The new installment of the Pemberley Chronicles follows the story of Cassandra Gardiner, daughter of Pride & Prejudice's Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy. When Cassandra's brother, Julian, is faced with personal tragedy, he abdicates his role as Pemberley's heir to his young son, Anthony, retreating into his work and leaving it up to Cassandra to raise Anthony for the station. Meanwhile, Cassandra has a family of her own, including her daughter Lizzie, enamored of a newly arrived American. Add a mysterious death in the village, and it's a sure bet that things at Pemberley will be lively. Collins is clearly well practiced at this series and has a superb grasp of character (particularly the ones she's contributed to Austen's world). This time, however, she's bitten off slightly more than a reader can chew: three generations of several interconnected families will challenge even adept historical readers. Those expecting Austen-caliber prose will be disappointed, but this should please as a Victorian family story with familiar characters. Longtime readers will find more of the same; new ones would be better off with the original. (Nov.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mr. Darcy's Daughter (Pemberley Chronicles #5)by Rebecca Collins
An extraordinary woman in a turbulent era
"Jane Austen herself would have been very well pleased."
Beverley Wong, author of Pride & Prejudice Prudence
The bestselling Pemberley Chronicles series continues the saga of the Darcys and Bingleys from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and introduces imaginative new characters./p>/p>/b>/p>/i>
An extraordinary woman in a turbulent era
"Jane Austen herself would have been very well pleased."
Beverley Wong, author of Pride & Prejudice Prudence
The bestselling Pemberley Chronicles series continues the saga of the Darcys and Bingleys from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice and introduces imaginative new characters.
Charming, beautiful, and intelligent, Cassandra Darcy is undeniably her father's daughter. When her brother Julian falters in his responsibilities as heir to Pemberley, Darcy and Elizabeth turn in desperation to their daughter, and Cassy is thrust into the role of surrogate heir.
It will take all of Cassy's inner strength and ingenuity to raise Julian's son, attend to her own happy marriage and children, and keep Pemberley's tenants satisfied. When she is faced with a series of crises—her daughter appears to be involved in an unsuitable affair and her son is unwittingly drawn into a murder investigation—Cassy must act before circumstances spin out of control.
Set against a vivid backdrop of dramatic political and social changes sweeping England during the Victorian era, Mr. Darcy's Daughter is the remarkable story of a strong-minded woman in a man's world, struggling to balance the competing demands of love and duty as a daughter, wife, mother, and sister.
"With her crisp style, lively dialogue, and a seasoning of gentle humour, Ms. Collins's latest contribution should keep her readers well satisfied."
"After reading Mr. Darcy's Daughter there is no doubt in my mind that author Rebecca Ann Collins is an ardent admirer of Jane Austen, proficient at historical research and has a very creative imagination. " - Austeprose
"This series is hands down the best Pride and Prejudice sequel I have found. " - My Reading Spot
Read an Excerpt
Excerpt from Mr. Darcy's Daughter: Part One
THE INCLEMENT WEATHER INTO which the Gardiners drove as they left the boundaries of Pemberley did nothing to improve Cassandra's apprehensive mood.
Travelling South through Leicestershire, they had hoped to reach Northhampton before nightfall, but the driving rain rendered that prospect more hazardous and less likely with every mile.
Forced to break journey at the small town of Market Harborough, they took rooms at the local hostelry, only to find Rebecca Tate and her maid Nelly ensconced next door. They had met at the top of the stairs, going down to dinner, and soon discovered that Julian Darcy had also written to his mother-in-law, though not, it appeared, in the same desperate terms that he had used in his letter to Richard Gardiner.
Rebecca apologised to Cassy for her non-attendance at their meeting on the previous afternoon, confessing that Julian's note had driven all else from her mind, leaving her time only to make hurried preparations for their journey to Cambridge.
"With Mr Tate already in London, I decided that Nelly and I would go to Cambridge on our own," she declared, adding, "I felt I could not wait one more day, when there may have been something I could do to help. Oh, my poor Josie, I cannot imagine what has afflicted her. Why Cassy, you must remember what a bright, happy girl she used to be when she lived at home in Matlock. It must be the house-I am sure of it. It's cold and badly ventilated, quite unhealthy, especially in Winter. I said when they moved in, it was most unsuitable," she declared.
Both Richard and Cassy held their peace, not wishing to alarm her by revealing what they already knew. It was becoming clear to them that Julian had not been as candid with his mother-in-law as he had been with them. Cassy knew her husband would reveal nothing, nor would she.
