Category: Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics

_+ #atozchallenge _+ 26 Days | 26 Essays [epic journey] Today is Letter “C”. Hint: Curated Centuries.

Posted Thursday, 3 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 6 Comments

A to Z Challenge Day 3  Letter CI am involved in a world-wide globally connected blogosphere challenge where each blogger who signs into the participant linky is quite literally confirming their express desire to blog straight [except on Sundays!] for *26 Days!* whilst writing *26!* most intriguing & thought-producing alphabet essays! Or, to be comically inspiring, randomly cheeky, and otherwise delightfully entertaining! The bloggers who have signed into the challenge are from all walks of blogosphere life: book bloggers united alongside lifestyle gurus; writers of all literary styles nudged up against travelogues; the gambit runs the full course of each and every theme, topic, subject, and genre you could possibly light your heart with joy to broach in a blog! And, the curious bit to the journey is where your posts lead you as much as where other blogger’s posts inspire you! It’s this fantastic community to celebrate the spirit within the blogosphere as much as the spirit of connection amongst the bloggers who might not have crossed paths with each other otherwise. After all, the road map for blogs is as wide and large as the actual world outside the nethersphere of websites, pixels, and memes! Walk with us whilst we discover a bit about ourselves, our blog, & each other!

I am blogger #552 out of 2279!


C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E settled into my heart at a very young age as I still recollect my readings of:

There is a timeless eloquence knitted into the classics which gives us a proper sense of the art of story-telling because writers from previous centuries were not as tied down to particulars surrounding their characters and narratives. It was far more imperative to write down the bones of one’s story than to be negated to following a strict guideline of where their story actually would befit a publisher’s catalogue! And, in that rampant freedom came such heart-warming stories which defy time by their ability to resonate with readers from one generation to another! There is something to be said for being able to write a story as it inks out of your heart and populates the page!

Photo Credit: Jorie of Jorie Loves A StoryOne of the best blessings for me in becoming a book blogger this past year, is that I am open to new horizons as far as where I can seek out appreciators of the classics! One of the communities that I was most anxious to join and still am looking forward to participating alongside is The Classics Club! For a girl who has spent most of her days trying to convince people there is merit and mirth within the classics, how extraordinary of a discovery this is for me! They even have their own ‘tweeting’ codes to send-off messages & notes to each other! I love the fact that they are such a warm and welcoming bunch of bookish souls – dedicated to champion the authors of the past by presenting their tomes to the modern reader in a way that is convicting of its worth! They host RALs (read-a-longs) and challenges throughout the year too! I decided to create my first ‘badge’ by using photography I had taken whilst on a road trip throughout the Mid-West states! I originally created the badge in FotoFlexer, but re-created it once I found the lovely PicMonkey which gives you more choices to make ‘badges’ pop & stand out! I think they came out quite well!

I have found several classic-minded book blogosphere events since I went live in August 2013, and although, I haven’t always been able to complete the tasks I set out too as I had joined them, the appreciation I have to reading the classics has never faltered! When I realised I had taken on too much in August (i.e. launching Jorie Loves A Story to a ‘live’ audience; participating in my first Bout of Books, undertaking my first! blog tour hosting “The Prayer Box” by Lisa Wingate for JKS Communications Publicity Firm; and trying to tackle Austen in August!) I re-attempted my Austen reading list for Classics Re-Told which was a multiple book blogger effort to read ‘after canons’ of individual classic authors and post on our individual blogs our thoughts and impressions therein! I felt for sure September was going to be the best month for me to accomplish this renewed task, however, September 2013 proved to be quite a unique month full of unexpected circumstances and events which proved taxing in my attempts to soak into Jane Austen!

If you hover your ‘mouse’ over “Stepping Back into the Folds of Time (tCC)” you will find all the classic-minded RALs, challenges, and events which get me quite giddy to be in a position to participate in! I decided to break the classical literature related events away from the regular fiction ones (which fall under RALs & Challenges in the top menu) as they are a specific focus group! One of the blessings this year, is not only am I still in-progress to read the books inside those older challenges as you can see on my main RALs & Challenges page (where I keep my progress updated) but I have unearthed a wicked sweet reading challenge entitled:

 

 Back to the Classics badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Nigel Lo (Public Domain : Unspash). In this particular challenge you have specific categories you have to ‘fill in the blank with the classic book of your choice’ in order to complete the challenge! I decided to focus on a portion of classic literature I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading which is classic crime! Outside of those choices, I wanted to finally set aside time to dig into Henry James, an author I have appreciated from afar for quite too long! And, then of course there is Emilie Zola of whom I had made a purchase request at my library for his novel: “Au Bonhear des Dames” | The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola {1883}. I made a double-request to include the tv series “The Paradise” and I was quite chuffed and happy to see both were added to my local library’s collection! I am hopeful I can start to read his novel ahead of the series arriving as books tend to come in a bit faster than the dvd seasonals!

I like being challenged to step outside my own inklings of where I am thinking my reading adventures are taking me, whilst at the same time keeping myself curiously tethered to the hope of unlocking a ‘new’ author who will take me on this wicked sweet journey through language, setting, and prose of narrative! I get a happiness inside of my spirit each time I am about to enter into the realm of a classic novel; thinking about the readers who had picked up a similar version of the story as I am and wondering what their thoughts were as they opened the book for the first time!? Some of my classics are in the ‘classic’ hardback stylings of the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s. I was gifted a beautiful portable and deep blue set of Shakespeare which I am quite keen on opening this year as well! I have been wanting to set my sights to work my way through his collected works since I was a teenager in high school finding that I had an affection for Julius Caesar moreso than Romeo & Juliet; and a penchant for Much Ado About Nothing! I loved the way in which Shakespeare elected to speak his emotions in his writings. He never backed down from being fierce or representative of all the chords of human emotion but he staid within the dimensions of what is effectively dynamic given that he wasn’t one who opted to use the harsher words of the 20th Century which run thick and through. He had a way of conveying internal thoughts and outside prejudices which gave you a pause to contemplate the fuller scope of his legacies as you read his words.

