Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Pemberley Ranch" Review

"Pemberley Ranch"
by Jack Caldwell

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: Dec 1, 2010

Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Bennet family has just moved from Ohio to the town of Rosings, Texas, set on creating a fresh start. But their daughter Beth still prefers the familiarity of Ohio to the plains of Texas-that is, until she encounters Will Darcy, the reclusive owner of Pemberley Ranch. Will and Beth are instantly smitten, but pride, prejudice, and a gang of villains determined to take over Rosings threaten to keep them apart. This fresh idea in the world of Jane Austen retellings brings together the world of Pride and Prejudice with the struggles of the antebellum South.

My review:

I was so excited to read a western retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" and let me say this book delivers! The author retains everything we love about the original, while still making the story different enough that you have to keep reading! He stays true to the characters and themes, but it's not a scene-for-scene rehash of the original, he mixes it up a lot.

I love reading about American history in historical novels and I feel like it's pretty rare to find an historical book set in America.  It was great to see such a personal side to the Civil War and it's aftermath. Also, it fit the story so well for Beth to be prejudiced against Darcy at first because he's from the South and she's from the North. 

Darcy and Beth are fantastic lead characters, I especially have a soft stop for Darcy. Sure, he makes some silly mistakes in wooing Beth, but you couldn't ask for a more upstanding hero. His heart is always in the right place, and he is always willing to stand up for his high moral standard. Beth is a confident and no-nonsense lady, she's used to taking care of herself and her family on their farm. She doesn't need to be pampered like some of the ladies in the story. Beth is definitely not a swooner but I wouldn't blame her for swooning when Darcy calls her "Miss Beth," with his Texas charm.

Beth's family is funny and loving, and all of the secondary characters are vividly drawn. A few other Austen characters pop into the story briefly, even Knightley! 

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5

Bottom Line: I loved this book, both as a "Pride and Prejudice" spin off and on it's own. I'd love to see the author write more Austen tie-ins. 

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