Review: Imperative: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice by Linda Wells
Author: Linda Wells
ebook, 791 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Summary (from Amazon):
Fitzwilliam Darcy is a man with a great many secrets to keep, one involves his sister, and the other involves his heart. The problem is, he cannot just keep the secrets. They demand attention, and action, and in hopeless times, a good man does not always think things through, even when he is desperately trying to do the right thing for the two most important women in his life. In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy arrived in Ramsgate before his sister could leave with George Wickham. Things are not so easily remedied in this two-volume variation. This story contains scenes of a mature nature between a happily married couple.
Imperative by Linda Wells in the first volume in a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Brace yourself. This volume is over 700 pages. If big books intimidate you, don't worry. The author does an excellent job in making the pages fly by. It honestly did not feel like I was reading a 791 page book.
In this story, Well shakes things up a bit, by changing some major elements in the story. One of the hardest things in reading a variation of Pride and Prejudice is that I come to it with preconceived notions of the characters. Mr. Bennett has always been a favorite character of mine. In Imperative, the author made him selfish and foolish. It took me a great many pages to let go of my previous notions, and embrace this new Mr. Bennett. Once I did that, I enjoyed the story so much more.
There are a great many differences in this book when compared to the original P&P. For starters, the original characters such as Mr. Bennett, take on new characteristics. They are the same, yet different. Mr. Darcy is the same prideful man, but at times he's a bit arrogant and others he has a much softer side. I like that the author gave the characters more dimensions than the original story provided. Wells also introduces us to some new characters that definitely add much to this story.
The story is also very different than the original P&P. In this book, Darcy did not arrive in time to save his sister from Wickham.. In order to save Georgina's reputation, Darcy compromises Elizabeth (with a chaste kiss), and they are forced to marry. Darcy and Elizabeth must learn not only to live together, but to trust each other. Elizabeth is thrown into the role of Mrs. Darcy, and has to learn to navigate it among all the social sharks of society. As always, I love reading the journey of Darcy and Elizabeth falling in love, and the bumpy road getting there. There are some steamy romance scenes in this book as well. However this is just the beginning. Imperative is a book full of intrigues. There are several story lines going on at the same time. This may sound confusing, but it's not. It makes for an interesting story.
Overall, if you're a Jane Austen junkie like me, you'll like this book. It's a well-written new twist on Pride and Prejudice. Now I'm off to dive into the second volume of Imperative. Can't wait to see where this one leads!