The last time I was able to update my progress on where I was currently with my classics readings was on Wednesday, 19 February 2014! I had previously turnt in a group check-in for The Classics Club: 15 February, 2014, where I was blissfully excited to be reading along with #LitChat for War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy! I never dreamt I would tackle Leo Tolstoy in 2014, but this goes back what I was lamenting or at least attempting to say, there are moments when I find a book or an author settles itself into your hands, of which purpose isn’t known at the time of opening the book but alights inside your heart once you’ve completed your reading! I always felt there is a time and season for everything in life, but to take that a step further, I believe we are meant to read certain stories at certain times in our lives to where the text and context might have a greater effect on us rather than if we had read it previously or at a point in the future. By blogging my reading life, I feel as though I can extend a part of my journey to you dear hearts, hopefully inspiring you to take on your own literary wanderings and perhaps, sharing a common goal in our quest to uncover and discover new authors who lit a flame of curiosity which can only be quenched by reading their works!

Septemb-Eyre hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

One of the classic books I am determined to complete before Summer is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronté, as I had this intensive study of the novel happening in September, but as foresaid, September had other plans for me than reading the books which were intriguing me and engaging me in long-known conversations! I was a bit surprised by how captivated I was by Eyre, as my introduction to her came about through the motion picture “Jane Eyre”:

Jane Eyre (1996) Official Trailer #1 – William Hurt (HD) by MovieClips Classic Trailers

Alongside my pursuit to focus on the after canons of Austen, specifically of Pride & Prejudice for Classics Re-Told, I have also allotted myself to read a certain number of sequels and re-tellings for Jane Eyre! (underneath the top menu ‘Stepping Back into the Folds of Time: Books of Eyre’) Some characters enter our lives and give us the ability to want to know of them. To seek out more about their person, or to understand more of their depth than we previously were clued into on our first introductions. Jane Eyre is a woman who has such a quiet strength of resolve, she enables us to genuinely seek more out of ourselves whilst facing adversity as much as she endears our heart whilst presenting herself without embarrassment or unease. Eyre is a champion for everyone who has had humble beginnings and who strives to not only reach past her circumstances but to carry-on forward with the hope of her dreams and for finding a man who would allow her the honour of returning her love.

I was not even certain if I could participate in the War and Peace Book Club for LitChat as I was struggling to hold the War and Peace Book Club badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Alex Tamon (Public Domain : Unsplash). massive hardback volume our leader recommended for the RAL! Normally reading a hefy book would not be as complicated, but I am finding of late my hands falter a bit with the larger books and I do a bit better with a paperback version in which I can carry with me or snuggle into a comfy chair soaking into the narrative at will. My local library pulled through for me, whilst I was visiting a different branch than my home location I asked the question of seeking a paperback of War and Peace which would be easier for me to read? Apparently my local library has a secondary ‘hidden’ collection insofar as to be able to offer patrons unchecked out editions of classical literature! This refers to the fact that I have a copy of War and Peace but it is without a due date! The blissful freedom in knowing that I can take my time with the text, and not have the fear of having the book boomerang back to the library every fortnight as apparently this particular novel is of greater need in being read right now! I am trying to see when I can begin my readings, but I think early this coming week will work just fine, as I want to read the first 400 pages in order to get properly caught up, as I am unfortunately two months behind at this point! I had so much happening all at once that I fear that between sorting out when to read and how to gather the book back from the library, I exhausted the hours I could have been reading Tolstoy! Therefore, in coming weeks you will start to see the lovely badge I created here float into view as I journal my impressions as I read and gather my thoughts in order to participate actively in the topical discussions in which Dana Sachs is hosting via the War and Peace Book Club for LitChat!

Of all the books on my Classics List to be read, there is one section that I am most proud of curating, which is the category for “Magical Realism” as I was first introduced to this genre through The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker! I am forever speaking on the book’s behalf via Twitter, and attempting to draw out a line of conversation on the post I created to highlight the book, because it was singularly one of the best library discoveries I made last year! A complete accident of sorts drew the book into my hands! The type of book I had trouble putting down because I didn’t want to part with the characters, their journey, or the story in which I felt closely tied into by the time the final chapters were concluding! The post evolved to become a bit of a primer for “Magical Realism” itself as a genre, and for that, I was quite happy as I literally copied over all the lovely books I unearthed and placed them on my Classics List! This is why I felt it was quite keen of Mr. Danish in sharing my passion for the genre and how wicked sweet it was seeing that we are drawn to the same authors & stories!

If I had to pick my Top 5 Magical Realism books I want to read next, I would select:

  1. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe
  2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris
  3. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
  4. The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  5. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  6. +1 for good measure: The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern (a book I began at Christmas 2013 & have wanted to complete!)

The first selection has been a hardback I purchased from a big box store the year it was released as it was one of the few times a newly released book had captivated my attention to the fullness of Howe’s. I have been properly entranced ever since and whilst engaged in a recent conversation I was urged to place this book on a ‘post haste’ schedule of reading priority’ of which I couldn’t agree more if I stressed how itched I am to begin! Harris’s story arrived to me on two separate occasions and for two separate birthdays: in my early twenties a family friend was going to surprise me by seeing the motion picture and then, two years ago this Summer I was gifted the book by a dear friend. The book has nearly haunted me as a result! Sarah Addison Allen I discovered by stumbling across her website a handful of years ago and finding she offered the best backgrounds for a reader’s delight! Those same backgrounds for my desktop are lost to the ethers when my computer crashed and died in late 2013. The spell her stories cast on me have not been lost! White’s novel has had a murmuring of an effect on me as I have overheard reader’s speaking on the book’s behalf in my local library as much as I have been involved in conversations online or through email to dear friends who insist that I put down all the books I am currently reading and shift over into The Language of Flowers! I couldn’t blame them, as the premise had me at first reading! Which brings me to The Mistress of Spices which is one of my first Bollywood discoveries and of course, a hidden discovery for ‘Magical Realism’ as at the time I had viewed the motion picture I was entranced by the style of Indian film-making and less concerned by the genre in which it fit! I was quite curious then to read the book after finding that it had been an adaptation!

