It is better to never presume upon another’s secret thoughts.”
While I do love Pride and Prejudice, I actually find I love the retellings even more. Mostly because I love seeing how an author takes such a beloved story and adds their own flavor – in a variety of other settings and time periods. In Presumption and Partiality, Rebekah Jones takes Elizabeth and Darcy and the whole slew of vivid characters from Austen’s original story and transplants them into Depression-era Arizona – while making them distinctly her own. This setting is vastly different from Regency England and, as such, the social nuances are necessarily unique. In this, too, Jones excels in keeping the characters recognizable in personality and behavior while subtly shifting the reasons for their actions to motives that make sense for the Depression period.
Eloise Bailey sees Sidney Dennison as arrogant and aloof, and given the fact that he does seem detached from every conversation you can’t really blame her. Yet the more we the readers get to know him – thanks to the occasional hopping into his head – the more we see him as a highly observant man with a good heart, a man who loves God and is falling hard for Eloise. This is something else I enjoyed about Jones’ retelling – getting to see the story from different perspectives instead of just Eloise (Elizabeth). We get further insight into Richard (Bingley), Sidney (Darcy), Raymond (Wickham) and Jane (Alice) by getting inside their heads from time to time as well. And while there was the occasional confusion as we head-hopped without much warning, I thought this style choice worked well for the most post.
Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice, you’ll want to check out Jones’ delightful retelling in Presumption and Partiality. Her writing style (the vocabulary choices, the cadence, the feel, etc.) reminded me of Grace Livingston Hill and in fact I enjoyed seeing that author’s name crop up on a few occasions in this story (including my favorite Hill novel, Kerry). There are some ‘preachy’ moments but in this case they work for the setting and for the characters. And while it lags a bit in the middle, this is definitely a book to add to your collection of retellings, as well as to enjoy it as its own delightful story!
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 4 stars / Creative and unique retelling!
Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories. Her goal is to write Bible-Centered, Christian Literature; books rich with interesting characters, intricate story lines, and always with the Word of God at the center. Besides writing, she is an avid reader, songwriter, pianist, singer, artist, and history student. She also loves children. She lives with her family in the Southwestern desert.
To celebrate her tour, Rebekah is giving away a grand prize of the complete set of the Vintage Jane Austen Collection!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
This giveaway is hosted by Celebrate Lit, not RimSP. See the giveaway widget for terms.
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What about you? Which Jane Austen book is your favorite?