Blog Book Tour | “Sketching Character” (A #JaneAusten Inspired Novel) by Pamela Lynne A story that delighted me outright as being the perfect companion to my beloved “Pride and Prejudice”!

Posted Friday, 14 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Sketching Character” direct from the author Pamela Lynne in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I am returning to reading Jane Austen this Autumn & Winter:

I have been wanting to read more Jane Austen since I first launched Jorie Loves A Story (August, 2013) whereupon I finally had a blog in order to participate in #AustenInAugust hosted by Roof Beam Reader. However, in the three short years since that particular August, I have found August to be thwarted with woes or other little unexpected surprises (i.e. extreme lightning storms being one of those lovelies) to where I never could quite pull together all the joys I had in yearning to read more Jane Austen! I had a few close calls – where I read a bit more Austen than I had in the past, but as a whole, I remain faithfully curious about what I shall find in Ms Austen’s novels rather than having become a reader whose devoured her titles each in it’s own turn!

As I am going through a bit of a Renaissance this last quarter of 2016, I decided to pre-plan what I wanted to read as Autumn yields to Winter – settling on two authors of Classical Literature (Charlotte Bronté will be read alongside Austen) I have a fever of excitement about reading post haste! I even sorted out which of Austen’s novels I want to begin to read this December & January – whilst owning to the joy of finding a blog tour in October which highlights an after canon writer – Ms Pamela Lynne, of whom, I nearly did not think I’d find a good fit for me to read, as her approach isn’t always one that I think I’d appreciate reading personally.

I nearly passed on this blog tour – nearly missing this lovely to read – until I happily came across the blog Austeneque Reviews, of whom was blessedly open & honest about what you’d find inside Pamela Lynne’s after canons for Jane Austen! This is the review that gave me the most delight in reading – sensing in that moment, I might have found a novel I’d quite cherish for having ‘met’. Reason being, I have the tendency of being a purist when it comes to after canons, sequels & re-tellings; I don’t mind the odd stroke of loveliness if an author takes their own method of entry into a fairy tale or a classical canon, but I’m quite particular about which of those I’m willing to accept as when it comes to Jane Austen or Sherlock Holmes (for example) I happen to love seeing how the baseline of the story can be fleshed out differently but the characters, setting and ambiance of what was originally created kept in pace with the new version. Ergo, for me personally I wouldn’t want to find anything too steamy or overly romantic in an Austen sequel novel! When I read this one review, I felt Ms Lynne had written a sequel that I’d truly love curling up inside and watching where she took Lizzie & Darcy. To me that’s the best revelation to find ahead of reading one of these – a measure of expectation that simply takes you for a wicked sweet reading!

Beginning a renewal of interest on my behalf to not only continue to seek out after canon literature but to focus directly on the Classics I compiled when I first joined The Classics Club – of which I hope by years end 2017 has a lot of “read” notices rather than an absence of activity, such as it has right now! I love the setting of Austen’s novels and the manner in which she treated social commentary; it will be a delight to re-alight inside those selections I made so long ago during #AustenInAugust whilst continuing forward anew and motivated to finish my readings of her collection works. Sometimes I find, an after canon author has a way of re-inspiring me to pick up the books I’ve left untouched for a bit too long,… here I refer to Luccia Gray of whom has inspired me back inside “Jane Eyre”. I find Bronté and Austen walk hand in hand when it comes to my own personal readerly habits.

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Blog Book Tour | “Sketching Character” (A #JaneAusten Inspired Novel) by Pamela Lynne A story that delighted me outright as being the perfect companion to my beloved “Pride and Prejudice”!Sketching Character
Subtitle: A Jane Austen Inspired Novel

What if a tragic event involving a beloved sister shatters Elizabeth Bennet’s confidence in her ability to accurately judge a person’s character? When she leaves Longbourn for Kent, Elizabeth’s heart is full of worry for those she left behind. She carries a secret that would ruin her family if exposed and she must deceive the ones closest to her to conceal the truth.

