Pemberley Remembered

Pemberley Remembered

by Mary Lyndon Simonsen
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Pemberley Remembered by Mary Lyndon Simonsen

While visiting Montclair, an 18th Century Georgian country house located in the Peak District of Derbyshire, England, Maggie Joyce, a 22-year old American living in postwar London, is told that the former residents of the mansion, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, were the inspiration for the characters of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's masterpiece, Pride & Prejudice, and that Montclair is the novel's Pemberley. During her visit to the nearby Village of Crofton, Maggie meets Beth and Jack Crowell, both of whom have ties to the Lacey family and Montclair, and who know if the legends associated with the house and Fitzwilliam Darcy are true. While exploring the truth behind the romance of Darcy and Elizabeth, Maggie is drawn into the love story of the Crowells, who married in the midst of the horrors of World War I, as well as her own love story with Rob McAllister, an American who flew on bombing missions over Germany during World War II, and who has returned to England for his own deeply personal reasons. Pemberley Remembered is a story of lovers who bridge class differences in Regency England, but it is also speaks to love and loss in postwar England.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780979893308
Publisher: Mary Simonsen
Publication date: 11/28/2007
Pages: 444
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.99(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

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Pemberley Remembered 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a Jane Austen fan (you know who you are, and your number is legion),'Pemberely Remembered' is a fascinating treasure hunt through history. For others like me, whose knowledge of Jane Austen stops with Emma Thompson and Alicia Silverstone, this is still a heck of a read. Using 'Pride and Prejudice' as a road map and tour guide, author Mary Simonsen deftly weaves us through victory gardens, post-Blitz London, the beautiful Kentish countrside, and two world wars. Mary Simonsen's meticulously-researched historical novel paints a very realistic portrait of love amid the rubble of war. The book's protagonist, Maggie Joyce, not only uncovers secrets about Austen's perhaps not-so-fictional characters, she finds her own love story in post-WWII England that will enchant, and ultimately test her. Readers may want to stay alert in the early pages of the book when characters, both major and minor, come tumbling out at a brisk pace. But stick with it, because like caviar and single-malt scotch, 'Pemberely Remembered' is well worth the effort once you get the hang of it.
Vovo More than 1 year ago
I cannot agree more with the anonymous reviewer who wrote "In Search of Jane Austen". This delightful tale is fabulously panoramic. First, the story obviously delves into the delicious world of Pride and Prejudice-Regency England. Then, with the words of all of the characters, we the readers get to see the First World War, the Second World War, life among the elite, life among the poor, England, America, Germany, India, and Italy. Never have I ever read a story so cosmopolitan yet down to earth. I have to say that the ending was my favorite part, but I shall not go into detail there. That is all for you to find out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is more than just an Austen sequel. It is the story of Rob McAllister, who navigated a B-17 bomber during the war, and Maggie Joyce, a young American working in London. Together they investigate whether or not Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet were based on real characters. Historical nuggets in every chapter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
You pick up Pemberley Remembered at first because you loved Pride and Prejudice and you want to enjoy those characters again. But once you begin to read, you will find yourself drawn into a multi-layered story taking place in three different historical periods. Maggie Joyce, an American living in England after the Second World War, visits a mansion rumored to be the inspiration for Pemberley, the home of Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen¿s famous classic novel. Once there, Maggie learns that the former inhabitants of the mansion, William Lacey and his wife Elizabeth Garrison Lacey, are considered by locals to be the true inspiration for Austen¿s Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Meaning only to while away an afternoon, Maggie talks to Jack Crowell, one of the local experts on the story, and finds herself drawn into the complex tale of family and love surrounding the old house. In Pemberley Remembered, characters and plotlines are revealed to the reader as a series of interconnected anecdotes and reminiscences. For me, it called to mind the way you learn about your own family history. Ancestors, recent and not-so-recent, are known to you through the stories told by your relatives. This is the way Ms. Simonsen reveals her characters¿ lives to the reader, one remembrance at a time. Originally, of course, the story begins with the Garrisons and the Laceys, who may or may not be the Bennets and the Darcys. But the reader is quickly caught up in the tale of Jack Crowell and his wife Beth, whose own love story spans the First World War. In addition, Maggie¿s romance with the former navigator of an American bomber runs through the novel like a ribbon. Their developing relationship¿and the ways in which their different backgrounds and his experiences in the war may affect their future¿provides the underpinning of the novel, while the Elizabeth-Darcy and Beth-Jack romances mirror each other in surprising ways. This is a story of love, of the devastation wrought by two different wars, and of social status and family ties that complicate the lives of three different couples in three different time periods. A thoroughly enjoyable and complex historical romance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a fan of ¿Pride and Prejudice,¿ a lover of stories filled with romance, and a recent devotee of novels set during or immediately after World War Two, Mary Simonsen¿s ¿Pemberley Remembered¿ provided the prefect mix of all three reading experiences. Maggie Joyce, a 22-year-old American working for the Army Exchange Service in Germany during WWII, is relocated to London after the war. On a suggestion from a friend, Maggie, an avid fan of ¿Pride & Prejudice,¿ sets out to discover if the rumors surrounding Elizabeth Garrison and William Lacey are true¿namely, that they were the basis of Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy in Jane Austen¿s novel. After visiting Montclair, the model for Pemberley, Maggie¿s curiosity is peaked and she seeks out Beth and Jack Crowell, who have ties to the Lacey family. Maggie and the Crowells instantly take to each other and become friends¿forming a bond which grows as Beth and Jack reveal more and more information regarding the truth behind Darcy¿s and Elizabeth¿s true identities. While researching the Darcys, Maggie meets Rob McAllister, an American bomber navigator who is still struggling with his own war scars, both physical and emotional, and begins to fall in love with him. As her search for answers progresses, Maggie discovers many surprising truths about not only the characters in ¿Pride and Prejudice,¿ but also the Crowells, and ultimately herself¿all leading up to a very, very satisfying ending that leaves the door open for a possible sequel. And yes, I *absolutely* want to know what happens in Maggie¿s, Rob¿s, and the Crowell¿s lives next! :' I loved the way Ms. Simonsen interwove the stories of Maggie¿s growing love for Rob, Beth and Jack Crowell¿s own love story some thirty years before, and, of course, Darcy and Elizabeth¿s grand romance. Sometimes in novels where there are several plotlines, the author tends to favor one over the other, but that is definitely not the case with ¿Pemberley Remembered.¿ Each story is equally fascinating and satisfying. Additionally, the author has definitely done her research, and the details she provides of life in post-war London are fascinating and add depth to the story¿making the characters¿ experiences come to life for the reader. Probably my most favorite parts of the novel were Elizabeth¿s diary entries and Mr. Darcy¿s letters to his cousin Anne DeBourgh, who proves to be a much wiser and more endearing character than we had originally thought. The backstories provided for the other characters in P&P were equally memorable and gripping. Ms. Simonsen made their stories seem so real that at one time, I found myself saying aloud, ¿Oh, so that¿s what happened to Lydia,¿ only to remember a few moments later that Lydia never actually existed. I also especially loved reading Mary Bennett¿s letters to Charlotte Lucas and hearing of Maggie¿s and Beth¿s own speculations as to Mary¿s true feelings for a certain someone. But you will have to read the novel to find out just exactly who I¿m referring to. ' ¿Pemberley Remembered¿ is definitely a novel I will recommend to *all* my friends. I absolutely loved it. Don¿t miss it! :D
Laurel_Ann More than 1 year ago
Simonsen gives us a likeable heroine in Maggie Joyce, a 22 year old American working for the Army Exchange Service in post World War II London. A devoted fan of Pride and Prejudice, Maggie is intrigued by her roommate's teasing remarks that Austen's characters of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet where based on real people who lived at an estate near her family's village in Derbyshire. They set off for a week-end to explore Montclair, the palatial estate once occupied by William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, the reputed Darcy doppelgangers. The estate seems to fit the description of Pemberley, the Darcy manor in Pride and Prejudice, but curious Maggie is not convinced and seeks out the assistance of locals Beth and Jack Crowell who have very close ties to the Lacey family. As the Crowell's share their own research and documents with her, Maggie begins her own journey into the real-life parallel story of the Lacey and Garrison families and their uncanny resemblance to Austen's characters in Pride and Prejudice.

