Title: Mendacity and mourning
Author: J.L. Ashton
Publisher: Meryton Press
Mendacity and mourning is the latest novel written by Jan Ashton inspired by the world of Pride and Prejudice.
Starting with a series of gossip scuffled by Lady Catherine and Mr Collins, a lot of fun is played between Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. From the beginning of their knowledge there are comic situations between the two who think the other engaged, but despite all the obstacles that will stand on their way, their dream of love will be of course fulfilled.
After the death of his cousin Anne, Darcy goes to find his friend Bingley at Netherfield, but there he is mistaken for a groom to be in mourning, rather than of a cousin. Immediately he feels himself attracted to Elizabeth, but believing her engaged with another (one of the funniest jokes of the author) approaches her by believing he is safe from any infatuation. However, in spite of this, he falls in love.
Elizabeth, on her part, can not understand the intentions of the gentleman and those of her own heart.
The two main characters are described very well and resemble the original one. The real success of the work are, however, the other entertaining characters, such as the Fitzwilliams family, the new character of a painter and, in one case, Georgiana (adorable her lemon’s cue on Lady Catherine’s head).
The only weak point in this story are the Colonel Fitzwilliam’s moustaches, I could not imagine him!
Bingley and Jane are almost background characters. It was also nice to see an egoist side in the sweet and ingenious Jane Bennet, a character who in his excessive goodness had tired. I really liked that Wickham remained in the background as a villain, and that for once he was not the ruin of Georgiana or Lydia.
The main theme of the work is that of the very heartfelt duty in the Regency era towards ones family to marry a good party and set aside the feelings. Here almost all the characters struggle against the rules of society and against the gossip that it can create destroying the reputation of good people. Also, in an uncertain present such as this, it’s great to read a story where characters have the strength to fight to achieve their happy endings.
I also appreciated how many of the themes of the original story have been reissued and reused, such as the one of the letter.
The innuendos in the novel are many, but none of them ever fall into the vulgar. I have read this novel in really little time because I was very taken by the story and its humor, so I really recommend it to anyone who wants to laugh.
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J.L. Ashton didn’t meet Jane Austen until she was in her late teens, but in a happy coincidence, she shares a similarity of name with the author and celebrates her birthday on the same day Pride and Prejudice was first published. Jan was an early and avid reader with a vivid imagination and a well-used library card. Her family encouraged her to think of books and their authors as reliable friends. It took summers in London, a history degree, and another decade or two for her to start imagining variations on Pride and Prejudice, and another decade – filled with career, marriage, kids, and a menagerie of pets – to discover the world of JAFF. Today Jan lives and works in the Chicago area, where she is a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America.
From the same author: A searing acquaintance
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange of an honest review.
This post is part of the blog tour that introduces the novel Mendacity and mourning by J.L. Ashton. Click here to find out the other steps of the tour.