Hello Hello Dear Readers, I’m baaaaack! Summer is over, and September is onto us again! That means not only is the Jane Austen Festival in Bath starting fairly soon, but that means a return to school, university or work after the holidays. And my good friend, Janet Taylor has once again pointed me in the direction of a new author; called Catherine Lodge, who has written “Fair stands the wind” so I read it. Read on!
Fair Stands the Wind
By Catherine Lodge
We all know that in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr Darcy is proud and prejudiced because he is a wealthy landowner who believes himself above his company; and that Elizabeth Bennet can afford to be proud and prejudiced because she believes she has the freedom to make choices for herself. But what if Mr Darcy is the second son, sent to sea at a young age? What if Elizabeth is trapped by circumstances, with an ill father on one side and an understandably desperate mother on the other? Meet Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy, a successful frigate captain, with ample prize-money and a sister he needs to provide for while he is at sea. Meet Elizabeth Bennet, who needs a husband and is trying to resign herself to Mr Collins, the worst “least worst alternative” in the history of literature.
So Catherine was so kind as to add a taste for your enjoyment of THE FIRST Chapter! This is her first book tour, which I’m pleased to host or be part of. Enjoy!
The Assembly Rooms at Meryton were hot, crowded, and consumed with curiosity. The local oracles had prophesied the attendance of their new neighbour and, unlike the oracles of old, had gone on to estimate his fortune, his height, and his single state in uncommon, if implausible, detail. All that remained was to view the gentleman and his party, the oracles having fallen into dispute as to their number and relationship to the main attraction of the evening. The five Bennet sisters had been kept close to their mother all evening, for that worthy lady was intent upon throwing some one or other of them into the path of the newly arrived Mr Bingley as soon as possible and before Lady Lucas got to him or, worse, Mrs Goulding and her bony niece. Elizabeth Bennet did her best to stifle a sigh. Her mother’s careful arrangements—“Jane, you must sit on my right hand, Lydia, you on my left since you are the most handsome of my girls”—had left her isolated between her sister Mary and a pillar. Since the former had brought one of her interminable conduct books, she was scarcely more company than the latter. Elizabeth exchanged looks of commiseration with her best friend, Charlotte Lucas, also seated firmly beside her own mama, and did her best to possess her soul in patience.
The five Bennet sisters had been kept close to their mother all evening, for that worthy lady was intent upon throwing some one or other of them into the path of the newly arrived Mr Bingley as soon as possible and before Lady Lucas got to him or, worse, Mrs Goulding and her bony niece. Elizabeth Bennet did her best to stifle a sigh. Her mother’s careful arrangements—“Jane, you must sit on my right hand, Lydia, you on my left since you are the most handsome of my girls”—had left her isolated between her sister Mary and a pillar. Since the former had brought one of her interminable conduct books, she was scarcely more company than the latter. Elizabeth exchanged looks of commiseration with her best friend, Charlotte Lucas, also seated firmly beside her own mama, and did her best to possess her soul in patience.
On the stage, the serpent player gave a preparatory honk, and the band swept raggedly into the third set of the evening. The dancers bowed, curtsied, and began the figure, Mr Wright leading off with his left hand as usual and being put firmly back in place by his partner. Elizabeth counted the people present, counted the ladies, subtracted the one from the other to produce the number of gentlemen—which gave the number of women who would be without partners—counted the number of feathers in Lady Lucas’s headdress, divided the number of feathers by the difference between the number of ladies and the number of gentlemen, and was faintly cheered when the result turned out to be a prime number. She sighed and was just about to commence an attempt to calculate the floor space of the ballroom, based on an estimated average length and breadth of the floorboards when the main event of the evening finally occurred.
The doors opened, and the party from Netherfield swept in, led by an undeniably handsome, if somewhat overdressed, lady. The object of everyone’s curiosity was a smiling, young gentleman of perhaps four-and-twenty, regrettably shorter than the first entrant, whom he introduced as his sister. Despite that, he was by no means ill looking and appeared good-humoured, which—as Mrs Phillips remarked in a rather too penetrating whisper—was better than mere longshanks any day of the week.
This remark gained an immediate and unfortunate point when the rest of the party entered: another lady and gentleman, who ignored each other so pointedly they had to be married and a final gentleman. The latter was a very tall, dark-haired young man, somewhat older than Mr Bingley, well dressed in a dark blue coat of austere cut, who had chosen to disfigure a particularly fine countenance with a pair of green-lensed spectacles. The buzz of speculation, which had begun to die down, rose again to renewed heights, a noise that did not go unnoticed by its object who became—although it scarcely seemed possible—even more upright and impassive. Mr Bingley was making introductions, and an immediate and rather ill-bred silence fell as everyone strained to hear. “… my sister Hurst and her husband and my particular friend Captain Darcy of the Royal Navy.”
