Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Review: Follies Past: A Prequel to Pride & Prejudice by Melanie Kerr

Source: Received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Petticoat Press
Release Date: January 6, 2014
Number of Pages: 281 (Kindle Edition)


Description from Goodreads:
Follies Past is the result of a 5 year project to recreate the voice of Jane Austen herself by linguist and author Melanie Kerr. The story, characters, and setting are meticulously researched and written to give Jane Austen fans the closest thing to a new novel from her.

The story follows the events surrounding the wicked Mr. Wickham's seduction of the beautiful and innocent 14 year old Georgiana Darcy and breathes new life into characters such as Caroline Bingley, Wickham, and Mr. Darcy himself by following them through their scandalous ordeal starting almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice at Pemberley during Christmastime.

The story opens at a time when Caroline Bingley is convinced of Mr. Darcy’s affection and determined to convert his regard into matrimony as swiftly as possible. Fourteen-year-old Georgiana Darcy has been taken from school, and is about to be sent off to face the rigours of a life in London. Wickham has only begun to plot against his ancient rival, and Mr. Darcy is still a bit open to the world and a little less full of both pride and prejudice.

As the cast turn their faces to the city of London, one gentleman awaits them with all the charm and fascination that a handsome face and merciless ambition can beget. The story follows young Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and to the brink of a perilous elopement, bringing readers all the wit, the drama and the delights of their beloved Pride and Prejudice. Authentic in its use of language, meticulously researched, and faithful to Austen’s classic, it is the book Austen fans have been waiting for!
About the Author

Melanie Kerr studied linguistics, English, and theatre at the University of British Columbia, and law at the University of Alberta. Kerr is a reckless lover of clotted cream, a staunch defender of the semi-colon, and a fierce opponent of unpleasant music. She wooed her current and only husband with false promises of skill at word games and eternally good hair. She lives in Edmonton, where she raises her three young children, sews her own Regency costumes, organizes Regency costume events, blogs on all things old and English, endeavours to take over the world, and occasionally practices law.

Connect with Melanie: Website | Twitter

MY REVIEW

I was extremely excited to read FOLLIES PAST and it definitely didn't disappoint. When it comes to PRIDE & PREJUDICE, I can never get enough. I'm always eager for more re-tellings, or anything that adds to the story itself. In FOLLIES PAST, Melanie Kerr gives readers a more in-depth backstory to P&P...and I have to say, she did a remarkable job!

What I loved most about FOLLIES PAST was the fact that it is immediately obvious that Melanie Kerr loves Austen. This book is like a love letter, or an ode, to all things Austen and P&P. It adds a lot of depth to Caroline, Mr. Darcy, and Georgiana's characters, and it also introduces a few new characters that really help to round out the story. While FOLLIES PAST doesn't actually feature Elizabeth like P&P, it does still feel like something Austen would've written...if Austen were around now and had been pestered...or should I say "encouraged," to write some kind of prequel or sequel to P&P, I think FOLLIES PAST could definitely be that work!

Not only does FOLLIES PAST feel like something Austen would've written, it adds so much to Austen's own characters. We see what happens between Mr. Wickham and Georgiana Darcy in a completely new way, and we even get to see what happened when Caroline Bingley and Mr. Darcy were introduced. We get to see so many more aspects to the backstory that I never even imagined! I also loved that we even get to see more of characters that are almost invisible in P&P, like Lady Catherine's daughter, Anne! And we're introduced to several characters that don't appear in P&P, my favourites were Lord Ashwell, Colonel Fitzwilliam's brother, and Georgiana's school friend, Clare...and trust me, if you love Austen, you'll LOVE their parts in the story! :D

I loved getting to read an in-depth view of what happened before Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth ever met. I definitely still love their story, but it was also a pleasure to peek behind the curtain into the past that Mr. Darcy relates to Elizabeth in his letter. So, since I've been raving about this book during this whole review, it should come as no surprise that I loved every single minute of this story and reveled in getting to read it! I think the only thing that might've made me love it more would have been if we could've seen inside Mr. Darcy's and Mr. Bingley's heads when they meet Jane and Elizabeth for the first time. ;)

Overall, I absolutely ADORED FOLLIES PAST! It was absolutely perfect for PRIDE & PREJUDICE fans, and I believe that Melanie Kerr has PERFECTLY captured all of these characters and she's also given us even more characters to love!! I definitely hope that she writes more Austen-inspired works in the future because I cannot get enough of them! ;D


What do you think?
Do you think you'd enjoy FOLLIES PAST?

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