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I did not expect to like this as much as I haveother Pride and Prejudice variations andcontinuations because of the event a rape at the heart of th story However it was very well handled, especially the effect on Lizzie and her whole family I do recommend thishighly. Book status updates are NOT stalking.Neither are blog posts on a PUBLIC website the author s private journal about their hurt feewings This horrible personal attack was a very thoughtful and detailed critique of the book, and the reviewer didn t even give it a star ratings because they DNF The blog post also seems to suggest that a reader shouldn t be disturbed by the rape of a teenager because it wasn t explicit Book status updates are NOT stalking.Neither are blog posts on a PUBLIC website the author s private journal about their hurt feewings This horrible personal attack was a very thoughtful and detailed critique of the book, and the reviewer didn t even give it a star ratings because they DNF The blog post also seems to suggest that a reader shouldn t be disturbed by the rape of a teenager because it wasn t explicit Beth Massey s Goodly Creatures is subtitled A Pride and Prejudice Deviation, and readers can expect just that Although this retelling of Jane Austen s Pride and Prejudice is much darker than any other Austen inspired novel I ve read, I was glued to the book for the entire 600 page ride.In Goodly Creatures, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are connected long before he visits the Netherfield estate with Mr Bingley and gets Mrs Bennet all excited about the prospect of rich bachelors for Beth Massey s Goodly Creatures is subtitled A Pride and Prejudice Deviation, and readers can expect just that Although this retelling of Jane Austen s Pride and Prejudice is much darker than any other Austen inspired novel I ve read, I was glued to the book for the entire 600 page ride.In Goodly Creatures, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are connected long before he visits the Netherfield estate with Mr Bingley and gets Mrs Bennet all excited about the prospect of rich bachelors for the daughters she s so desperate to marry off Darcy meets a 15 year old Elizabeth when she attends the theater in London with her aunt and uncle, and he is captivated by her reaction to Shakespeare s play and her ability to make him laugh However, when they first meet, Darcy is a married man, having entered into a marriage of convenience with his cousin, Anne, daughter of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh.Darcy also is accompanied that evening by his cousin, Lord Wolfbridge, a well known rake and a pervert who enjoys compromising teenage girls with childlike features What happens between Elizabeth and Lord Wolfbridge during her time in London sets the tone for the entire book, sucking the life but not the impertinence out of Elizabeth She is broken by this incident, vowing never to marry because of her fear of men and her fear of this secret being exposed, but she exacts revenge in a way that both protects her sisters reputations and ruins Darcy s opinion of her.When Darcy and Elizabeth cross paths five years later in Hertfordshire, they are much different people from when they first met Elizabeth has endured years of gossip, but not even her dearest sister Jane or her father know her secret Darcy can t deny his attraction to her, but misunderstandings involving Anne and Mr Wickham, the need to conceal their prior acquaintance, and the wall Elizabeth has built around her heart stand in the way of their happiness.It s hard to sayabout the plot of Goodly Creatures without giving too much away Massey s take on Pride and Prejudice is quite different, and she indicates in the Acknowledgements that the novel is her way of righting the wrongs in Eliza Williams story in Sense and Sensibility using the basic plot and characters of Austen s most popular novel In doing so, she raises a valid question What if the compromised women in Austen s novels weren t merely silly girls who allowed themselves to be seduced And what follows is a story both fraught with pain and filled with hope.I liked many things about Goodly Creatures, especially how Massey was fearless in injecting such dark themes as rape and murder into a novel I ve always thought of as a humorous social commentary minus Lydia Bennet s horrible fate I m not an Austen purist I can separate the original novels and characters from those of the sequels and retellings, so I don t mind when the characters become almost unrecognizable as long as the book is unique, interesting, and well written.I thought the various literary and political discussions were interesting and added context, and I especially loved the allusion to Austen s Persuasion through the character of Sir Walter Trent, the longtime friend of Mr Bennet who leases Netherfield to Mr Bingley, moves to Bath because of his extravagant spending habits, and is overly concerned with his outward appearance very much like Sir Walter Elliot Massey also makes Mr Collinslikable, and she allows us to imagine a world in which Lydia is sensible and not self absorbed and Jane is reckless and needs saving.Although Goodly Creatures is a decent self published novel, it would have benefited from some additional editing I came across several typos and font formatting issues, and I grew tired of hearing Elizabeth s secret retold in its entirety nearly every time it was disclosed to another character There also were several scenes that weretelling than showing one toward the end had Mr Darcy traveling to quickly meet his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, to take care of a very major problem, and it was all resolved in a single paragraph.Even so, I enjoyed the book and appreciate what Massey was trying to accomplish in her handling of the characters, especially Elizabeth, who is haunted by her memories of Lord Wolfbridge and focuses on the happiness of her sisters because she doesn t believe she ll ever be whole again I couldn t help but think that if Elizabeth and Darcy could overcome the obstacles Massey put in their path, then they could overcome anything It s amazing to think how many unique stories have been written in response to a single novel, and I just can t get enough of them If you love Austen inspired novels as much as