She unexpectedly encounters Mr. Darcy on her journey and his gentlemanly behavior confuses, yet comforts her. Their daily encounters in the woods surrounding Rosings soothes Elizabeth’s weathered conscience and she soon falls in love. Her doubts, along with the well-placed words of another, threaten to destroy the peace she finds in Darcy’s company and she wonders if she has again failed to correctly sketch his character.

When the truth behind her deception is uncovered, will Darcy shun her as Elizabeth fears, or will his actions prove that he is the very best of men?

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ISBN: 9781515238607

on 29th September, 2015

Pages: 296

Published By: Vanity & Pride Press (@VPPressNovels)

The Jane Austen Inspired Novels of Pamela Lynne:

Dearest Friends by Pamela LynneSketching Character by Pamela LynneFamily Portraits by Pamela Lynne

Book Synopsis of Dearest Friends | Synopsis of Family Portraits

From what I can gather, Family Portraits is directly linked to Dearest Friends whereas Sketching Character is separate of both.

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic & #HFVBTBlogTour
Available Formats: Paperback and E-Book

About Pamela Lynne

Pamela Lynne grew up in the American South, surrounded by Southern Gothic works by Faulkner, O’Connor and the like. These authors helped shape her evolving mind and continue to influence everything she produces as an adult. It was a Regency-era wit from across the Atlantic, however, who seeped into her being.

She often describes her developing years as “Longbourn, The White Trash Version,” and credits Jane Austen for what little sense she brought away from that time. She has met her share of Willoughbys and Wickhams, Bingleys and Tilneys, and writes about them all.

Pamela currently lives among the rolling hills of Tennessee with her husband of more than a decade, three kids, two cats and one very blond dog. She is still a Marianne hoping to grow into Elinor, or Clairee from Steel Magnolias.

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reflections of a Janeite who found austen inside this novel:

You can start to see the foundation of this story from the memories you re-align in your imagination of Pride and Prejudice, as this inspired my own inclination to read the novel myself! Being a newer reader to Austen, I began my readings with Pride as I dearly wanted to know about the fetchingly handsome Mr Darcy and the wit of Lizzie; they each play off each other so very well in the original, when I approach an after canon of the story, I get a bit giddy! How will the characters be treated and how will they act? Such as they were but with a new vein of interest or will their personalities be fleshed out in newer ways of exploring the fuller lens of their lives? Imagine my joy in finding Elizabeth then, just as she might have still been if the chapters of Pride had not lamented themselves the original outcome – yielding instead to this one, where the sisters are a bit distraught for different reasons, each of them cast off on their ownsome.

There is a gentleness in tone and a graceful homage to the original canon as you move through the chapters, as even when certain characters are behaving slightly differently than they first had, you can definitely see Austen smiling through the pages! Ms Lynne has captured her ability to tell a story through this particular lens of heightened awareness of what a character is feeling, thinking and how their individual actions help retract or advance the story as a whole. There is a pensiveness to approaching how to enlighten us to accept this new vein of interest, whilst giving us the pacing and language we have come to love the most about Austen’s collective works. Being this is a variant of Pride, I was most particularly curious to watch for the ‘twists’ and the newer nuances that would root me into this version most directly. I must say, I was happily surprised by what I found, and wicked aware of how much Austen you can gleam from Ms Lynne’s pen of interlude!

My Review of sketching character:

Entering after the Netherfield Ball, we find Elizabeth quite pensively keen on taking a proper walk out of doors, as she wants the fresh air to re-invigorate her mood whilst pondering the thoughts that are starting to encroach on her conscience. Never one to be far from sight or thought of her sisters, they are the ones who grant her the most exhaust of worry. Even now, as she’s about to embark on a regular activity that gives her spirit such joy, she turns inward to contemplate the concerns of her sisters, though gives less attention to the worries of her mother; vexingly still in wont of a match for each of her daughters.