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh [book trailer] by Pan Macmillan

More curious to note is that my next C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E readings will be of:

  1. The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronté (as a RAL with my dear friend Maggie!)
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (RAL with LitChat)
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (to follow War and Peace!)
  5. A Shakespeare Play

Which brings me to my next foray of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E is to embrace all the lovely BBC and/or other adaptations on film! I am striving towards reading stories ahead of seeing their adaptations as in the past, I have always lost hours in which to make this plausible! There are times where I have known there was a book ahead of the motion picture (i.e. “Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World”) and times when I hadn’t truly known there was one at all (i.e. “Cheerful Weather for the Wedding”). I am looking forward to seeing which adaptations sweep me away into the story I fall in love with on the printed page and which adaptations I find fall a bit short! Which is a continuation of something I have already begun to do, as I have seen more theatrical versions of “A Christmas Carol” than you can shake a stick at! The story never fades from the fondness of my heart nor does seeing how each new ensemble cast handle the breadth of the tale! I have also seen a handful of classic adaptation and modern for “Pride and Prejudice” the last one being a re-telling entitled “Lost in Austen” which I actually discovered whilst participating in Classics Re-Told in September! My review of the mini-series never surfaced which is one review I am most keen on finishing after I watch the mini-series for a second viewing! (time frame unknown: it was an ILL)

I look forward to making connections with other bookish souls who wander around the same books as I do, all the while retreating into the C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E past and finding new friends along the way!

Parjunkee Designs

My passage into C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E has only just begun to move forward again, and as I find ways to bring the books to life in my musings, I shall be sharing my lamentations in posts throughout Jorie Loves A Story as a way to become part of the nexus of conversation surrounding the books which throughout time have held a finger-hold on us.


Thank you for joining me on DAY 3 | A to Z Challenge!

I am a girl named Jorie who loves a story!
I am a bookish library girl on a quest for literary enlightenment!
I am predominately self-taught and library educated!
I am Mademoiselle Jorie!
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

This marks my third post for the:

A to Z Challenge

And, might I add as an observation on Day 3? 

I was oft curious to find out if other appreciators of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E enjoy reading and then viewing adaptations and/or if they have a preference of only viewing certain books in motion picture over others!? Where does your own heart lead you into the wide realm of C L A S S I C A L L I T E R A T U R E as you step back into the folds of time yourself!? Are there authors who you picked up and were quite shocked you did not soak into their narratives? Were there any startling surprises in where your wanderings led you? Which authors have withstood your reading adventures of being the ‘key’ authors who lead you back time and again!?

{SOURCES: A to Z Challenge Participant & Letter C Badge provided by the A to Z Challenge site for bloggers to use on their individual posts & blogs to help promote the challenge to others. Wildlife photography by Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story, badge edited & created in PicMonkey by Jorie. “I Like Big Books” badge by Parajunkee Designs is a free resource provided for book bloggers. The book trailer by Pan MacMillian & the film trailer by MovieClips Classic Trailers had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel & film. Back to the Classics badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Nigel Lo (Public Domain : Unspash). War and Peace Book Club badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Alex Tamon (Public Domain : Unsplash).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 3 April, 2014 by jorielov in A to Z Challenge, After the Canon, Austen in August, Back to the Classics, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Books of Eyre, British Literature, Classical Literature, Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, Crime Fiction, Gothic Literature, Library Find, Magical Realism, Poetry, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenge Addict, Rewind Challenge, Romance Fiction, Sequel Authors, tCC The Classics Club, William Shakespeare Challenge

*Book Review*: Love At First Slight by J. Marie Croft

Posted Monday, 16 December, 2013 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Love At First Slight by J. Marie CroftLove at First Slight by J. Marie Croft 

Author’s Pin(terest) Boards:
Love At First Slight +
Textaisles

Genre(s): Fiction | Romance | Historical

| Regency | Jane Austen Sequel

Published by: Meryton Press, 1 November 2013

Available Format: Paperback | Page Count: 270


Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a stop on “Love At First Slight” Virtual Book Tour, hosted by Meryton Press. I received a complimentary copy of “Love At First Slight”  in exchange for an honest review by the publisher Meryton Press. The book released on 1st November 2013. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. This marks my first review for Meryton Press!

My connection to the Author & the Novel:

Originally you might recall, I took part in the Book Cover Reveal for this novel on the 30th of August, 2013. I had received a curious email from the original publisher Rhemalda Press expressing interest of book bloggers who wanted to share the joy of the forthcoming release by J. Marie Croft. Having dipped into the Regency this year through participation of August in August, whereupon I re-read my beloved Pride and Prejudice whilst hinged to September’s Classics Re-Told Reading Challenge! I must confess I was deeply curious about which direction Ms. Croft would spin her tale of Darcy & Elizabeth knowing full well the tides were tipped askew as in this rendition of the story “Darcy” was meant to be a lass named Elizabeth, wherein making the “Bennett” a “William”! A flip on heel after canon seemed rather fitting of a story to follow on the foot heels of having read the original! Or, thus I rather thought would be a rather splendid reading!

