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Good Start to Serialized P&P JAFF Variation
I am a big fan of Jane Austen fanfiction, so I’m always on the lookout for new authors and new stories based around Pride and Prejudice. I have not read this author before, but I am glad to have found her.
The book itself right now is serialized, and this is the first part. It is actually still just about around decent novella length as it is. This book starts at the point where Jane is in London after the fiasco with Bingley. In a variation from canon, Elizabeth goes to London to help cheer Jane up and set things aright. Of course, while she’s there, she meets Mr. Darcy. As often happens, they meet at a bookstore in Mayfair. Miss Darcy is there as well.
There were several things that I found interesting in this variation. I liked how we saw some of Bingley’s melancholy as he was trying to get over Jane (before all parties meet again). Darcy actually gets involved with the Mary King affair, trying to keep her from harm. Georgiana, Jane, and Elizabeth become friends. There are some new people in the mix as well. There were a few parts that made me laugh out loud, like when Darcy tried to take Elizabeth’s coat after she’d been caught in a deluge. For this part of the serialization, Darcy is still strongly fighting his attraction to Elizabeth, but he is not doing well with that.
The book did have some issues with grammar, punctuation, and usage. For some reason, too, the author in some places called Georgiana “Giana.” This actually happened quite often. Miss Darcy enters the picture past the 10% mark, so I can’t check to see if this has been fixed in the published edition. (I received an advance reader copy.) Of course, the author might have meant it to be Darcy’s nickname for Georgiana, but that wasn’t made clear. Usually, if she is given a nickname in JAFF, it’s Georgie; I don’t think I’ve ever seen “Giana” as her nickname. There were also definitely issues with certain timelines. For instance, Darcy thinks of meeting Bingley not long after the fiasco where he cuts ties with Wickham (after his father’s death). Just a few Kindle swipes later, Darcy states that he met Bingley at Cambridge, from which Bingley graduated from at 16. ????
Sometimes serials don’t have a proper story arc; they feel like they are just a novel that has been cut into pieces. In this part of the serial, however, the author has created a natural story structure so that, while this part doesn’t tell the whole story of Darcy and Elizabeth, it does have a natural rise and fall that any good piece of fiction should have, the three-act structure that is the bedrock of good storytelling. I do like this part of the serialization, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next. So far, so good.