Re-living the angst of Lizzie’s sisterly affection for Jane being slighted by Bingley was hard as once you’ve realised the fuller story of what brought on the distance between the potential couple, you become as vexed as Lizzie for the absurdity of it all! You can well feel and imagine, how protective sisters can become in this particular circumstance and in regards to Lizzie, how much she’d feel willing to go the extra mile to circumvent the injustice and right the wrongs against Jane. Of course, Jane is led more by her head than her heart, willing to let go of things she cannot change in lieu of stressing to despair about what caused an outcome she had not foreseen to occur. In this, Lizzie learnt a bit from Jane on how best to proceed in life when you feel everything is quite unjust or unfair. The sisters are keenly presented how I’d hoped they would still be – as one of my favourites of the original is how intuitive Jane and Lizzie were as sisters as much as they were each others’ sounding board, rock of support and dearest of best friends.

Interestingly, is how Lydia re-stole part of the focus in this variant as originally she was the lovestruck young girl who fell for the first bloke who turnt her eye, but in this one regard, she’s not as bubbly or burst with love’s infatuations; for she is tucked inside her room in the beginning for reasons unknown to Jane or Lizzie. When it’s finally revealled what has happened between her and Wickham, I was nearly surprised something similar hadn’t happened before because Lydia was quite headstrong, impulsive and she did not consider dangers lurking anywhere near her which in this case was sombering because she was taken advantage of by a man she trusted to be a gentleman. Although I don’t think Austen would have explored this, there is merit to what happened to Lydia – as there are those who would rather assault someone than to respect their consent. It’s such a sad reality though for Lydia and I was overjoyed it was Lizzie who had found her, to will out the truth and to be first to respond to her sister’s disclosure.

I was quite thankful the situations behind Darcy’s sister’s ordeal was fleshed out more to include details that were only shadowed at being hinted at in the original. I had oft wondered if Lydia and Georgina shared something in common; as you could imagine that girls of their age could become caught up in the ‘moment’ of attentions first cast upon them whilst hoping they’d make better choices if their safety were suddenly of concern. Seeing Mr Darcy re-explain the events, you could read between his anger and his protective grace how much he was thankful he could intervene before something else could have happened. The irony here is that his protective instincts are an equal match to Elizabeth; the latter of whom was never given the chance to interfere or thwart outright Wickham’s advances due to not being clued into what was happening til it was too late. I liked how the two story-lines were overlapping already, showing two different sides of Wickham’s sinful behaviour and how far a man can fall when he is not cut from honourable cloth.

Mrs Gardiner is a true blue Auntie to the girls – knowing how quickly things can happen and without respite nor reproach, welcomed the opportunity to help Lydia. Once ensconced away from her family home, I felt it was fitting that Lizzie share a confidence with her Aunt, to pour out the concerns of her heart and refresh her mindset a bit, as until this moment of arrival, Elizabeth was carrying the full burden of Lydia’s secrets. The yoke of which had consequences of it’s own, but it was the level of depth towards the deception and the reproachment of her own self’s faltering courage to remain quiet when others could be treated with the same disregard as Lydia that worried her brow more than anything else. You can see the complexity of the choices Lizzie was making but also the discretion she needed to hold fast against if her family could be spared society’s judgement.

Concurrent to Lydia’s situation, we entreat to find Mr Darcy fending off his own personal strife – the expectations of his family is a high standard of obligation, wherein a marriage of means or a life of folly is most encouraged. His vexations are fully apparent when he has to be entertained to the notion that by not marrying he is disowning his worth as a gentleman and the expectations of his family’s lineage – but what no one seems to understand, is how he was raised. His father raised him well, not only to be aware of the world and his extended relations (whose intentions were not honourable) but to be aware of how marriage is not to be taken likely or entered in through haste. His greatest concern was how to continue to navigate his own life, whilst having to deal with the barrage of interference he was regularly treated too. His protection of Georgina remained centred on his choices but his most disillusion came from how his family disregarded Anne and how her own plight was not as important as a match in matrimony. Through this, you get to see the undercurrents of how presumption and contention for ‘appearance’ is far more important to the ton than honour, sincerity or even love.