With the closure of Rhemalda Press in a rather abrupt motion, I was in the dark as far as the pre-promised stop on the blog book tour which as of mid-September was no longer set to happen! I realised the news whilst opening up the former Press website reading on their behalf the letter they had publicly released. I quickly contacted Ms. Croft, to infer my disheartened heart on her behalf, as although I had wanted to read her story I felt grievously worse for her as her book was now in stasis! At the very same moment, I learnt her book had then been picked up by Meryton Press, which delighted me over the very moon in excitement! I was celebrating whole-heartedly the good fortune of having this novel picked up so quickly!

From that moment forward, I have been in the background waiting to see Love At First Slight grow wings and lift off into reader’s hands! I patiently waited word that the book was being released in print and would be available to receive in exchange for an honest review by those of us who had previously been in contact with Rhemalda were given the option to review for Meryton! Over the course of the months (September through December), the author and I have exchanged a few notes whereupon the seed of friendship had been planted. As she was one of the first who saw the name of my blog and fully understood the cheeky humour which is contained therein! I look forward to watching this book grab hold of readers hearts as much as I look forward to knowing Ms. Croft a bit better in the future! How blessed am I for this experience! And, yes, the book is in my hands at long last!


Synopsis of the story:

“It may not be universally acknowledged,
but the unvarnished truth is that a young widow
in possession of a good fortune is not necessarily in want of another husband.”

In this humorous, topsy-turvy Pride & Prejudice variation, all the gender roles are reversed. It is Mr. Bennet’s greatest wish to see his five sons advantageously married. When the haughty Miss Elizabeth Darcy comes to Netherfield with the Widow Devonport nee Bingley, speculation—and prejudice—runs rampant.

William Bennet, a reluctant and irreverent future reverend, catches Miss Darcy’s eye even though he is beneath her station. However, his opinion of her was fixed when she slighted him at the Meryton Assembly. As her ardour grows, so does his disdain, and when she fully expects to receive an offer of marriage, he gives her something else entirely ….

J. Marie Croft
Photo Credit: Glane Gorveatt
J. Marie Croft lives in Nova Scotia and divides her time among working at a music lesson centre, geocaching (a high-tech treasure hunt) with her husband, and writing. Her stories are lighthearted; and her tag line is Jane Austen’s quote, “Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery.” A member of the Jane Austen Society of North America (Canada), she admits to being excessively attentive to the 1995 BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Adult twin daughters are the light of her life even though they don’t appreciate Mr. Darcy the way ‘Momzie” does. She can be contacted at her website: J. Marie Croft

A most curiously familiar cast of characters:

For readers who consider themselves Janeites &/or Austenites, the curious familiarity of the cast of characters found in Love At First Slight, will by no means be found as daunting to unravel as someone entering this lovely Regency world for the first time! The players, of whom, you are most apt to want to keep track off from the jump-start will be as follows:  (counterpart characters are next to their names!)

Benjamin & Flora Bennett – parents of five unmarried, unattached singletons (all male heirs!): Martin (Mary) the studious and oppressively observant elder brother who finds himself befit siblings of social reproach!; Charles (Jane) the loveable sibling who chooses to see the world as an optimist; William (Elizabeth) a bit jaded and indifferent to society’s constrictions; and twins! Laurence and Christopher taking up the rear! (clearly of whom reek more of Lydia’s faults than the sense of Kitty) Uniquely in this spin, its Benjamin not Flora who is consumed by ill-fated nerves of seeing his sons married, which puts the weight of their betrothals on a father rather than a mother! She, in turn, takes her cue from the original Mr. Bennett having a preference for solidarity, reading, and staying outside the sphere of the social specter!

The Lucases (Sir William & Lady Lucas) – parents of  Marcus & Clarence are the Bennett’s rivals for marriage!

The Gardiners – are still involved in the story, though this time a sad referee of knowledge for the Bennett brothers, knowing that even if their heart’s lie in opposite fields of choice, they are each meant to acquire their own livings based on the lot they were given to achieve. The Gardiners happily are still the winsome supporters of their nephews!

Elizabeth Darcy – in lieu of FitzWilliam, gives her earnest début as a woman with as much of an affront on country society as her affable counterpart! She lends the impression of being stalwart stubborn in both extolling her position whilst interacting with others as much as her own countenance.

Jane (Bingley) Devonport – in lieu of Charles is a widow in this after canon, who is determined to take up residence at Netherfield Hall. She, like him before her, has a delicate heart and an innocence of life which is what draws each to their respective heart’s desire.

Casper & Leonard Bingley – are decidedly worse than their original counterparts as they are oppressively snobbish and prejudicial of their peers!

Miss Olivia Collins, sister of William Collins  – an obtusely droll sister who does her counterpart well in her appearance! Except that she has a streak of humility not afforded Mr. Collins (of Pride), to where she gives a glimpse of her softened repose of a woman most in want of a husband. Her pursuit is more of a natural yearning to be part of a union of a complimentary couple rather than the sole pursuit of many of her age. She is of course prone to tone out propriety and settle for long examinations of ramblings no one else has quite the ear towards hearing!

William Collins – (first Cousin of Mr. Bennett) being the clergy under the coattails of Sir Lewis de Bourgh of Rosings Park, is a necessary inclusion.

Miss Felicity Wickham – the wickedly devious bane of Miss Darcy’s existence, of whom could only bring a blight of misery on the Bennett’s! If parallel worlds were compliant she would be the other Wickham’s evil twin! Thus far as to say, they both had the perfect presence for inserting themselves into people’s lives for the pure exulting measure of advancing their own interests!

