Blog Tour,  Book Reviews,  Jane Austen Fan Fiction

The Unread Letters

Hello fellow readers! As I am writing this blog review, I am gazing longingly outdoors wanting to go on a Lizzie Bennet long walk. Alas, the skies are gloomy and a walk is not meant to be. So instead, dear friends, I will write this letter to you about a book I just read.

The title of the book is The Unread Letter by Kara Pleasants. I must admit at first I found this to be quite a peculiar name. Which letter was unread? Who was it written by? I couldn’t imagine a Pride & Prejudice world without each and every letter. My friends, I knew I had to read this book so that I could alert you to know if you should read it too.

I shall set the scene…

For every one of his smiles, she thought of his letter and blushed with shame of what she had done. Oh, that she might have just looked at it!

After rejecting Mr Darcy’s proposal at Hunsford, Elizabeth Bennet is surprised when he finds her walking the next day and hands her a letter. Without any expectation of pleasure—but with the strongest curiosity—she begins to open the letter, fully intending to read it.

It really was an accident—at first. Her shaking hands broke the seal and somehow tore the pages in two. Oh, what pleasure she then felt in tearing the pages again and again! A glorious release of anger and indignation directed towards the man who had insulted her and courted her in the same breath. She did feel remorse, but what could she do? The letter was destroyed, and Elizabeth expected that she would never see Mr Darcy again. 

Home at Longbourn, she discovers that her youngest sisters are consumed by a scheme to go to Brighton—and Elizabeth finds herself drawn to the idea of a visit to the sea. But the surprises of Brighton are many, beginning with a chance meeting on the beach and ending in unexpected romance all around.

Well, I don’t have to tell you twice that this plot left me with nothing short of heart palpitations. Would they every find each other again? I found the writing of this short little story to be delightful. It starts out with a huge plot twist that left me wondering how the how the author was going to reach the HEA that we have come to expect and love. Have no fear! We still get there, just on a completely different path.

Elizabeth seems to take center stage in this story and it was a joy to see her character grow and change. There are some pretty significant strays from canon, but I found them to be enjoyable. If I had one negative to say, which you know dear friends is not a path I like to stray down, it is that there were a few gaps in the plot that I would have like to have had filled in. Perhaps, I was just melancholy that this was a novella and wished there was more to read. So in closing, I think you too would enjoy reading The Unread Letter.

Meet The Author

Hello all! Thank you, Melissa, for reviewing my novella The Unread Letter. I’m so excited for you all to journey with me to the Brighton seaside in this Pride and Prejudice variation. Originally, I wrote the first draft of this story in 2007 to answer this question: what if Elizabeth had never read Darcy’s letter? A few years earlier, I had visited England and got to travel to Brighton–and that’s where I take Elizabeth and the Bennets in this story. I hope you will enjoy this escape to the sea!

Kara Pleasants lives in a lovely hamlet called Darlington in Maryland, where she and her husband are restoring an 18th century farm in Susquehanna State Park. They have two beautiful and vivacious daughters, Nora and Lina. A Maryland native, Kara spent a great deal of her childhood travelling with her family, including six years living in Siberia, as well as five years in Montana, before finally making her way back home to attend the University of Maryland. 

Kara is an English teacher and Department Chair at West Nottingham Academy. She has taught at the secondary and collegiate level at several different schools in Maryland. Her hobbies include: making scones for the farmer’s market, writing poetry, watching fantasy shows, making quilts, directing choir, and dreaming about writing an epic three-party fantasy series for her daughters.

Thank you for stopping by to read this post! A huge thank you as always to Quills & Quartos for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. If you would like to read some history about letters, here is an article on letter writing during the Regency era.

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.


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