1917. Captain Fitzwilliam Darcy has won the heart of Elizabeth Bennet. Finally.
Then she disappears.
When tragedy strikes on the battlefield, Darcy is sent to Donwell Abbey to recover. There he is coaxed back to life by an extraordinary nurse determined to teach him how to live and love again. A woman whose uncanny similarities to Elizabeth breach his walls and invite his admiration.
His heart tells him to hold on to Elizabeth. His head tells him to take a chance with his nurse.
But Donwell Abbey holds a secret that just might change everything.
Escape to an era of English country homes, lavish dinner parties, and a world transformed by war but sustained by love in this sequel to Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes.
•Appearances by John Thornton of North & South, Colonel Brandon, and descendents of George & Emma Knightley.
•Can be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.
•Clean Romance; mild language; some war violence.
Our lovely couple, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy have come to an understanding, and they are happy in
their decision! So Elizabeth goes back to England and one thing leads to another, and she decides that Mr. Darcy would be better off without her.
She loves him enough to want a better life for him. so off she goes!
Mr. Darcy is in the midst of war, and soon learns that Elizabeth is missing.
He is heartbroken, but as he is in the middle of a war, he can do little about it.
This is the hard part! I loved this book so much!
The twisty emotions, the excellent writing, the wonderful plot and it’s extensions to some of my favorite characters.
Everything about this book screams that I will read it again along with the first book,
Darcy’s Hope: Beauty From Ashes (my review).
The 2 books are probably the most inventive I’ve read with a JAFF or Pride & Prejudice “what if” theme.
The difference is the time setting. These books are set during WW1.
I absolutely recommend reading the first book. It’s not strictly necessary, but you will enjoy it so much more!
Others have used this quote from the book and I will use it as well, it describes so much in just a few words!
“Before the war, any death or tragedy was talked about in the village for weeks.
But there, the incidents came in such rapid succession we had no time to sort them out or assuage our grief.
So we set the thoughts and images aside, closed them in a box for another time, and readied ourselves for our next encounter.
But another time never came. So the boxes just kept stacking up until they were so high that no man dare open one for fear of
what he might find inside. But when something triggers a memory, the box flies open and out comes whatever horrors are buried inside.
It’s too much. The sorrow and grief are more than the human heart can bear.”
This is the depth of the writing in this book. To actually write a review that does justice to the story, is just impossible.
I was an emotional wreck during some parts of the book! Elated one chapter and a couple later so low that I felt like
I was living the story.
This talent that Ginger Monette has is tremendous!
There was not one misstep, not one word uttered in either of the books that didn’t feel completely natural and period perfect.
It was like being there. Living it. Felling it!
By the end I was a mess and so happy! LOL
I truly hope you read both books, I would recommend these to any JAFF fan, or anyone who loves a good historical.
Or just a good twisty romance!
If I could give it 6 stars I would!
Please check it out for yourself! You will not regret it!
Elizabeth bolted from the chair. “Fitzwilliam, wake up!” She nudged his arm in the darkened room, but he continued writhing with great heaving breaths. “Captain!” She squeezed his hand, but he jerked it away, whimpering.
On impulse, she slid her arms under his shoulders and held him close. Instantly his thrashing ceased.
Gently rocking him, she massaged the unbandaged hair at his temple and whispered against his cheek, “It’s all right. Just a dream.”
He breathing slowed, but his body remained tense. “My ribs…hurt.”
She lowered him back to the pillow, then tapped on his hand, Try to relax. All right now?
“Mmm…. Water. And morphine.”
She squeezed his hand and poured water into the hospital cup. She touched the pill to his lips then offered the porcelain straw.
He swallowed. “Who are you?”
Elizabeth froze and closed her eyes. How she longed to tell him the truth, then brush a kiss on his lips, assure him of her love, and promise to stay by his side.
She took his hand and spelled, Miss Thomas.
“Thank you…Miss Thomas.”
Elizabeth sank into the wing chair and released a heavy breath. Could she bear to be so close and yet so far away from Fitzwilliam?
Q: What inspired you to write Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey?
Matthew Crawley of Downton Abbey! The war dealt him a tragic blow that played an important role in the storyline of season 2. I was really fascinated at how wealthy English families offered their lavish homes as hospital facilities during WW1. I began to imagine Darcy with his own wartime tragedy, then mixed it with the characters and homes from Austen’s works and, voila, Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey was born.
Q: You’ve described Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey as a ‘stand-alone sequel’ to Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes. That sounds like a contradiction of terms. Can you explain?
A: Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey picks up moments after Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes ends. For those who have read Beauty from Ashes, the story will seem like a seamless continuation. For those that have not read book 1, book 2 can be enjoyed on its own, as the backstory from book 1 is woven into the content of Donwell Abbey as part of the dialog and internal thoughts of the characters. Some readers may experience minor confusions at the beginning, but soon the story moves into its own realm, making the specific backstory details somewhat inconsequential.