One happy coincidence the reader will notice most surely is how clever the choices in names, Ms. Croft bestowed on her characters! For Jane fell in love with Charles Bingley in the original Pride and Prejudice, and here, she is widowed by a ‘Bingley’, or rather a ‘Jane’ is widowed by one such fellow! Ha! Using William as the character to go up against Elizabeth is rather classic, if you consider outfitting this William as a Deacon meant to be a Cleric as more mirth and folly than one could hope be afforded! Charles Bingley’s name is donned by the love of his life Jane’s retold character in this story! Little curious oddities and irrepressible delights start this story off on the right footing!

Gathering my wits and alighting into Netherfield:

I regret that my plans to become acquainted with after canons this year, failed in the regard that I was not able to construct the time needed in either August or September for proper readings! Therefore, I am going in a bit blind with this reading as to know how others’ have handled their variations and versions of Pride and Prejudice. I can attest that the humour wrought through the storyline is a bit out of the reach of Jane Austen, as I think she might have blushed by some of the satire for the bluntly common joviality! However, I find Croft’s cheekily woven humour to light a bit of a punch and edge into a story that is as well-known as this, to effectively change the story to where it’s nearly its own tale altogether!

Having said that, it still remains true to how most of Pride plays out, as it is William who must walk over field and meadow in the mud to seek the condition of his ailing brother Charles (rather than Elizabeth seeking Jane!), only to find as a gobsmacked surprise in having Elizabeth (Darcy!) sympathise with his endearing nature to be with his brother, verse the discontentment of the Bingley brothers who felt most put out! From this timeless exchange of familial respect between the respective families, we find Croft venturing into new territory. Your not expecting to find one character smitten by the other, nor to have each of the characters observed in ways of which were not seen in the original. I like how Croft manages to breathe new life into a story all of us have come to know as our own. It lends itself a bit of a mystery as to where the characters are meant to entreat as much as striving to give the reader a new line of suspense upon the ending chapters! I must admit, whilst reading of Elizabeth’s wanton remarks on reflection of William, I nearly saw her inner voice rather than her outer countenance of an upper-class snob! Methinks perhaps this is a bit of a ploy on the author’s part to see how far a reader is willing to go as far as to suspend their own judgement (à la prejudice) towards Elizabeth, as she in full effect is replacing everyone’s beloved FitzWilliam! As for my own mind (and heart!) I like to travel a bit further into the heart of a story before formulating an opinion one way or the other, as far as knowing the true merit of a person’s character and the conviction of their actions as they are relayed.

If I can be so bold as to say, this version of Netherfield is like walking through a time portal to jaunt yourself into an alternative version of the place you last left your feet! You might look around, noticing bits and bobbles of what is already known, but at the very same time, everything appears to be a bit different, a bit off or left of center from whence you where here previously. In those little grievances of change, you start to realise that you’re seeing the familiar in a whole new dimension that is both invigorating and confusing! It takes a bit to draw your bearings, but once you do, I’d be plumb aghast if another reader hadn’t found herself (or himself) in step with this Netherfield as readily as a viewer could step through the portal known as “Lost in Austen”.

My Review of Love At First Slight:

As you fingers pull open the pages of a beloved story’s after canon, re-envisioned in a wholly new and plausible set of circumstances which start to alight in your mind’s eye as though your only re-entering a dance you had sat out the last set of; you’ll find yourself readily acquainted with the key players, with a lurking suspicion that even as they are familiar, there is a measure of freshness to their embodiment! They might speak in the same language of the age, they might even ring true their incarnated spirits of their originals, but wherein you find the familiar, there is a level of wanton choice to make these characters stand on their own laurels. As the story first reveals itself to you, a nod of a notice is given to the author whose passion for Austen’s style of romance is clearly evident as is her ability to convey her own spin on the previous writer’s incantation of a woman too prejudice and of a man too proud! I oft felt they both exchanged their own vices, and theirs was a story of how pride and prejudice towards those you barely know can lead you in such extraordinary corridors of choice!

Therein lies the departure, as Love At First Slight, stands on its own feet as a story of unpredictable turns at moments when even the reader was the last one to suspect the avenues ventured! There is a craft to willing a reader to circumvent their own perceptions of a story, as your only able to base your stances on what you read as a story is read. In this, lies a territory for jostling with the reader’s heart! Yet, it is artistry to switch the tables on gender-specific roles both in structure of story as much as in dialogue. Subtle changes in who originates which bit of speech, and yet, in lieu of a lady for a gent, the ability to ascertain the intent behind the structure changes in one fluid motion! And, of course, the reverse is equally as true!

Without the worriment over an entail due to a lack of a male heir, Croft had disentangled the one key ingredient Austen had left inside the story to dig deeper into the woe of marriage for five unwed singletons. Seeing the story play out to befit men rather than ladies, I admit proved to be a unique glimpse into another side of living altogether. It’s not only a reversal of gender, but of status, and the perception of status therein. The stage in which the story is set ebbs along with the changes to where even the secondary characters start to act outside of their spheres!

Longbourn was never more appealing of a visitation as it is in this story. There is a key observation made on Mr. Bennett’s behalf in the opening passages of Chapter 1, Volume II. The ingenuity of the comparison Croft gave in this section was as befitting as Mrs. Bennett in the original! How I applaud clever observations by giving examples such as the one I had for Taking Root in Provence, where I used a latte to guide my expression of the narrative therein! Giving a bit of reality to the mannerisms of a character bent towards the extreme is a cheeky way of representing them, I do believe! All the lovely little quirks that befall the Bennett family are still inside this tale of their residence at Longbourn. By the time this section of the novel is reached you nearly suspend all logic that there were a version of filt with females rather than excitable males! Three cheers for Croft for having a seamless transition! I also loved how she inserted a passion for Shakespeare by borrowing key references which befit scenes, dialogue, and character with such alacrity as to be struck as natural!