I do and don t mind lengthy tales, then go ahead and give Goodly Creatures a try.Review posted on Diary of an EccentricI received a free copy of this book for review My heart goes out to this author who felt compelled to write this book I read that she had a a personal take on this and it is sad to hear of anyone dealing in such pain.That being said,when I read P P variations I like to walk away feeling inspired and lets face it,I think when we read we want to escape our everyday struggles and worries The story lacked in my expectations there was too much time spent with Elizabeth recapping her experience with almost every aquaintance I felt it took alot My heart goes out to this author who felt compelled to write this book I read that she had a a personal take on this and it is sad to hear of anyone dealing in such pain.That being said,when I read PP variations I like to walk away feeling inspired and lets face it,I think when we read we want to escape our everyday struggles and worries The story lacked in my expectations there was too much time spent with Elizabeth recapping her experience with almost every aquaintance I felt it took alot of the romance out of the story I love to hear told over and over again I really wanted to seeof that connection I ve read in other variations The book left me feeling depressed and empty I know this is a fact of life that things like this do take place but I just wish the author would have used her own charcters to do it I bought it to see Darcy save the day and feel the love they shared together Instead even after the tragedy it snowballed and lost my interest Darcy s loyalty to Anne De Bourge,of all people, was very painful to read and as a mother of two myself to not know your child until 5 years of their life has been lived is depressing.If your looking for a book on healing this would be a good place to start if your looking for Darcy and Elizabeth its not I thoroughly enjoyed this story I would classify it as a Historical fiction combined with our beloved Pride and Prejudice It s historical because the writer delves into the landscape of the times and raises issues to the forefront In this alteration the story starts out 6yrs earlier Darcy is married and he meets Elizabeth at the theater He is with his wife and Viscount Wolbridge col F s older brother The Tempest is being played out and this definitely sets the stage for the book The I thoroughly enjoyed this story I would classify it as a Historical fiction combined with our beloved Pride and Prejudice It s historical because the writer delves into the landscape of the times and raises issues to the forefront In this alteration the story starts out 6yrs earlier Darcy is married and he meets Elizabeth at the theater He is with his wife and Viscount Wolbridge col F s older brother The Tempest is being played out and this definitely sets the stage for the book The unthinkable happens to 15 yr old Elizabeth and to keep her out of harms way her family procede to protect her This involves Darcy and Anne Debourge Darcy The story is quite intricate and we learn alot about the characters The author does a fabulas job keeping the characters we love the way they should be and she adds a few characters that are dispicable but also some characters you will grow to love I won t lie, the journey this book takes is long and full of angst but well worth it Our favorite characters are better off for it And I just love how in the epilogue we learn everything that ougt to be Really enjoyed this book A definite read for ALL the JAFF readers out there.Oh by the way this author inserts Jane Austens words very adeptly You will recognise them imediately They may not becoming out of the mouths of who you expect but it is done so perfectly you will love reading it Also you will find references to Jane Austen s other novels This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Goodly Creatures A Pride and Prejudice DeviationThis was a good story, but was difficult to read Darcy s wife, Anne, had conspired with their perverted cousin, Viscount Wolfbridge to leave fifteen year old Elizabeth locked alone in the Viscount s private rooms at Darcy House Unfortunately for Elizabeth, what the Viscount Wolfbridge did left Elizabeth with child When Elizabeth and her Uncle Gardiner confront the Darcys and the Viscount and ask for money, the Viscount sneers at her while Darcy Goodly Creatures A Pride and Prejudice DeviationThis was a good story, but was difficult to read Darcy s wife, Anne, had conspired with their perverted cousin, Viscount Wolfbridge to leave fifteen year old Elizabeth locked alone in the Viscount s private rooms at Darcy House Unfortunately for Elizabeth, what the Viscount Wolfbridge did left Elizabeth with child When Elizabeth and her Uncle Gardiner confront the Darcys and the Viscount and ask for money, the Viscount sneers at her while Darcy thinks she s a mercenary When Anne convinces him that she wants the child, Elizabeth agrees to accept 20000 Anne promises Elizabeth to tell Darcy what really happened in his home and what she did to allow their cousin to rape a fifteen year old When Elizabeth returns to Longbourn, she is a changed sixteen year old She is sad and afraid and pretty much becomes a recluse She will not talk to anyone, not even Jane When Anne is dying crook childbirth within the next year after Bethany, she tries to tell Darcy the truth but slips into unconsciousness and dies Six years have passed and while assisting Charles at Netherfield, Caroline and Darcy make unkind comments about the missing recluse within hearing distance of her family In this story, the Bennet sisters are very close andthan one defend Elizabeth Somehow Darcy has seemed to have forgotten the name Bennet, but comes to apologize the next day Mr Bennet puts Darcy through an integration When Darcy is out riding, he happens upon Elizabeth at Oakham Mount and his unwavering pride continues to plague his feelings for Elizabeth In fact, he has dreamt of her since meeting her at the theater six years ago His marriage to Anne was a marriage of convenience and when he makes comments about her dress and Wickham, she realizes that he still thinks of her as being a whore and a mercenary Elizabeth leaves, but decides to write a letter explaining why he allowed Wickham to think she believed his story Turns out that Wickham is good