Q: Why did you break it up into two novels instead of just making it one continuous novel?
A: I chose to make them two novels because both books are complete stories on their own—with a definite beginning, middle, and end. And although Donwell Abbey can be read by itself, consensus among reviewers is that the overall experience is more enjoyable if Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes is read first.
Q: That brings up another question. Some readers may be hesitant to read Beauty from Ashes due to its wartime setting. What would you say to those who “don’t do war stories?”
I would say it isn’t a war story : ) The Darcy’s Hope saga is very much a romance in a wartime setting. Just like Downton Abbey, the war provides a dramatic backdrop against which the romance unfolds. The war’s fast pace and ever-changing situations meant that nothing was predictable, and things could (and did) change in an instant. Readers have commented that they couldn’t predict where either story was going! And much of that is due to the volatile nature of the setting.
Q: Darcy’s Hope ~ Beauty from Ashes is primarily set on the Western Front of WW1. Can we expect the same in Donwell Abbey?
A: Although Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey opens with Darcy still in Belgium, the setting quickly shifts to England. Most of the story takes place at Hartfield and Donwell Abbey, homes from Austen’s novel Emma. And yes, the two homes are still in the Knightley family, and the descendants of George and Emma Knightley are important characters in this story.
Q: Did you face any particular challenges in writing Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey?
A: Yes! Writing to accommodate the tragedy that befalls Darcy was an enormous challenge. But if I tell you what the injury is and the accommodation it required, I would be giving away a major spoiler!
Q: If this tragedy plays an important role but you can’t elaborate on it, what can you tell us about the story?
A: It is a tender romance between Lizzy and Darcy with their romance central to the plot. In lieu of specific plot details, I’ve made up a list of ‘notables’ to whet readers’ appetites and pique their curiosity. Here goes:
-Breakfast at Pemberley
-Horseback ride for two
-Secrets at a cemetery
-Dancing on the terrace
-Excursion on a rowboat
-Drama at a pond
-A visit to a prison
-A meddling matriarch
-A newspaper report
-A factory smokestack
-A music box
-A garnet bracelet
-Romance in the air for several couples
-Hands touching. (Yeah, lots of hands touching hands)
Q: I see your notable characters list contains several characters familiar to fans of Austen and Gaskell. Can you elaborate?
A: Elizabeth Gaskell’s John Thornton “saves the day,” and readers will catch a glimpse of his romance with Margaret Hale. And Austen’s Colonel Brandon and Marianne Dashwood from Sense & Sensibility make an appearance.
Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey also contains some original but “familiar” characters as well. Sarah Knightley is a spirited descendant of George and Emma Knightley, a couple from Austen’s novel Emma. Dr. Matthew Scott is a creation of my imagination who debuted in my first book Tree of Life. I liked him so much, I’ve given him a similar role in Donwell Abbey. And finally, readers are treated to matriarch extraordinaire, Mrs. Knightley, who is on par with none other than Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Q: Why only glimpses of these budding romances?
Because I have plans for all of the couples to have their own Great War Romance! If you would like to be kept abreast of the progress of these dear couples, please join my low-volume newsletter family at GingerMonette.com. (And if you like period drama, Downton Abbey, and Jane Austen, join me on Facebook at Ginger Monette Author.)
Q: Anything else you would like readers to know about Darcy’s Hope at Donwell Abbey?
A: Yes, three things:
•Rest assured the story focuses on Lizzy and Darcy and has a happily-ever-after ending.
•It’s a clean romance that will keep you guessing until the very end! But do know that tense moments can occasionally prompt mild language, and there are some references to war that might be too intense for sensitive readers.
•And finally, in April of 2017, America will commemorate its 100th anniversary of participation in WW1. If you’re like me, you learned almost nothing about this period of history in school. The Darcy’s Hope saga is an entertaining way to get a glimpse of what our great-grandfathers experienced, and will give readers some context as they will undoubtedly be hearing a lot about this pivotal event that ushered the world into the modern era as we know it.
I hope readers will give the Darcy’s Hope saga a try! I don’t think they’ll be disappointed : )
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog!
Winner of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 “Picture This” grand prize, Ginger lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.
Follow along with the tour!
Feb 1 The Ardent Reader
Feb 2 From Pemberley to Milton
Feb 3 My Jane Austen Book Club
Feb 4 My Love for Jane Austen
Feb 5 vvb32reads
Feb 6 Just Jane 1813
Feb 7 Savvy Verse & Wit
Feb 8 Austenesque Reviews
Feb 10 Babblings of a Bookworm
Feb 11 Obsessed with Mr. Darcy
Feb 13 Half Agony, Half Hope
Feb 14 My Vices and Weaknesses
Feb 15 Diary of an Eccentric
Feb 16 Every Savage Can Dance