Review of “Fair stands the wind” by Sophia Thorsen,
When I first cracked the cover of “Fair Stands the Wind”, I was surprised and downright shocked at the story line I had to follow, first a more depressed Bennet household because of Mr. Bennet’s serious illness to his lungs and secondly the fact that Fitzwilliam Darcy is a Captain, a naval captain, and not the owner of Pemberley.
Yes, Captain Darcy, you did read that right guys, William is a Captain of the Navy! I think I got the shock and surprise of my life, but also made my mind wonder if the plot would lead towards a sort of Persuasion’ish plot or a Darcy-Elizabeth-hate-love relationship throughout the book. But in the ending, I had to get into the head of an Elizabeth who is ready to follow duty over her heart because of her father’s illness, but also a Darcy who is having ill effects on his eyes and get dizzy after an injury. What made my heart ache was because Darcy isn’t arrogant or proud, but sensible and still unsure of how worthy he is of affections, especially Elizabeth’s.
Another point where I was shocked beyond measure was the fact that Georgiana and a second Mrs Darcy arrived at Netherfield Park, two women who are repressed to a degree where they hardly dare to open their mouths. But I was delighted to see, that under Darcy’s stern naval discipline Darcy still has the heart of a tender and loving brother, and a dutiful son too.
The third point was that it was an elder Darcy son who owns Pemberley, and who has let drink and whoring be the order of the day, and worse Wickham as the priest of Kympton parish, the worst case scenario to many JAFF readers, and authors. To imagine what wickedness that went on at Pemberley made my blood boil on Darcy’s behalf! And truly feel how awful it must have been for Georgiana and Mrs Darcy.
What surprised me more was the fact how quickly Elizabeth and Darcy developed tender feelings for each other, the fact was that they bonded over their worry and care of Georgiana. I must admit to celebrating rather loudly when Darcy proposed, a rather sensible proposal to Elizabeth, just before Collins has the chance after the Netherfield Ball. I applauded rather loudly at that, and what a drama that ensues after that. From sensible marriage to a deep and lasting love affair. Just as most… okay all JAFF readers prefer, myself included. Yes, I know, guilty as charged, I’m a hopeless romantic!
The whole book surprised me with its tone; it went from depressed to ecstatic at the ending, though the ending did leave me with a question… though the ending was extremely perfect.
Definitely a read I will recommend. Four hearts out of five I would personally give the book. Catherine definitely has a way to let the reader get caught in the book and make them stick until the very end. I hope to see more of Catherine’s writings in the years to come.
Aaaaaaaaand… here is the giveaway opportunity;
Terms and Conditions:
Readers may enter the drawing by tweeting once a day and daily commenting on a blog post or review that has a giveaway attached for the tour. Entrants must provide the name of the blog where they commented. Remember: Tweet and comment once daily to earn extra entries.
A winner may win ONLY 1 (ONE) eBook of Fair Stands the Wind by Catherine Lodge. Each winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter and the giveaway is international.
Though if you are desperate to get your hands on the book ASAP, then here are the buy Links:
Fair Stands the Wind (Amazon US paperback version) https://www.amazon.com/dp/168131018X/sr=8-1/qid=1504289942/ref=olp_product_details?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1504289942&sr=8-1
Catherine Lodge is a semi-retired lawyer and lecturer, living in Yorkshire–a part of the UK even more beautiful than Derbyshire. One of five daughters, although by birth order regrettably the Jane, she found 19th Century literature early in her teens and never looked back–even if that meant her school essays kept coming back with “archaic!” written in the margin next to some of her favourite words. She still thinks that “bruited” is a much nicer word than “rumoured.”
After years of drafting leases and pleadings, she finally started to write for fun in her forties and has never stopped since. Much of this will never see the light of day, having been fed to the digital equivalent of a roaring bonfire, but “Fair Stands the Wind” is the first book she thinks worthy of public attention. She spends her day fixing computer problems for friends and family, singing in her local choir, and avoiding the ironing
Contact Info: (Link is embedded in the name)
Well, dear readers, that’s it for this time around! Please do leave a comment on the blog, and follow along since it will be my JA festival blog entry up next! Jep, I’m off for Bath on the 15th of September!!! A whole weekend of Regency fun, dancing and friendships!
See you when I see you guys! *winks cheekily*