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BOOK REVIEW: Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson


Georgiana Darcy is perpetually shy and uncertain about the future. Her brother Fitzwilliam is about to be married to Elizabeth Bennet, changing the living situation for all. And Georgiana is about to make some major changes of her own, beginning with her debut in London and her presentation in court.

Georgiana is beset with worries: What if Elizabeth doesn’t like Georgiana? What if she (Georgiana) makes a major faux pas, something her companion Mrs. Annesley is trying to help her overcome? What if she doesn’t “take” with the ton during her debut?

Still viewed as a child by her guardians Fitzwilliam and Colonel Fitzwilliam, Georgiana wants to be a self-possessed and refined young lady, able to hold her own with the ton. She knows she’ll be plagued by fortune hunters but longs to find true love. Now, if only she can get through it without spilling her tea or setting off an overprotective big brother.

C. Allyn Pierson’s debut novel is a delightful coming-of-age story and romance set within the world of Pemberly and Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister is a delightful entry into a very crowded marketplace. The proliferation of novels featuring Jane Austen’s characters leaves readers with spoiled for choice and the popularity of these novels means that some less-than-stellar examples end up on the shelf.

Happily for readers, Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister is a delightful and well-written novel that happens to focus on Georgiana, a minor character from Pride and Prejudice. Pierson’s dialogue flows effortlessly and her characterization and plot stand their own merits, even without ties to the Austen canon. This was a truly delightful read, consumed in one sitting and I was loath for it to end.

Pierson is obviously well versed in the history and customs of Regency England, as well as the literary voice of Jane Austen. Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister has an authentic voice and leaves the reader with the warm feeling of having returned to favourite place and time, with no bitter aftertaste. This reader looks forward to Pierson’s future trips to Pemberley, and Regency England.

ISBN10: 1402240384
ISBN13: 978-1402240384

Trade Paperback
448 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: September 1, 2010
Author’s Website:

A new blog has launched, devoted to Austen fiction writers. Austen Authors can be found here.

BOOK REVIEW: The Ingenious Edgar Jones by Elizabeth Garner


edgarThe birth of Edgar Jones, sometime in the 1850s, was marked by a wonderous meteor shower. His father, a night porter at Oxford University, is sure this is a sign of a great destiny for his son but Edgar, a restless child, is more at home exploring the natural world and how things work than making sense of the words in his father’s books. When Edgar turns his back on his father’s dreams by apprenticing himself to a blacksmith, a silent détente
occurs in the family home.

Soon Edgar’s ingenuity and skill bring him to the attention of a “bone man,” a professor of anatomy at Oxford with grandiose ideas for a natural history museum. Edgar’s work on the new museum restores his father’s hopes for the future but threatens to tear the family apart as scientific progress wars with traditional beliefs.

The Ingenious Edgar Jones by Elizabeth Garner is a classic coming-of-age story. Mankind’s understanding of the world is rapidly changing and for many, the shifting sands of reality cause them to view scientific discoveries as heresy and view “progress” with horror. Garner’s choice of Victorian Oxford as setting allows her to use Edgar and William to mirror the conflicts waging within Oxford’s walls and, in return, show how monumental such a schism can be between parent and child.

Despite featuring prominently in the narrative of The Ingenious Edgar Jones, Edgar’s mother is a shadowy figure. Her disquiet and worries about Edgar permeates the text, yet as a character is barely developed leading readers to be frustrated at the amount of space devoted to her voice. Her role seems to be that of Cassandra, prophecizing the heinous outcome from a split between father and son and left helpless to watch the preordained outcome.

The construction of the natural history museum in The Ingenious Edgar Jones is based on Oxford University Museum, the first natural history museum in Britain which played a part in the great divide between science and religion.

ISBN10: 030740899X
ISBN13: 9780307408990

323 Pages
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: May 29, 2009

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