It has to be said from the outset that Impulse & Initiative is not an Austen sequel. Rather, it is an Austen variation. Allow me to explain the difference: an Austen sequel continues beyond Austen's end to a novel; a variation re-tells the novel, playing the "what if?" game.
Impulse & Initiative is a retelling of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice. This time, though, what if Mr Darcy had not retreated after Elizabeth Bennet refused his first proposal of marriage and instead followed her to Longbourn to pursue her affections? I mean really pursue. And what if Elizabeth capitualated in a most 2008 manner? Yowza.
Now I'll admit that I haven't read a true romance-genre novel since I was a teenager and the forbiddeness of it led me to purchase about 50 of them from a local used bookstore and read them in the family treehouse. (Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series notwithstanding, but I classify that as historical fiction to retain my dignity.) I'll just say this: Abigail Reynolds sure knows how to steam up a page! Think Jane Austen writes a bodice-ripper.
The result? Surprisingly fun and
You'll notice that I refrained from giving this novel one of my standard ratings. This is because I have several different recommendations, each based on your particular reading history:
- Those who have never read Pride and Prejudice and don't intend to: Highly recommended!
- Those who have never read Pride and Prejudice but fully intend to someday: Hold off on reading this one. I don't want you to be disappointed in the original.
- Those who have read Pride and Prejudice and were enthralled: Recommended if you can let go of the original characters as Ms. Austen wrote them and let yourself have fun with it.
- Those who have read Pride and Prejudice and weren't particularly impressed: Very much recommended....the spice in this one might be just what it takes to make the characters interesting for you.
Title: Impulse & Initiative
Author: Abigail Reynolds
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Date: September 1, 2008
Other reviews in Blogland:
Becky's Book Reviews
Turn About the Room
Thea's Regency Reviews
Would you like to read the first chapter? (I know you're looking for the hot stuff, that that comes later in the book.)