Seeing Darcy exchange tight conversations with his cousin (Colonial) FitzWilliam reminded me of how I felt there was more to their connection to each other than originally writ. There were times as I was reading Pride, where I sensed Austen could have lengthened out a bit more information; in this, I was most anxious to read what Ms Lynne would reveall, as by most accounts, the two are still close as brothers, even if they argue quite championly! I think that’s the beauty of their connection – not merely cousins, but brothers by default, as they understand each other as much as they etch out a bit of anger for each other, as they each have a different personality. One adheres to tradition and propriety and the other, is not out of reach of the wiles of man, to sow his oats. I think Darcy at times would like his cousin to own to his behaviour and change it outright, but part of him cannot completely disagree with his choices, as for some reason he compares his cousin’s ill choices to his flight of fancy in liking Elizabeth! I think this is the origins of how Darcy had a character disbrute with his heart, where his pride was leaning itself into prejudice towards someone who did not deserve such a harsh judgement cast upon her person.

Most of the complexities of the future for the Bennett family remain intact; Mr Collins is still deplorable yet married to Charlotte; in this regard, her cheek is well received by me, as I oft had wondered how she could be so very resigned to her position with him without even one small measure of selfish expression to light fire to her truer feelings on his behalf. I appreciated seeing a more humbly real Charlotte in this variant, where you gathered the sense, although she made peace with her choice, she did have a few aspersions to speak about her husband and was not the docile bunny who simply followed order of propriety to suit her family’s needs. This lent time to explain how Longbourn would not always be the Bennett’s residence but the Collins’.

Tracking close behind all of the drama of the hour, is how Darcy is still uncertain of his feelings towards Elizabeth; whilst his Aunt would presume that his match in marriage will suffice to extract him from pondering any other conclusions therein. She was such a toad of a woman in the original; always fiercely close-minded and a bit starched on the vice of spoken cruelty; I did not find her any ounce easier to swallow here. Darcy led a complicated life – a man torn between the past and the future, without giving too much consideration for the present, except for that which he must endure due to his sense of duty. Darcy never was one to be selfish in regard to putting himself forward first for once, as he had the tendency to consider all others prior to resolving his own heart and mind. A flaw that nearly cost him plenty in the original and was about to re-destroy his happiness inside this variant as well.

Throughout the underthread of the drama, you watch Lydia slowly resolve her fate and unsuccessfully at times find hidden courage to carry through the burdens of what happened which have altered her current state of health. She’s swept inside a cocoon of family and extended relations, of whom swear their protection and secrecy. She’s blessed in one regard and miserable in another; as how isolating can one become when all is lost? She feels the fullness of what has become blighted against her and the reproachment of her father, I think, is what set the course for her unwellness to take a harder turn for difficulty. The scorn of his remarks were only equally matched by Mr Collins – who was commenting on someone else entirely, but the situation was too close for comfort to be overheard by Elizabeth. The irony is that Elizabeth has to keep a level head when everyone around her knows nothing about Lydia at all, except for a small lie about what ails her and why the sea would rejuvenate her health.

Yet, it was what happened whilst she was tucked away out of sight of society that I felt was as strong as a reason to find Darcy’s aide elicited as the one Austen gave herself. Ms Lynne truly carried the thread of his urgent assistance well into this variant, as like previous alterations, she owned the truth of the matters whilst paying homage to the original. It was such a unique balance and a charming addition to the story, as both the past and the present are interspersed with such a compelling ‘after story’ that benefits each character in turn. Everyone is well presented and even though, certain circumstances are differed from the origins, the changes are plausible and sometimes even well-thought out to be inclusive, as certain actions could have occurred all along. In this, I felt Ms Lynne succeeded the most in presenting an after canon that is one half wholly original and one half wicked brilliant in-tune with the canon!