At dinner, Richard enquired politely as to how Mrs Tate and her maid had travelled to Market Harborough from Matlock. It transpired that they were using one of the Tates' smaller vehicles. Mr Tate, they were told, had taken the carriage to London. Cassy was immensely relieved. It dispensed with the obligation for Richard to offer them seats in his carriage for the rest of the journey, which he would surely have done had they been travelling by coach. As it happened, they were well accommodated and, before retiring to their respective rooms, they agreed to leave for Cambridge after an early breakfast.
When they set out on the following morning, Cassy confessed to her husband, "I doubt if I could have concealed for much longer what we know of Josie's condition, if Becky Tate had been travelling with us to Cambridge."
He agreed. "It would certainly have been difficult to pretend that we knew no more than she does," he said.
The streets were wet as they drove into Cambridge.
The air was cold, and a sharp wind whipped the branches of the trees in the park and penetrated the carriage. Cassandra drew her wrap close around her, and yet she was cold and uncomfortable. The rain, though not as hard as before, was falling steadily as they approached the modest house that Julian and Josie rented in a quiet close not far from his college. It was not an unattractive dwelling, from an architectural point of view, but the garden appeared neglected, with sprouting bulbs and weeds competing for attention, and the house, with its blinds closed, seemed dark and unwelcoming. Once indoors, the aspect improved a little. Mrs Tate was at pains to explain how she had, on a previous visit, attempted to brighten up the parlour with new drapes and a few items of modern furniture, banishing an old horsehair sofa and two worn armchairs to the attic.
Julian met them in the hall, into which they were admitted by an anxious-looking young maidservant. While Mrs Tate insisted upon going upstairs to her daughter immediately, Richard and Cassy were ushered into the large but rather untidy parlour to the right of the hallway, where tea was to be taken.
Despite the best efforts of Mrs Tate, there was no disguising the general drabness of the room. Dark wood frames and striped wallpaper did little to help, while piles of books and journals lying on tables and strewn on the floor beside the chairs added clutter to a cheerless environment.
Only the fire burned brightly, keeping them warm, while the rain continued outside. How on earth, Cassy wondered, was anyone to recover from depression in surroundings such as these? Writing later to her mother, she said:
Mama, everything is in such a state of disarray; it would drive me insane to live here. I cannot believe that Josie has been so ill as not to notice the disorderly condition of the house and the neglected garden. As for my poor brother, how anyone who has spent most of his life at Pemberley could possibly endure such wretched surroundings, not from poverty or privation, but by choice, I cannot imagine. Yet Julian does not appear to notice. His study, if it could be called that, so untidy and disorganised does it seem, is his chief retreat, when he is not with Josie or at work in his beloved laboratory.
Meet the Author
Rebecca Ann Collins is the pen name of a lady in Australia who loves Jane Austen's work so much that she has written a series of sequels to Pride and Prejudice. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, this series has been extremely successful in Australia, with over 80,000 books sold.
Rebecca Ann Collins is the pen name of a lady in Australia who loves Jane Austen's work so much that she has written a series of 10 sequels to Pride and Prejudice, following Austen's beloved characters, introducing new ones and bringing the characters into a new historical era.
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The tales of the descendants of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet continue in this 5th installment by Rebecca Ann Collins. Here we follow the story of Cassandra Gardiner, Elizabeth's daughter. She has seen the devastative impact of the death of her sister-in-law on her younger brother, Julian, and assumes the responsibility of not only the rearing of his son but also aiding her father in the management of Pemberley. This book added a bit of a mystery which added one of Lydia's sons to the mix. The story is worthy of Austen's characters but still lacks Austen's style
I loved how this book centered around Cassy and her family. I believe that Richard would be every lonely women's dream of an ideal husband. The events that befall the Gardiners and Darcys will make you smile as well as make you cry.
In Mr. Darcy's Daughter, book five in The Pemberley Chronicles, author Rebecca Ann Collins' focuses on Cassandra, the beautiful and intelligent daughter of Pride and Prejudice's Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. It is now 1864 and Cassy has been happily married to Dr. Richard Gardiner for twenty seven years with a large family of her own. When her troubled younger brother Julian renounces his inheritance and fails in his responsibilities to his own family, Cassy must step forward and assist in the running of Pemberley and raise his son Anthony as the heir to the Pemberley estate. Bound by honor and duty, Cassy is indeed her father's daughter, and accepts the responsibilities, balancing her role as daughter, wife, mother, sister and aunt.
