Today I’m delighted to welcome Enid Wilson, one of my colleagues from last year’s Blog Book Tours course. Enid’s book Really Angelic: Pride and Prejudice with a paranormal twist arrived in today’s mail, and I’ve had a hard time putting it down long enough to write this post.
Really Angelic is a melding of three genres I’m unaccustomed to reading: it’s a retelling of a Jane Austen novel, it has a strong supernatural aspect, and it’s over-the-top romantic and sexy. Enid explores what would have happened if Elizabeth Bennet were actually Darcy’s guardian angel. I’ve read about a third of the book, and Elizabeth is still somewhat perplexed by her newfound powers, including the ability to sprout wings and fly when the occasion demands. She and Darcy have already had some steamy and highly explicit encounters, but they haven’t fully consummated their relationship. They’ve just been abducted by highwaymen . . .
Enid has me hooked, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I also plan to reread Pride and Prejudice. I became newly intrigued by Jane Austen when I saw the wonderful exhibit about her at the Morgan Library in New York City last December, and I wrote about her early self-published status in my December 4th, titled “Was Jane Austen a professional writer? Not according to the Mystery Writers of America.” I hope you’ll check it out, and by all means, leave some comments for Enid on today’s post.
Enid sent me this article about the mother-daughter relationship in Pride and Prejudice. Read to the end to learn how to win a copy of Really Angelic!
MOTHER AND DAUGHTER
“Come here, child,” cried her father as she appeared. “I have sent for you on an affair of importance. I understand that Mr. Collins has made you an offer of marriage. Is it true?” Elizabeth replied that it was. “Very well–and this offer of marriage you have refused?”
“I have, sir.”
“Very well. We now come to the point. Your mother insists upon your accepting it. Is it not so, Mrs. Bennet?”
“Yes, or I will never see her again.”
“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.” – Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 20.
If you still remember Pride and Prejudice, one of the most interesting issues of the book was Elizabeth Bennet’s relationship with her parents, especially her mother. Mrs Bennet “disliked” her for refusing to marry the heir of Longbourn Mr. Collins, thus failing to save the family from destitute should Mr. Bennet met his destiny.
Many Pride and Prejudice retelling stories explore this aspect to the fullest. On the one hand, there are stories which found Mrs. Bennet to be a woman of sense and took care of her daughters financial needs while her neglectful husband hid in the library with his books.
On the other hand, there are many scenarios which talked about Mrs. Bennet’s dislike of Elizabeth:
- Mrs. Bennet tried to drug Lizzy and compromised her with a rich suitor
- She tried to kill Elizabeth because her second daughter happened to be alive, while the male twin heir was a still born
- She tried to sell Lizzy to Mr. Darcy to repay a debt
In my latest novel, Really Angelic, Pride and Prejudice with a paranormal twist, I’ve given a reason for Mrs. Bennet’s fluttering about Lizzy’s escapades and marrying well.
Elizabeth is in fact an angel fallen from Heaven found by Mrs. Bennet, as a “compensation” for a goddess snatching away her baby Lizzy.
Too far fetched? It may be. But that’s a retelling. In the beginning of the novel, mother and daughter had a similar relationship as in Jane Austen’s original tale but towards the end of the novel when Lizzy’s life was threatened, her mother’s genuine love for her was shown.
Below is an adapted excerpt from Really Angelic about this.
“Lizzy! Oh, my Lizzy, you are safe!” Mrs. Bennet, rushing to her side, hugged her tightly and sobbed aloud. “I cannot bear it if you are taken away from me again.”
Elizabeth was stunned. Her mother did not consider her the favourite and had seldom shown her much affection. She knew that her mother loved her, in her own peculiar way, but she was very touched by her expression of worry over her safety. Elizabeth hugged her back.
“Come, Fanny, we should go inside.” Mr. Bennet said. Elizabeth was surprised at the tender tone of his voice.
“I do not see the reason for all this fuss and the rush,” a new voice said, and Elizabeth turned to see her youngest sister Lydia jumping down from the coach. “Lizzy, did the highwaymen ravish you? Did you enjoy it? Were they handsome?”
At that, Mrs. Bennet gasped and swooned.
Well, what do you think of the relationship of Elizabeth with her parents, in the original Pride and Prejudice or some of the retelling stories?
Enid is delighted to offer a paperback copy of Really Angelic to one of you. Warning: The book contains mature content and is not for the Jane Austen purist. Just tell us what you think by commenting below before 5 February and you have a chance to win the book. Entry opens to worldwide readers. To read more about Enid’s books, you can visit http://steamydarcy.com