In her debut novel, Linda Gonschior gives readers a conflict filled and emotionally driven modern Pride and Prejudice adaptation.
Reflections begins when Elizabeth Bennet tours Pemberley with her friends, rather than the Gardiners, months after Darcy’s rejected proposal. After enjoying a most pleasurable day together, Elizabeth realizes Darcy has changed and just how much of her heart he possesses. But what’s a good story without conflict and a good Wickham/Lydia scandal? Thus begins the misunderstandings that drive the plot.
I always enjoy a story where the main characters face acute internal struggles. Gonschior does not disappoint here. Before either address what is really in their hearts, Darcy and Elizabeth each believe their connection to the Wickham/Lydia debacle is what has driven the other away. As opportunity and time pass, Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves suffering from self-imposed heartache. Elizabeth moves to Manchester under the guise of attending college while her true reasons are her attempts to run away from the pain and to keep her skeletons securely in her closet. Darcy’s solution is to fist drink, then bury himself in work.
The internal pain our star-crossed lovers suffer during the three years they are apart is tangible. Each believes staying away and shutting out others, especially Charles and Jane Bingley, will make the pain and memories fade. I couldn’t help feeling torment and empathizing with Darcy and Elizabeth as even these years later they remain haunted by the delightfully torturous memories of their time together at Pemberley.
I was pleased with Gonschior’s minor character development. Here, Charles Bingley is perceptive and insightful. When it comes to Darcy and Elizabeth, Charles knows there is something there that both are too stubborn and prideful to face. Readers also get to experience Jane’s unwavering support and concern for her most beloved sister. Summoning their inner Emmas, Charles and Jane work to bring the couple back together; however, can Elizabeth and Darcy overcome their myriad of misunderstandings, learn to open up and follow their hearts?
The only trouble I had with Reflections was in the falling action. Once Darcy and Elizabeth finally resolve their conflicts, the book dragged. I found myself skimming the last sixteen or so pages as I felt it could have been concluded much sooner with the same effect.
Overall, Reflections is a unique modern that can draw you in with all the emotions, inner struggles and misinterpretations of a great drama or soap opera.
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Review copy provided by publisher, Meryton Press