Getting caught up in the everyday jovial notions of Regency life is quite easier when a writer abides the time to include them in their narrative! Croft excels at giving out little bobbles of the Regency, as she doesn’t flout over trivialities but rather revels in them! Your taken abreast of everything you would see, smell, hear, taste, and bear in Regency society! To where I find this exploit of Austenesque literature to be on every Janeite’s shelf of pleasure!

A Special Note on Darcy & William:

One of the attractions for me whilst reading the original Pride and Prejudice is the vexation of having two people who feel transfixed by their oppositional personalities, come to terms with their attraction for one another. In this story, we see the underpinnings of attraction alighting through new circumstances and interjections of dialogue not yielded into view in the original. In this, we can celebrate that at the very heart and nature of a Darcy | Bennett connection there are the under-threadings of wickedly decisive and independently strong individuals who are not used to bending as a willow to give someone the proper chance to fall in love with them. Compromise to them is as devastating as becoming an invalid through illness! The sparring between them in this narrative is as delightful as the first square-off I saw them in when their roles were in reverse! I think it’s always a champion idea to pit would-be couples at odds with each other in a story where your attempting to focus on not only the strong of will but the strength of individual character. Not everyone is always prepared to enter into a betrothal if they feel they have to yield past the point of what they are willing give as concession to another in the relationship. When two strong-minded souls first start to butt heads, I do believe, its in that chance happenstance of a moment they are either going to end up parting company OR they are going become married with the knowledge their relationship will be full of fire and smouldering affections thereafter!

What I most appreciated was the sincerity of William’s appreciation for the natural world around him! Like Lizzy before him, he was as determined to remember where he walked and where he lived as much as she had! They each were attune to the natural environs in ways where their peers would readily forsake the realm for Town! Earthly in sport and of a belief where finding a balance between work and play is a necessity rather than an off-handed foray of play, I found William to be boldly different from FitzWilliam! As I find William a Lord of the Manor, of whom would toil more in the grit of the soil and in the caring of the fields moreso than FitzWilliam, of whom I always felt would delegate the everyday work load. William is ruggedly attached to the land and to preserving the history of how the land has been maintained. In direct comparison, FitzWilliam was more apt to be a caretaker-in-arms, standing guard and overseeing the management of the estate from an executive position. Herein lies the appeal of both characters and the point of perspectives they bring to their roles!

Elizabeth on the other hand is decidedly trickier to get a feel for as she is curious kept cleverly from the reader’s view. Little humanistic qualities peek out in-between the sequences of her interactions, but the true heart of her mind and being are as much of a mystery for the reader as they are for William!

An affection for words, this writer gives to all of thee:

Croft chooses to take the reader to higher grounds of literary enlightenment by her carefully selected words and turns of phrase contained within the pages of Love At First Slight. The entitlement of her novel is a clever twist on the original, but it’s how she chooses to infuse her character’s mannerisms, quirky natures, and expressions of personality that sets her a bit apart from other authors. She’s one of the true wordsmiths who is as giddy about lesser known verbs, adjectives, and nouns as I am! I can see she must have amassed quite the library of dictionaries and thesauruses too! The words may not easily tip-off the tongue but they endeavour even the causal reader to sit up and take stock of what the writer is entreating to teach them! Let the language of the novel inspire a bit of wordplay in all of us, celebrating the depth of the English language and the heart of a Regency romance!

This blog book tour stop was courtesy of Meryton Press,

due check out my upcoming bookish events!

Cross-listed to be included in:

Classics Re-Told badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Cas Cornelissen (Public Domain : Unsplash).

Thank you for your patience in awaiting this review. Illness forestalled its presence!

I am thus far intrigued with Croft’s prose in the world of Pride and Prejudice,

that I took it upon myself to ILL “Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge”!

Love at First Slight
by J. Marie Croft
Source: Direct from Publisher

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Romance Fiction, After Canons, Historical Romance


Published by Meryton Press

Format: Paperback

Pages: 270

{SOURCES: Author photograph of J. Marie Croft & Book Synopsis given originally by Rhemalda Press, used again with permission of author in this review as both are still current for press purposes. Book Cover for Meryton Press edition of Love At First Slight given by author and used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee Designs to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Classics Re-Told badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Cas Cornelissen (Public Domain : Unsplash).}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

Related Articles:

Guest Post: A Tale of Two Publishers or What the Dickens? – (indiejane.org)

Interview of J. Marie Croft, Author of Love At First Slight – (liedermadchen.blogspot.com)

Love At First Slight – J. Marie Croft: The Love At First Slight Book Club – (thesecretunderstandingofthehearts.blogspot.com)

Book Review: Love At First Slight by J. Marie Croft – (liedermadchen.blogspot.com)

Guest Post by J. Marie Croft – (leatherboundreviews.blogspot.com)

(Guest Post) Mr. Haughty-Pants Darcy vs. J. Marie Croft – (moreagreeablyengaged.blogspot.com)

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Posted Monday, 16 December, 2013 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, After the Canon, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, England, Historical Fiction, Jane Austen Sequel, Meryton Press, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling, Re-Told Tales, Reading Challenges, Regency Era, Romance Fiction, Sequel Authors

*Forthcoming Reviews, Book Tours, and Exciting News!* | A JLAS Update!

Posted Saturday, 26 October, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Forthcoming Reviews, Book Tours, and Exciting News!
{A JLAS Update!}

My dear readers, I must apologise for the extended absence I have taken here on JLAS! I was hit quite hard earlier in the month when I took ill, and in the weeks since, I was dealing with a family matter that is now resolved, however, I have lacked the proper time to not only complete the readings I was happy to have the opportunities to participate in but I did not have the proper time needed to populate my blog with postings and reviews until now, as I am editing the posts that will start to go live lateron in the weekend and into the early bits of Halloween week! I have lots of exciting things to share with you, and I do apologise if it looked like I had vacated Jorie Loves A Story, but hopefully, you did see the two postings I put on the top margin!?

