Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Review: Echoes of Pemberley by Cynthia Ingram Hensley

From the Publisher:
A tragic plane crash eight years earlier has left Catherine Elizabeth Darcy orphaned and in the custody of her overly protective brother, Bennet. Since then, her life at Pemberley Estate - the Darcy's ancestral home in Derbyshire, England - has been sheltered and lacking adventure of any kind. When 16-year-old Catie arrives home for her school holiday, she is expecting another long, boring summer of daydreaming and whiling away warm afternoons reading the romance novels her brother calls "rubbish." What she discovers, however, is a handsome yet insufferable Irishman named Sean Kelly, her summer riding instructor. Coupled with an intriguing and mysterious WWI-era diary, which she finds hidden in the window seat of her bedroom, Catie Darcy's summer soon proves to be anything but boring.

Sixteen year-old Catie Darcy is looking forward to spending her summer riding her bike about her ancestral estate and escaping into the romantic world provided through her novels. However, when she arrives home, Catie quickly learns her brother, Ben, has other plans for her summer, which include riding lessons, rather than reading those “rubbish romance novels.”

Catie soon finds herself amidst a challenging summer. Not only is her brother stressed about an imminent scandal that could reach Pemberley, but Ben also seems to be taking out his frustration on Catie.

Assuming the role of guardian, Ben tends to act more like an overprotective mother hen than a brother. When tensions rise, the arguments that ensue between these siblings mirror those between parents and teenage children. (Reminiscent of my own teenage experience). Even though Catie and Ben might not always see eye to eye, Catie looks up to Ben just as I imagine Georgiana looked up to Darcy.

Adding to Catie’s trying summer is her new riding instructor, Sean Kelly. Catie’s relationship with the dark-haired dreamboat is equally as complicated as her relationship with her brother. Mister Kelly is the first person to question Catie’s haughty behavior to her face and Catie is taken aback. The lessons he teaches Catie, while also challenging her manners, along with their welcoming banter once they have called a truce, were entertaining.

One of Sean’s greatest challenges, besides uncovering the reason behind Catie’s fear of galloping, is to keep his feelings for her under tight regulation. He knows they come from different worlds, and he was hired to teach Catie, not fall in love.

When Catie stumbles upon the diary of Mary Elizabeth Darcy, she thinks this real-life romance is much better than any novel she has read.  A diary filled with passion, lovers, and secrets is exactly what a hopeless romantic like Catie needs to escape from her insufferable, yet handsome, instructor, her fear of riding, and fear of disappointing her brother. With its secrets, could this diary be just the thing to save the Darcys and Pemberley?

While the beginning moved a bit slow, the further I read, the more my emotions continued to become engaged, to the point I could really feel and connect with what the characters were going through.The imagery was also so descriptive that I could easily picture and smell the scenery as well as characters’ reactions.

Echoes of Pemberley is a wonderful coming of age story, not only great for young adults, but grown ups as well. A perfect read for mothers and daughters like!

Connect with Cynthia Ingram Hensley
Read It Now!
Kindle | Nook


  1. That sounds like a great book! And the cover is just fabulous!

  2. Ooh, Mister Kelly sounds interesting ;) and the diary sounds very intriguing! Another one to put on my ever growing TBR list!

  3. Thanks Katrin & Candy! I enjoyed discovering the things the diary revealed, little by little! It really added to the book.

  4. This would be a great mother-daughter read! I hope I am one day blessed with a daughter who shares my penchant for Austenesque literature! Glad to hear your praises on this one, Jakki!

    1. Thanks, Meredith! I hope my daughter loves Austenesque literature too. She already loves books and knows who Mr. Darcy is, so I think we are heading in the right direction! ;)

  5. Mr. Kelly IS interesting - and cute and honorable. He was one of my fave parts of Cynthia's book :)

    1. I agree, Karen!! I love Mr. Kelly! I am half tempted to go back and reread some of my favorite scenes with him! :)

  6. Thanks Everyone! I wish I could find the words to express the beautiful, wonderful people I've met on this journey. Will finally get to meet many of you in Decatur!!

    Kaewink, when I first saw the cover, I couldn't believe my eyes. It was as if Meryton's graphic designer looked inside my brain and saw what I saw!

    And Candy, I do hope Sean Kelly earns that Ooh when you read Echoes of Pemberley ;-)


  7. I'd like to read it simply because of the WWI-era diary! I'm intrigued.

  8. Yeah! Another DBF Author!!!