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Fearful Symmetry

Longbourn is on fire!

Hello fellow reader. Welcome to a review of Fearful Symmetry. This book does not treat the poor Bennet’s kindly. As a family, they endure so much grief. Be prepared to read a Pride & Prejudice variation that vividly walks you through both physical and emotional loss, rips your heart apart, and then puts it back together.

I have to say, that I truly enjoyed this Darcy. He really captures the true spirit of Austen’s Mr Darcy. Along the way, there are some fun twists on Austen’s quotes which brought a smile to my face. The characters are lively and quite enjoyable.

This is a great variation! I truly enjoyed it. At some parts, I would have willed the plot to move a bit quicker (towards the final third of the book) with a little more of a payoff at the end. With that being said, it didn’t lessen my joy in reading Fearful Symmetry. I know we are all different in the level of slow-burn we enjoy.

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Darcy had never known such a woman, one who could rush into an inferno and emerge as bold and brilliant as burnished brass, bright as any mirror.

Fitzwilliam Darcy had planned to leave Netherfield Park and all thoughts of the enchanting Miss Elizabeth Bennet behind him—until one night when he saw smoke rising from Longbourn and realised she was imperiled. 

Elizabeth Bennet found Mr Darcy arrogant and insufferable right up until he became her hero, pulling her and her sister from the fire that devastated their home, and could have claimed both of their lives. Seeing how he put his own life at risk to pull her from the fire, how could she help but change her opinion of him?

Please receive my offer as I have intended it– a wish to be a comfort and a helper in a difficult time.”

Thrown together again in the refuge offered at Netherfield, Darcy and Elizabeth’s unexpected bond gains strength. But disapproval, debts, and doubts all arise when the costs in time and expense involved in rebuilding Longbourn threaten to widen the gulf in standing between Elizabeth and Darcy in the eyes of society. Amidst these perplexities of destruction and decorum, can love’s courage overcome calamity?

Author Bio

Gailie Ruth Caress, author of Fearful Symmetry, never dreamed of writing a debut novel in her own pleasure-reading genre when she was a no-nonsense, 4.0-chasing English major who won prizes for her academic essays at Hanover College in her home state of Indiana. Forced to readily adapt after a pivotal loss in early adulthood, she became a dabbler in many forms of expression and relationship-building—from opera and ballroom dance to nonprofit education and mentoring. And yet, she committed mid-Pandemic to the challenge of completing the manuscript of the story that kept her up at night, driven by a need to borrow from the courageous vulnerability of her favorite Jane Austen couple in a landscape transformed by disaster.

Her everyday life continues to hold unexpected adventures. Her two small boys and a duo of sassy tabby cats run wild on the Illinois prairie around a parsonage, where they keep her busy alongside rural community and ministry work with her pastor-husband. Learn more about Gailie Ruth at

A Note From The Author

Melissa, I’m so touched and delighted to see your review of my brand-new baby novel, Fearful Symmetry, featured here at Probably at the Library. You and your readers are quite discerning, so I do admit I’m a bit nervous!

When I began writing this novel in 2012, I was overcoming a major life-shift, much like I portray in Elizabeth’s storyline after the fire at Longbourn. When I finished this novel under a publishing contract years later—in 2020—I composed it under the heavy cloud of the Pandemic. I’m pretty sure the writing process saved my sanity at both those pivotal points in time! My hope is that you and any readers can borrow the hope I found in the courage of Elizabeth and Darcy when I wrote their story. I’m honored that you took the care and thought to read it through and give us your insight!

Thank you to Quills & Quartos Publishing for the gifted copy. A heartfelt thank you to Gailie Ruth Caress for stopping by today. I hope you are all able to read her book and see how her love of Austen shines brightly in her writing. All opinions express are my own. Make sure you leave a comment to enter the giveaway!

Melissa has been in love with books since she was a child. As a young girl, in her Holly Hobby decorated room, she would sit and tape scraps of paper to her books so that she could organize them by the Dewey Decimal System. She is a huge advocate for helping children learn to love reading. Along with hosting an online Regency based book club and a book club at her home, she started a book club for kids at her son’s school. These days, Melissa can be found at the library writing a book review or tucked in some quiet corner having a love affair with a newly discovered romance novel.


  • Glynis

    Hero Darcy? Definitely a plus! Especially when he rescues Elizabeth! I’m not reading angst at the moment so the phrase ‘rips your heart apart’ is a little worrying. But hopefully I’ll be up for just sobbing my way through angst soon so I’ve added it to my list. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


      This is a really good Darcy! I would describe it as more emotional than angsty… hopefully, that makes sense. Thank you so much for stopping by to check out the post! Take care, Melissa

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