I originally posted this NEWSFLASH:

The review of “The Study of Murder” by Susan McDuffie, has simply been delayed whilst I recover from being ill. I apologise for my absence, but I will be resuming life on my blog shortly! Thank you if you had ducked back to see the review, as it will post this week instead!

And, followed it up with this NEWSFLASH:

| Small UPDATE: 21 October | My review of “The Study of Murder” is in-process as well as a review of “Redheart” by Jackie Gamber. I am working on my first 2 discussion posts for “Finnikin of the Rock”, as well as my second post for “Jane Eyre”. I have 3 “Pride & Prejudice” posts in the mix for “Classics Re-Told”. Between now and the 1st of November, I will be working on getting my posts back on track, as I had an extended leave due to a family matter that is now resolved. I appreciate everyone’s patience during my absence.

My heart you see has been in the right place, but I have unfortunately not been able to give my dear readers the content they were hoping to see on my blog! Thankfully, I have noticed that you (my subscribers and faithful readers) have held with me during this time and for that, I extend my gratitude to each of you! :) I wanted to post this today to duck in and say, I am thankful for your patience and I look forward to interacting with you quite soon! Therefore, let me not delay the exciting news I have to share with you, so that you will know what will be coming up next!

The Study of Murder by Susan McDuffie

“The Study of Murder” by Susan McDuffie

This review was meant to posted on the 12th of October, however, as foresaid, I was delayed until this weekend to complete my full review of this book. I will be posting my review on Sunday, 27th October!

RJ Sullivan Vitrual Blue Book Tour with TCM

“Virtual Blue” By R.J. Sullivan

This exciting book tour is heading to JLAS on Monday, 28th of October, as I will be reviewing the 2nd book in this exciting (Blue) series by Mr. Sullivan, whose humour I expect to leave me in stitches!

Redheart by Jackie Gamber

“Redheart” by Jackie Gamber

I was attempting to post this review shortly after “The Study of Murder”, however, my entire posting schedule for October has been altered from how I planned it originally. Therefore, I am going to be posting my review of this first book of the Leland Dragon series on Wednesday, 30th of October.

Iluminations by Mary Sharratt Book Tour HFVBT

“Illuminations” by Mary Sharratt

My first book tour with HFVBT (Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) will be alighting on my blog on All Saint’s Day, the 1st of November! I am looking forward to this, as I always enjoy my ‘first’ tour with each touring company!

Meanwhile,… there are a few reading challenges and read-a-longs,

Septemb-Eyre hosted by Entomology of a Bookworm

Remember, I was reading “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë?! The good news, is that I am still in the middle of the book, and I am going to be posting the next installments as soon as I am ready to reveal my next impressions! I have longed to know how this story proceeds, as I left off right as Mr. Rochester and Jane were starting to interact with each other! :(

Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics | Focus: Pride & Prejudice hosted by Bookish Whimsy

I picked “Pride and Prejudice” as my focus for this lovely Reading & Viewing challenge to uncover all the ‘after canons’ that were interconnected with Ms. Austen’s original story! I actually did quite well in viewing a few adaptations in motion picture as well as encountered quite a few ‘after canons’, however, the posts are in-progress and will be fleshed out for proper posting over the course of the next weeks! Two of my favourite adaptations that I stumbled across during this wicked challenge were the 1940 film adaptation with Greer Garson and the re-telling adaptation of “Lost in Austen”.

During the course of October, whilst I was off-blog for a fortnight, I lost my footing with this reading challenge, as the posts I was meant to contribute, which is why I’ll be making amends for this by posting everything after the weekend in full, but hopefully, will get a few pieces up on JLAS before the conclusion on Sunday! :( I was so hopeful that I could have participated with this during the event itself, but life sometimes takes us off-guard and re-focuses our attention elsewhere! Needless, I am simply thankful to have discovered this book, and will enjoy making my rounds to the blogs/readers who participated!

And, the exciting news is that this event:

Sci-Fi November | Hosted by Rinn ReadsIs the one in which, I am participating in a month-long series of posts that will revolve around my chosen 3 topics of interest, which are as follows: Steampunk, Time Travel, and Dystopian! I will be posting a more comprehensive post about this lovely event on Halloween, as the kick-off is the 1st of November!

What a wonderful time of the year for reading, eh!?

The winds are starting to turn crisper, leaves are starting to fall, and all the lovely divine foods that give us comfort and goodwill are starting to become available at the farmer’s markets! Days were being out-of-doors is a pure delight, as the temperatures forestall the heat, and there is an energy in the air that uplifts the soul! Autumn is always such a beautiful time of the year, and I am thankful, that this year, not only do I get to enjoy the natural environments, but I am able to turn inward, and explore a lovely diverse range of books and celebrate the joys of reading! I wonder what books your exploring and picking up!?

November will be an exciting month here on Jorie Loves A Story, as I have *5!* book tours arriving!!

I hope you were able to *catch!* Jorie Loves A Story’s first contributor post, “World Book Night: from a Giver’s Point of View” by Greylen!? This posted a few days ahead of the official 2014 World Book Night Sign-Ups went live! I am curious if any of my readers are taking part in this exciting event!?

Be sure to stay tuned!!

And, I thank you for your patience until I could return!

Autumn and Harvest blessings to all!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Study of Murder” provided by the author, Susan McDuffie. Book Cover for “Redheart” provided by Tomorrow Comes Media. Book Tour badges provided by Tomorrow Comes Media and Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours respectively. Finnikin of the Rock Read-A-Long badges provided by Bookish Whimsy. Sci-Fi November Badge provided by Rinn Reads. “Septemb-Eyre” & “Classics Re-Told” badge created by using the Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Saturday, 26 October, 2013 by jorielov in Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, Finnikin of the Rock, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Sci-Fi November, Septemb-Eyre

WWW….Wednesday #2: One Book at a Time, One Day at a Time!

