Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Book Review: A Woman of Influence

I admit to being a bit weary when I agreed to read Woman of Influence. Why? Because it is the ninth in a series, and I haven’t read the previous either. The author, Rebecca Ann Collins, has taken Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and expanded it, but not just a continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth’s love, but generations. Her series begins with The Pemberley Chronicles.


Woman of Influence is about the daughter of Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas.

Blurb:

Contrary, opinionated, and headstrong, she’s no typical Victorian lady…

Becky Collins has always been determined not to submit to the pressures of Victorian society. But her marriage doesn’t bring her the opportunities she’d hoped for, and her outspokenness does not find favor with the gentrified ladies of Pemberley.

As the unintended consequences of her errors in judgment engulf her, Becky begins to understand what’s really important in life. But has she learned her lessons too late?

Product ISBN: 9781402224515

Price: $14.99

Publication Date: June 2010

My Review:

I was extremely pleased to read Woman of Influence. The book was fantastic, characters dynamic and realistic. They fairly jumped off the page. I could hear their voices as they talked, see them move. Ms. Collins has a voice most like Jane Austen, actually one of the few authors I’ve found who does. I really enjoyed reading about Rebecca “Becky” Collins (which I chuckled at since the author and main character share the same name).

There was one snag, that events in previous books were only mentioned and not explained, which if I’d read the first eight novels, wouldn’t have been an issue, and by no means do I think the author should have explained them. This was my fault, I shouldn’t have read the first eight. So I will be going back to read them now! Despite the snag of not being privy to previous events, the book carried through. It was an easy, fast-paced read, and I wasn’t too distracted. In fact, the only thing that went through my mind when those plots were hinted at was, “Oh, I need to read that book!”

Ms. Collins, the author, has created quite an intriguing and colorful world with her expansion of the most beloved Pride and Prejudice.

If you are a lover of Jane Austen’s work, then I would recommend reading Rebecca Ann Collins books. She is a modern gem in the Jane Austen fanfic world.

About the Author (from the author’s site):

A lifelong fan of Jane Austen, Rebecca Ann Collins first read "Pride and Prejudice" when she was twelve years old. She fell in love with the characters and devoted many hours of reading to discovering more about the author and the period in which she lived.

With the benefit of an excellent English teacher and a well stocked library, she gathered a wealth of information and studied all the works of her favourite author. Later, she went on to specialize in the history and Literaure of the 19th century- a most dynamic and interesting era, which saw amazing social and political changes in Europe. It was also a time in which many women writers were published- Jane Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot- writing fascinating tales which became classics of 19th century English literature.

The study and research Ms Collins undertook became the basis of her books about the Pemberley families in which she sought to explore the lives of the characters she " borrowed" from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice" - as they continued on their various ways, joined by several new characters of the next generation. The project has been her chief obsession since 1996 and has given her what she calls "the happiest decade of my life". The popularity of the Pemberley Chronicles Series and the many messages she receives from readers who love the characters and their stories is her chief reward.

With her love of reading, music art and gardening Rebecca Ann claims that she is quite comfortable with the values and world view of Jane Austen and writes easily and credibly within the period. Although she enjoys the convenience of modern life, she feels great empathy with the characters she portrays and the ideas and causes that inspire them.

Visit Ms. Collins at www.rebeccaanncollins.com

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