Memory: Vol 2, Trials to Bear: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice - This is going to interesting places.

Memory: Volume 2, Trials to Bear: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice - Linda Wells

Truthfully, I could have ended it with Volume 1 and been happy. Darcy and Elizabeth got together, we got to see her experience Darcy's world, and they ran off to live happier ever after. Sure, not all the characters you'd expect to pair up did, but all in all, not a bad ending.

 

But no, Wells has so much more for us! And I devoured every moment of it. Darcy and Elizabeth's life together in Pemberley comes alive before us, and their sisters face growing up, even Jane. She comes under the tutelage of Lady Matlock to prepare Jane for her potential place in society her marriage could give her. Mary is sent to school with Georgiana where they learn not only how to be ladies but also life lessons that - in Georgiana's case particularly - works out better then in the original novel.

Mrs. Young takes a position at the school and Wickham has her attempt to implant the idea of eloping with him in Georgiana's mind. She attempts to ingratiate herself to her...but Mary will have none of it and makes sure to keep her friend away.

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Mr. Bennett is attempting to connect to his family again and friends and family are getting together and paring up.

 

There were some interesting aspects to this telling. One was how Wickham is involved. Of course, he's there! There is no Ramsgate here because of the timing and change in events, so he comes into the picture instead by showing up to claim more money from Darcy for the promised living. Since he'd signed it away for money before, Darcy sends him away and Wickham decides to take what is rightfully his. Unfortunately, Elizabeth gets in his way.

Bodily threatening Mrs. Darcy was stupid and with his attempted theft gets him sentenced to a one way trip to Australia! Mrs. Young is again his accomplice and helps him after he escapes from prison and kills a drunk to appear as he himself had died. Instead of running away, he attacked Darcy and Elizabeth and their child, nearly killing them both. He hangs for it. 

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Another was Darcy and Elizabeth's child. Often in these books, it takes awhile for them to conceive. Here it takes place quickly, with Darcy's fear of Elizabeth's potential death taking front and center.

Darcy's reading of medical texts to understand Elizabeth's situation comes in handy when he ends up serving as Midwife!

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But they only have the one in this book.

 

In my opinion, the best part of the book was the family and friend interactions. People change, meet each other, and pair up. Many of the characters you know from Austen's novel marry in this book or at least find the one...not always who you'd suspect.

Col. Fitzwilliam meets a wealthy widow who helps him deal with his nightmares of the battlefield, Jane's beau from the last book finds love again, Jane herself marries William Lucus' oldest son, Charlotte gets engaged to the new Master of Rosings' brother the minister, and Mary catches the eye of the Master of Rosings himself!

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Bingley is one of the few to not hook up yet...though there may be glimmering on that front.

 

There were a couple issues, however. In a couple places I felt it dragged slightly and several of the issues were belabored a bit. One such was Darcy's issue with pregnancy and another was Jane's future. This book also is a bit...bawdy. We go well beyond the closed bedroom door and while this would probably be fine for most readers, some would not wish to read this.

 

There was a further issue in this regard. NOTE: This is not a spoiler for the book but rather to cover sexual activities that some might find problematic.

Darcy and Elizabeth engage in adult breast feeding. Not greatly detailed but it is shown and talked about, quite often too. I'm not against this but not a fan at all and quite frankly skipped several instances. Not everyone is okay with things like this and I feel there should have been a warning.

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While I had a couple issues with this book, the plot and characters I continued to enjoy a great deal. The next book is awaiting me!