I honestly cannot state it enough – the manner in which this story was treated by Ms Lynne was a true delight to read! I look forward to re-reading this come Winter, when my readings of Austen’s stories resume, as I fear, I had to read it a bit quicker than I would have preferred now. What truly captured me the most is how Ms Lynne was able to re-attach us directly into what we loved most about Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, whilst endearing us to the Gardiners and giving us a pause of reflection on behalf of Lydia. I always felt Lydia was the one sister who was slighted by Austen herself – she was under-written in some ways, to only highlight her impulsive nature rather than what was truly motivating her heart in regards to Wickham. In this round of her story, we can clearly see how young she was and how her perception of feeling close to Wickham differed greatly from how her attentions were interpreted by him! This was an interesting variant as you were able to dip closer to the emotions and the motivations behind everyone you thought you knew so well whilst being treated to new layers of insight into what made them act or behave in the ways they did. You get to step further into their minds whilst smirking a bit at how they carry themselves – because there is so much to love about this novel! I can see myself placing it next to my copies of Pride with warm affection, as it’s exactly the kind of ‘new’ story I’d had hoped to find being written by today’s Austen sequel authors!

On the after canon writings of pamela lynne:

Ms Lynne has a brilliant entry into the world of Lizzie and Darcy – she alights at the end of the ball and takes you directly into the thoughts and minds of the two sisters I have such a fondness for reading more about, as Jane and Lizzie took my heart initially whilst I read Pride. They have such a strong connection to each other, and compliment each other so very well, as sometimes their differences in temperament, personality and countenance is what grants the story such a fullness of scope. To re-align inside their story, at this junction point was quite a bit of bliss as I felt it was the best moment to arrive if you wanted to see ‘another portal’ of insight into how the sisters and their family would come out of everything in an entirely new way. Ms Lynne has quite the aptitude for pacing in a similar vein as Austen, as much as she has truly aligned her narrative to speak to the reader much as the original canon spoke to all of us originally. There is a certain attachment to how this reads like the story you’d hope to find inside it’s chapters – not contemporary at all, but with such a strong suit of clarity for the timescape, setting and the era in which mannerism, propriety and a lengthening of phrase can paint such a stronger portrait of a character’s living environs.

As the changes came into view, there was only one that surprised me (at first) before I realised it might actually be a truer response that I hadn’t considered. If you factor in the time in which Lydia lived, this new way of viewing Mr Bennett could be the way in which he would respond to these circumstances; even though I know of a different version of himself, this way of reaction could in theory be plausible due to how public scrutiny was held in such high esteem back then, that any fraction of a misstep or a miscount of personal choice could in effect be held hard against anyone. I thought it was a brave choice initially (regards to what happened to Lydia) but then, to carry through to how this new attitude of Mr Bennett would re-align where the sisters were and how their interactions with each other or others was affected, was expertly handled, as it paved a new route of entrance towards how the sisters would not only travel but how their stories would grow a bit more complex. In this, I applauded Ms Lynne for taking a path not easily written but one that has such a compelling argument of caution.

What I expected to find in this story was equal to what was revealled – yet, even then, I found myself quite charmed by the surprises that flowed so very organically into the story-line! The joys of seeing how little clues into the characters were sketched inside this re-telling was part of the readerly blissitude I had whilst reading it. I was quite impressed by the choices Ms Lynne made to round out the characters, from their perceived personalities to their known inclinations; even little bits of what made them individually unique or vexing were kept in-tact! Something I applauded directly as it owned to keeping the truth of continuity as much as re-establishing why we are so keenly attached to them! It’s hard to pin point how Ms Lynne mastered this artful dance between honouring the canon and re-telling it in her own voice, but what is quite apparent is her love for Jane Austen. This is one of the best re-tellings I’ve come across and am so dearly thankful I had taken the chance on reading it, as for I have found a wicked sweet companion to Pride and Prejudice!

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

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A note of apology to the author – if the lightning storms hadn’t proven to be as intense as they were and connectivity wasn’t an issue, I would have been able to post this originally on my first tour date selection.

Pamela Lynne's blog tour via HFVBTsI look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Friday, 14 October, 2016 by jorielov in After the Canon, Blog Tour Host, Family Drama, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Jane Austen Sequel, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling, Romance Fiction

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