Welcome fellow readers! Today I have another wonderful Jane Austen fan fiction to review for you. First off let us have a moment with this cover, shall we? I love the subtle touch of their hands. It really captures the spirit of this book.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the disastrous first meeting of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly provided each with a ready-made set of prejudices to apply to the other. But when a horrific rural accident reveals Darcy to be a man of active, intelligent benevolence, and Elizabeth, in the absence of her appalling family, to be an extraordinary lady of courage and decision—then surely the course of true love will run smoothly.
But alas, the lovers’ meeting is not the end but a new beginning. For though they have found each other, a seeming multitude of complications—a catastrophic flood, the last wishes of a dying friend, Lydia’s misfortunes, a dastardly Member of Parliament, and even their own fears— contrives to come between them and their ‘journey’s end.’
There was so much I loved about this book. It has subtle changes that really made a huge impact overall on the story. I love the slow burn of Darcy and Elizabeth’s paths crossing at different (random) times.
The biggest reason I adored this book was that it is mainly from Darcy’s perspective and we (the reader) really get to know him so much better. I love his self-awareness and self-realization as he meets and loses… and meets again, the love of his life. Catherine does a fantastic job of humanizing him -flaws and all.
This had me think… Would we have fallen for Darcy as hard as we do if he was perfect from the beginning? I think not. It’s our glimpse into seeing him desire to be a better man that makes him so desirable.
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. Oh! And i finally got the Mrs. Bennet I’ve always wanted to read. I would highly recommend if you enjoy a slow burn Pride and Prejudice that is mainly from the perspective of Mr Darcy.
‘Journeys end in lovers’ meetings, every wise man’s son doth know.’ — William Shakespeare
Bonus Scene from
Darcy spends some time in Lovers’ Meeting visiting an old friend, Dicky Meopham, and later is of assistance to Dicky’s sister. Here is an exclusive scene, not in the book, set at Ramsgate months before the beginning of Lovers’ Meeting.
At the Seaside
Matilda Hollernshaw watches her daughter, running bare-footed on the sand, and breathes in the salt air. The rain had cleared just after nuncheon and they had both been glad to get out of the hotel and down to the seashore. The season was almost over and Ramsgate was emptying of visitors, but there was still warmth in the sun–if not in the sea–and she is so grateful to her brother Dicky for arranging this trip. The seaside for Hetty and then a visit to Matilda’s godmother, Lady Faversham, who has been inviting her to stay these many months. She tries not to think about the fact that she is sure her husband only agreed because it would enable him to close the house in Chester while he is away in Parliament and put the servants on board wages.
No–Dicky; she was going to think about Dicky’s kindness. He’d always been her favourite brother, although given her only other choice was Arthur that probably counted as damning with faint praise. She wonders if she ought to use that expression, was it too close to swearing? Once again she regrets her own lack of education. Father had never thought it worth spending money on a mere girl, as if he’d had the money to spend in the first place. Somehow, she is going to have to contrive better for little Henrietta. She wonders whether perhaps Dicky…. But no, he has already been most generous, especially when he is so ill. She doesn’t know what is wrong with him, but given that no one will explain it to her, she suspects it must be something disreputable.
Henrietta comes running back to her with a shell. Matilda has no idea what kind of fish or animal it came from but together they agree to ask the porter at the hotel. He is, or rather was, a sailor and has come back from the war without one of his legs. He looks alarming but is most obliging and, if he is Ramsgate born, no doubt he will know.
The child wants to go back in the sea but she has been without her stockings long enough. The sea air has done wonders for the peaky little mite who had come down; was it only a fortnight ago they arrived? But there is no point in taking any further risks. They sit on the sea wall and rub the sand off her legs. Matilda had always wanted to paddle in the sea as a child, and now she never will. She shakes herself mentally. There is no point in repining. The sampler she made when she was nine still hangs in her bedroom: What cannot be cured – must be endured.
The clouds are gathering again and the tide is coming in. They will go back to the hotel and take tea. Then, if the rain holds off, they will visit the harbour. Hetty does so love the fishing boats.
Then, as they climb the stairs to the big front doors, who should they see but Dicky’s friend …what was his name? Darlington? Dacre? No, Darcy, that was it. With a girl. His sister perhaps. She’s obviously a lady, if very young one. Perhaps she too has been ill. She has been crying and is trying to hide it. And Mr Darcy looks…. Matilda cannot make out his expression. Angry perhaps—she has become adept at recognising anger in men—although not, she is sure, with the child at his side. Or is he merely a reticent man unable to express his concern, for he is certainly worried.
Matilda thinks for a second about offering her help but quickly decides against it. It would be most improper; he is a single man and she is here alone. Although it would have been nice to talk to someone about Dicky. She hears Mr Darcy requesting the services of a lady’s maid and wonders where his sister’s maid is. Surely, they won’t have set out without one. However, the hotel can oblige and the very thought of offering her own maid, Sally Earnshaw, makes her shudder. Miss Darcy, if that is who it is, can do better than the Hollernshaw’s former ‘tween maid. Matilda is trying to teach the girl her duties but she had been chosen by Ephraim, who considered only how little he could pay her. That’s how he chose all the servants. It is no wonder that half the servants will be gone when Parliament rises and Ephraim goes home.
Ahead of her she sees the young lady suddenly pale and sway, clutching at her brother’s arm. He looks down and then simply lifts her up in his arms and, with the hotel manager showing the way, carries her upstairs and towards the best rooms at the front of the hotel.
Matilda Hollernshaw sighs wistfully and turns away to enter the tearoom.
Catherine Lodge is a retired English lawyer and lecturer, currently living in North Yorkshire. She spends her days reading, admits to a slightly shame-faced addiction to Minecraft, and volunteers to explain IT to the senior citizens at her local library (despite the fact that some of them are younger than she is). She is also prepared to send a fifty-pound/dollar/euro Amazon gift card to the first person who can prove that Colonel Fitzwilliam’s first name is Richard. So there.
You can reach her at email@example.com and she would love to hear from you, especially if you don’t get the Ancient Briton joke in Chapter 2. Lovers’ Meeting, once known as A New Beginning to online readers at A Happy Assembly and fanfiction.net, is Catherine’s second novel. She published Fair Stands the Wind in 2017.
You can purchase a copy of Lover’s Meeting here. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win! One winner will be chosen from here stop on the blog tour so make sure you visit each one and comment on every post. Good luck and thank you so much for stopping by! -Melissa