The story line, characters and subject are intriguing; however it is only the execution that could make this multi-layered story believable, entertaining and cohesive. While the complicated plot line would defy even a veteran author, no one can call Simonsen a coward for taking on this incredible challenge. Unfortunately, it was more than her inexperience could pull off. In the first two to three chapters, I kept waiting for the build up and hook to the real-life Pemberley mystery to throw the heroine into the investigation, but it never arrived. Without it, I felt disconnected to the story. Moreover, there was no sleuthing to discover and meet the Crowell's, the local residents who openly reveal their years of research on the Pride and Prejudice connections to a total stranger. When they hand over 18th-century family letters for her to take home like they were an extra piece of tea cake, the historian and genealogist in me just cringed.

Some of my favorite novels in my library are war time romantic dramas and I can heartily recommend A Town Like Alice by Neville Shute or Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher. I was not expecting this caliber of story from a first time self published author, so I read Pemberley Remembered with on open heart. It is an interesting debut novel that would have benefitted from an experienced editor. Even though the story goes off on many tangents, it is obvious from the multiple historical references and antecedents that Simonsen did her research on Georgian and World War era English history as she includes stories about events, people and places to support her characters with aplomb. The most enjoyable aspect of her narrative was the personal stories behind the two modern couples. The back story of the doppelgangers of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison was amusing, but too close to the original Pride and Prejudice plot line and characters to be respectful of Jane Austen, who in my view did not have to borrow anything from anyone to create her masterpieces.

Laurel Ann, Austenprose