by C.P. Odom
by C.P. Odom
Consequences is two novellas in one book. Both explore some of the possible changes that could have occurred in Pride & Prejudice depending on choices made or events altered. The book was very well-written and insightful! I will review it in two parts, the way it was written.
Book I: The Road Not Taken
Oh. My. Goodness! The depth and despair of Book I evoked immense feelings. I had a difficult time putting the book down! I can truthfully say I have never read a Pride & Prejudice variation like this one. It begins with Darcy walking to Hunsford immediately prior to his botched proposal and Elizabeth’s strong refusal of it. We are privy to Darcy’s thoughts and inner reactions, before, during and after that proposal. I particularly enjoyed reading these since they were from a man’s point of view. The author did a fantastic job of allowing this reader to feel with Darcy as Elizabeth brings home her anger and prejudices at what she believed to be his arrogance and pride.
The consequences of Lizzy’s decision could, most assuredly, have ended in disaster, instead of happily ever after. Book I: The Road Not Taken answers the following questions and more. What if Darcy’s horse was injured on that fateful day when Elizabeth was at Pemberley with the Gardiners and he didn’t see her? What if Darcy didn’t know about Lydia’s elopement and, therefore, was not able to force Wickham’s hand? What if something happened to Mr. Bennet? What if? The consequences of choices made and one incident changed transform this narrative from the original to what could have been. All characters are affected. Every action has such a domino effect that no one is left untouched. The saying, “No man is an island” has never been more clearly depicted.
When I finished Book I, I cried. I cried even before I finished it and I thought about it for some time. I continue to think on it, even now. My one consolation to those feelings of utter loss was knowing that Book II was the alternate possibility/reality/dream. Even though the first novella had much angst and sorrow, I would not have missed it for the world. It was riveting and emotionally charged.
Book II: The Sleeper Wakes
While visiting Hunsford, Elizabeth awakens from a horrible nightmare and is left with feelings of ‘loneliness, despair, hopelessness and fear’. Although the details of this dream are vague, the emotions aroused are not. A long talk with Charlotte elicits a promise from Lizzy which keeps her from spewing those angry words of refusal when Fitzwilliam Darcy surprises her with a proposal the following night. What if Lizzy decides to marry Darcy even though she does not love him? What if there is never an accidental meeting at Pemberley or the letter exposing Wickham? What if dear sweet Jane is allowed to show a bit of justifiable temper? What if? The consequences of choices made change this narrative from the original too, but not in a devastating manner. This happily ever after affects the characters in a positive light.
Both books have some life lessons that can be gleaned from the pages. Also, there were several thoughts introduced that I must confess I had never before considered. Bearing in mind the number of these novels which I have read, that fact was an eye-opener. I have purposely given few specific details as my intention was to entice not spoil!
There are some great quotes at the beginning of each chapter and an informative Q & A at the end of the book. Loved these extra bonuses!
Author C.P. Odom has outdone himself with this book. He has a good command of Regency language and tells a brilliant story. It is an exceptional read and one that I would encourage all Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice fans to peruse.
5 out of 5 stars