Posted Thursday, 26 September, 2013 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

WWW Wednesday badge by Jorie in Canva

I loved the premise of this meme {WWW Wednesdays} due to the dexterity that it gives the reader! :) Clearly subject to change on a weekly rotation, which may or may not lead to your ‘next’ read which would provide a bit of a paradoxical mystery to your readers!! :) Love the concept! Therefore, this weekly meme is hosted by Should Be Reading. Each week you participate, your keen to answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading!?
  • What did you recently finish reading!?
  • What do you think you’ll read next!?

Afterwhich, your meant to click over to Should Be Reading to share your post’s link so that the rest of the bloggers who are participating can check out your lovely answers! :) Perhaps even, find other bloggers who dig the same books as you do! I thought it would serve as a great self-check to know where I am and the progress I am hoping to have over the next week!

What are you currently reading!? A better question would be to ask “What is Jorie not reading!?” (smiles a bit mischievously!) You see, I fell behind on my Septemb-Eyre + Classics Re-Told Reading schedules, but I stubbornly refuse to abandon ship on either project! Afterall, I am stitching together posts this week for 4 adaptations in motion picture for “Pride and Prejudice”, as well as making headway towards having book reviews ready as well! Therefore, I am knee deep inside Chapters XII-XXI of Jane Eyre, expecting to post my ruminations by Sunday, which coincides with my review of The Boxcar Baby, which I am starting on the morrow! The Pride books I am reading are as follows: Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson, The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater, and The Independance of Miss Mary Bennett by Colleen McCullough.

Meanwhile, I have seven! lovely books in progress at different stages of absorption:

  1. Larkrise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
  2. Bluebird or the Invention of Happiness by Sheila Kohler
  3. The Secret Papers of Madame Olivetti by Annie Vanderbilt
  4. The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland
  5. Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs
  6. Murder on Monday by Ann Purser
  7. & Thyme of Death by Susan Wittig Albert

To the keenly observant, this list was included on my #1 WWW! I still fully intend to read each of them!

What did you recently finish reading!? The Secret Keeper K.B. Laugheed! This story bewitched my mind, as it was such an engrossing multi-dimensional stroke of narrative!! I was quite gobsmacked when I read the other reviewers’ opinions, as I would never consider this to be a book for a pre-teen! Unless they were emotionally mature, but even then, its not a story of innocence nor of a life lived wrapped around the warmth of hearth and home! Its a gutting testament of the power of overcoming your past and carrying forward into your future! I seriously wonder at times, am I reading a different book altogether!? When I was between the ages of 9-12 I wouldn’t be caught dead reading a book with such heavy story-lines as these, because I was wrapped up in: Anne of Green Gables, Mandie, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Thoroughbred, The Black Stallion, Agatha Christie, and other childhood favourites I’ve outlined under “Children’s Lit: The Undiscovered Frontier“.  By 13, I was exploring more mature texts, as I was in a Michael Crichton, John Grisham, and Tom Clancy phase by then, but evenso, the books I chose to read by them were not on this same theme. I was also entering my cowboy and frontier fiction days, yet those authors were more tempered than Laugheed in their descriptions of frontier Americana. As I would consider this book akin to “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” the tv series, which I watched in my twenties! The story is still haunting my thoughts, because I very much want this book to transform itself into ‘a first of a series’ OR at the very least ‘one of two’ stories stitched together. Its very much one half of a whole! I truly love this book, for adults! I’ll step off my soapbox now, my ire was irked that’s all!

What do you think you’ll read next!? I will be diving into the world of Ave, [The Fires of Eden series] by way of a short story collection that knits together previously spoken about characters or events, inside The Chronicles of Ave: Volume I by Stephen Zimmer! My review of this lovely collection will be live on my blog: 5th of October! Continuing forward with Eyre, Chapters XXII-XXIX will be consumed next, as well as Two Shall Become One: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Pride and Prejudice Continues by Sharon Lathan, Pemberley by the Sea {alternative title: The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice} and Mr. Darcy’s Obsession by Abigail Reynolds; Pride, Prejudice, and Jasmin Field by Melissa Nathan; Dancing with Mr. Darcy: stories inspired by Jane Austen and Chawton House {anthology} by Sarah Waters and Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal. I am still awaiting materials through ILL &/or books to boomerang back to me, to complete my Classics Re-Told Project, therefore, this is an abbreviated list!

BONUS: What did you forego reading at the moment to read again lateron? Sadly, I had to let go of Lucid Stars by Andrea Barrett, which was an ILL book, and therefore, will be a bit trickier to get back again! I simply ran out of hours to read all the lovely books I was attempting to read having been ill for a week [third week of September!]. There are times when you simply cannot do anymore than your able too. The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Cafe, and Jane and the Unpleasantness of Scargrave Manor slid into this category as well! I was able to reach the audio clip that I shared with you during my Top Ten List for Autumn Reads, yet that was about as far as I made it before it was called back! With Scargrave, I felt like it would be possible to conclude the story, but in the end, the hours rain out of the hourglass! I am back on hold for both of these lovelies, and eagerly await their return! I have also decided that for whichever reason, my ‘time’ to read Mistress of my Fate has not yet arrived!

Whew!

I wonder what everyone else is up, too!?

{SOURCE: The WWW Wednesday badge created by Jorie in Canva as a way to
promote the weekly meme for those who want to take part in it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.

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Posted Thursday, 26 September, 2013 by jorielov in 19th Century, After the Canon, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Books of Eyre, British Literature, Classics Re-Told: 19th Century & Gothic Classics, Cosy Mystery, Debut Novel, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Reading Challenge Addict, Science Fiction, Septemb-Eyre, Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, the Victorian era, WWW Wednesdays