The Elizabeth papers, Jenetta James‘ second novel, is a kind of sequel to Pride and Prejudice that arrives until our days. The story, in fact, tells about the female descendants of Fitzwilliam Darcy that are beneficiaries of a trust fund. One of them, Cressida Carter, however, thinks that not all women who receive this money actually have the right, because she became aware of a gossip about a daughter of Mr Darcy, Victoria, which could be considered an illegitimate daughter of the gentleman. It is on this basis that the private investigator Charlie Haywood will begin his investigations until he meets Evie, a talented and lived hard woman. So the mystery of Victoria’s birth will be investigated in a story that goes back in time thanks to the diaries of Elizabeth Darcy.
The story is nice and the reading is quite smooth despite the constant changes of perspective and stage. The novel, in fact, interweaves two stories: the one that happened in the Regency era and the one that occurred in 2014. The main characters of the story set in modern times resemble those that we know from Jane Austen’s novel. She, with a particular nature but with mental fortitude, and he, who, although in my imagination is like Mr Darcy more for appearance than for character, runs to her aid as his alter ego did on the quest for Lydia. Their love story is very delicate, the author has only hinted at it, while the story set during the Darcys marriage is somewhat more compelling. The only weak point of the book is an end told from afar.
Through her story, and perhaps unintentionally, the author managed to convey a very important message, regarding generosity and sincere affection. Its blatant example are the actions of the Darcys towards their family and those of Evie towards her sister. I also think it is necessary to add that the children should not pay for their parents’ blame.
Jenetta James is the nom de plume of a lawyer, writer and mother. She grew up in Cambridge and read history at Oxford University where she was a scholar and president of the Oxford University History Society. After graduating, she took to the law and now practises full time as a barrister. Over the years she has lived in France, Hungary and Trinidad as well as her native England. Jenetta currently lives in London with her husband and children where she enjoys reading, laughing and playing with Lego.
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 The Elizabeth papers by Jenetta James. Click here to find out the other steps of the tour.