Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Cousin Caroline

Win the first book in the series! My Cousin Caroline features Rebecca Ann Collins favorite character, Caroline Gardiner. Leave me a comment telling me your favorite Jane Austen character - and why. Tomorrow night (9-2-09) at 9pm West Coast Time a winner will randomly be selected and receive the first book in this series, The Pemberley Chronicles. (If you already own this book then leave that in the comment as well and I'll send you a copy of My Cousin Caroline instead!)

My Cousin Caroline
Rebecca Ann Collins
5 Stars

The only way this book could be better is if Austen wrote it herself. It was a superb book and made me smile. Without giving everything away in the book, I included some of my favorite parts below.

My Cousin Caroline is the 6th book in the Pemberly Chronicles, but could be taken out of the series and read alone. The timeline of this story starts back at the beginning, Jane and Elizabeth’s wedding. Caroline falls in love with Colonel Fitzwilliam and the story follows their life together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading some of the thoughts of Colonel Fitzwilliam at the beginning of the book. I love the idea of him being secretly in love with Lizzie first, although I am so happy that he finds Caroline.

Since the timeline of this story goes back to the beginning of this series, it’s fascinating reading a different perspective of certain characters, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Emily Gardiner, and Paul Antoine, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, even Lydia. I was crushed again while reading the account of the unfortunate accident of Edward Fitzwilliam and William Darcy. It was so hard to read the first time and even though I knew it would happen and I was expecting it really was heartbreaking.

In the last book, Mr. Darcy’s Daughter we learned more details about the Gardiners’ business and how Caroline had become very involved. In My Cousin Caroline we were able to read first hand how Robert’s behavior really changed and molded some of Mr. Gardiner final decisions. I think one could draw a parallel to Rose and Robert and their affiliation with the business and how many people act in our time today. At one point in the book Emily says to Caroline, “Don’t be too hard on them, Caroline, both Robert and Rose have grown up rather different to the way we did.” This statement says it all. Just a few lines down we read about how Robert and Rose are full of interests and life, but charity and work are just not one of them. I think this is so true of people in our world today!

Isabella. I love her character, first she is in love, but with a character that might be shady, then she finds love again only to have that shaken too. I just wanted to clap out loud at the end of the book when Mr. Philip Bentley came back and had made a name for himself. I loved that ending!

I could easily say that My Cousin Caroline was my favorite out of the entire Pemberly Series, but then when I sit down and take out each book in the series I am reminded why I love each and one so much. There are few things I love more than reading and enjoying a wholesome book. Not only has Rebecca Ann Collins provided me with a wholesome great book, but a whole series of them that I can enjoy over and over. Each character is though out and well developed and I easily fall in love with them. This book can be read if you are new to the series or in sequence, either way I believe there is no way that My Cousin Caroline will disappoint.


Zahra said...

Hi Debbi,
This is Zahra. I was in Wades group at DMU. I was thinking of the group and thought I'd see how everyone is doing. I hope you all are well! Are you in Seattle? I have never read Jane Austen so I can't answer you question but thought I'd try to win anyway! Hope you all are well!
Zahra Kent

Anne-Marie said...

My favorite Austen Character is totally Elizabeth Bennet. I know that's terribly cliche, but I love her spunk and her attitude. I feel like I could connect with her! :) Good luck with school! WE've loved it so far!

Jenny said...

Dear Debbi,
I am familiar with this series ( The Pemberley Chronicles) and I have to say that I agree completely with your review of My Cousin Caroline. You have understood the appeal of the characters and story perfectly- but may I add just one more feature please?
Rebecca Ann Collins doesn't just tell an interesting story or use Jane Austen's characters to continue the P&P story- she recreates the complete social and domestic background of the Pemberley people and their lives in Victorian England- so we feel as we read that we are there, going through it all with them. All the details of life in that era make it seem so real to us even though it's 200 years ago and in another country. That makes these novels so much more authentic and credible and I simply love them.
Thanks again for yur blog and your excellent revieww.

Family Scads said...

My favorite character would have to be Eleanor Dashwood. I love her 'sensible' nature and logical reasoning. She is smart and witty, keeping her emotions far away from the surface, while secretly she has just as much heart as a normal female.

In college, my roommate and I used to compare ourselves to Eleanor and Mary Ann (I was Eleanor and she was Mary Ann) because my roommate was always so emotional and dependent on a relationship, and I was always guarded and content to just date around. We used to watch Sense and Sensibility over and over again and laugh at how much we were like the characters. Sounds like a college thing right?

Good luck with school. I am already getting sad thinking of Gwen leaving me for school...and she is only 3!!

Kyjah and Brandon said...

Hey Debbi...I love Elizabeth Bennet as well. I love that she says what she thinks and doesn't sit around waiting for any guy.

I already have the first book, Brandon got it for me for Christmas from you reccommendation and I loved it.

Hope you guys are good.

Kathy said...

My favorite character is Anne Elliot from Persuasion. I think partly it is because she is older (as am I) than the other protagonists. She is level-headed, and sensible, and a little more reserved. People don't always get how great she is just by looking on the surface of things, but luckily Captain Wentworth does, and can't forget her over his 8 year absence.

Sue de Bruyn said...

Hi Debbi,
I've just had the good fortune to receive an advance copy of the next volume in the Pemberley series- Postscript from Pemberley. I read it in a weekend- almost at a sitting!

I can recommend it to all you fellow Austen fans- as a terrific sequel which uses some of the beloved original characters from Pride and Prejudice and brings along a bunch of younger ones from the next generation, who breathe new life and vitality into the series.

The lives and loves of Darcy Gardiner, Jessica Courtney, Julian Darcy and a glamorous Irish new comer - Kathryn O'Hare are the main concern of author- Rebecca Ann Collins, who does an excellent job of telling their stories as they make their way through the exciting Victorian age of English history.
I couldn't put it down.

Have you read it yet?
I'd love to know what you think of the book.