In the mean time Mr. Carr, a single man in possession of a good fortune enters the neighborhood looking to purchase a country estate, and sure enough he is immediately considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters! Cassandra soon discovers that this young American comes with a bit of a past in his family's mysterious connection to the Pemberley estate prior to their immigration to Ireland. Cassy's young daughter Lizzie is quickly drawn to him even though his grandparents came from the wrong end of the social ladder. Also included in this Victorian drama are an array of family travails and life events challenging Cassy and the whole Pemberley clan including mental illness, death, deception, theft and murder pressing the plot along.
After reading Mr. Darcy's Daughter there is no doubt in my mind that author Rebecca Ann Collins is an ardent admirer of Jane Austen, proficient at historical research and has a very creative imagination. Her most loyal fans deeply entrenched in the genealogy and historical minutia of the series will be well pleased to be at home again in her Pemberley universe being served ¿new wine in an old bottle. New readers challenged with the multi-layered connections of three generations of families will find themselves frequently referring to the character list provided by the author in the back of the book as to which Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Gardiner, et all that she is referring to and how they are connected.
Aficionadas of Austen's style will see more similarities to Victorian era authors such as Dickens, Gaskell or Trollope in her narrative approach, depth of historical references and sentimental dialogues than to the original inspiration. Even though Ms. Collins does take liberties with Austen's usual limited scope of "three or four families in a country village," she is true to formula in opening with a conflict and concluding with a happy marriage. After nearly sixty years since the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice, we can hardly expect more than the essence of Austen to remain and understand the direction that the author has chosen. What has evolved from the happy day that "Mrs. Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters," in Pride and Prejudice is a circa 1860's multilayered family saga that will interest classic historical fiction readers and satisfy Collins' devoted fans. Jane Austen enthusiasts will find comfort in familiar characters respectful rendered, but miss the wit and humor of the original.
Laurel Ann, Austenprose
Book five in the amazing Pemberley Chronicles by Rebecca Collins is out! Mr. Darcy's Daughter follows the life of Cassy Darcy, daughter of Lizzy and Darcy. Cassy is the classic "exception which proves the rule." Good at nearly everything she does, Cassy is a devoted mother, wife, daughter, and sister. Time and again she is called upon to meet the extraordinary needs of her family. The standard to which she holds for herself far exceeds any that she would impose on her loved ones. As a result, she puts herself last (like so many busy women I know!).
Through Cassy and close knit circle of friends, we come to understand the limitations faced by women of this era. Within the family they were called upon to meet incredible challenges: raise children, run households, run businesses, arbitrate disagreements, prioritize, triage, and basically "do it all." Sound familiar? But there are significant differences between Cassy Darcy and the 21st Century "do it all" woman. Cassy was expected to do all of this within the rigid rules of Victorian society: do not travel unescorted, do not discuss business with men, do not display your intelligence in mixed company, and do not usurp the authority of the men. In other words: run the estate, but understand that your brother will inherit it!
Add to this pressure cooker Cassy's innate inability to say no, and we can easily sympathize with her occasional bouts of frustration. In truth, I was more frustrated than she was and often wanted to scream at the characters: "Enough already. Deal with your own problems!"
With the demands of motherhood, a strong desire to please her parents, and a deep empathy for her troubled younger brother, it is easy to imagine Cassy crumbling. And yet, she thrives. She succeeds and excels as a result of the very same factors which cause her such difficulty -- her wonderful, loving, and realistically flawed family. Her husband Richard Gardner loves her beyond measure (and obviously finds her still quite desirable (even though she¿s well over 40), and his love and support give her great strength. Her own five children adore her, and this only adds to her strength (even if her daughter does fall in love with an American, while Cassy is busy running Pemberley!). Her parents could not be prouder of her. The weight of Cassy's responsibilities is more than counterbalanced by the buoyancy of the love of so many in her life.
Not exactly the classic, textbook romantic heroine, Cassy Darcy faces life with a unique combination of strength, sensitivity, and yes, romanticism. In so doing, she remains true to the smart, strong, and complex women that Jane Austen (and more recently Rebecca Collins) have given us over and over again.
I found this to be a delightful opportunity to continue the story of the Darcys of Pemberley! It is well written and totally "Jane Austen" plausible! Though the book is not deep, it is reflective of the society and day to day lives of the period in which is it set. The characters are mostly charming with a dose of realistic faults! Certainly, a book club would have fun debating..."to sequel Jane or not to sequel"!