friends with the Viscount and Elizabeth is worried that is why he sought her out While in Hunsford, when Georgiana meets Elizabeth she is in shock Before her is Bethany s mother The children love her immediately and want their father to marry her Colonel Fitzwilliam relates too much of Darcy s interference in Jane and Georgiana s love life and tells him that she cannot get married When Jane writes to say that she has met the Viscount and in London, Lizzy makes for London to be sure that they attend the theater and tea that Lady Elderton having Darcy follows the next day with his children All are present at the tea and Elizabeth tells her to come to Darcy House She tells Jane the awful truth about her relationship to the Viscount When she explains that she s too old and developed for the Viscount, but the Earl would had propositioned her and possibly done what the Viscount done to her, Jane is beside herself with grief Luckily, Darcy brought Charles and Sir Gareth Hughes with him Darcy stays to confront both the Viscount and the Earl of Elderton and when the Viscount makes a snide remark about Elizabeth, Darcy punches him so hard that he broke his nose and knocks one tooth out and completely slides across the room slamming against the wall Charlotte is married to Colonel Forster and invites Lydia to accompany Maria In Brighton they meet Colonel Fitzwilliam, Colonel Bledsoe, and his sister Sally Lydia sees that Sally is fond of Wickham When Lydia tells her of his sins against mankind, Sally doesn t believe it and continues to sneak away While the three girls are shopping Sally sneaks off with Wickham She sends Maria back for the three colonels while she follows them Seeing what house they go into, Lydia takes the knife Elizabeth gave here having been taught by the three colonels how to use it, bursts into the house to confront Wickham Seeing Wickham downstairs, she asks where Sally is Just then she hears a blood curdling screen from upstairs When she arrives at the room, she sees Sally in the corner with her dress torn She tells Sally to take her shaw, cover herself, and run She also tells her what her told her about kicking Wickham between the legs Not knowing who this young girl is, but is too well developed for him, when he asks her and he finds out she s Elizabeth s sister, he begins abusing Elizabeth s character being very explicit about what he did and the resulting bastard she birthed Lydia snapped and ended the evil Viscount s practices against young girls Fitzwilliam decides what he is going to do and sends Wickham from England never to return Wickham is scared enough of the three colonels that he doesn t realize Fitzwilliam used his sword to stab the Viscount exactly where the knife wound was and returns it to the sword to its scabbard Wickham is voted off the island with directions to never return When Bingley returns to Netherfield, he tells Lizzy that his desires have not changed When he learns exactly what happened that day at Darcy House he is mortified, besides he has wasted five years with his pride refusing to love Elizabeth from their first meeting, because he never stopped to ask After Darcy passed away, Elizabeth goes to visit Bethany and her family During a time out enjoying French pastries, Bethany tells her mother, Elizabeth, that she has known that she was her birth mother Finally, Elizabeth is able to let her secrets vanish At this time, I feel unable to write a review on this book My rating will have to do, but I can say it is truly worth reading. I am in awe of this book and the author When putting up my five stars I had to suppress a brief urge to go back to all my other read P P novels and lower their rating just to make this book shine out some.Not everyone will be happy with the main trigger for this deviation It is certainly a very difficult topic and Jane Austen purists may feel it is too much of an imposition And because the circumstance of the story is so extreme, by necessity some of the propriety of behaviour must fal I am in awe of this book and the author When putting up my five stars I had to suppress a brief urge to go back to all my other read PP novels and lower their rating just to make this book shine out some.Not everyone will be happy with the main trigger for this deviation It is certainly a very difficult topic and Jane Austen purists may feel it is too much of an imposition And because the circumstance of the story is so extreme, by necessity some of the propriety of behaviour must fall away by the end creating dialogue and scenes that some may consider not authentic but I assure you that when reading nothing feelsnatural than the way the book evolves The best compliment I can give this book is that it is not just another damsel in distress variation The author does not weaken Lizzy just to allow us to see the softer side of Mr Darcy emerge early as he tries to protect her Because, let s face it, the reason PP inspired novels are so popular is because they allow us ladies to spend a littletime with the perfect fantasy of Mr Darcy Even in the happiest of marriages we still seek the fantasy of that protective gentleman who will go out of his way to look after the people he loves in their moments of weakness and distress This is not one of those books The misunderstanding between Lizzy and Mr Darcy persists for much of the book and brings disquiet to the reader This is not written for us to enjoy the fantasy of Mr Darcy This is an author s personal journey to deal with her own tragedy and she asks the question what would happen if Lizzy experienced the same event I think it is important that this is understood This book is not about gratuitous evil or violence And perhaps because the tale plumbs the depths of despair so muchdeeply than the original work, the happy endings appear that much happier and sweeter for having overcome greater obstacles.I will not summarise the novel here or spoil the particular twists and turns of the tale but I will set out the circumstances of how the story arises There are three deviations in the set up of this tale from the original The most minor one is Mr Bennet s failing eyesight This is a contrivance to createextensive interaction between Mr Bennet and his daughters first Lizzy and then others as they are required to read to him, both for entertainment and for the management of the estate Secondly, by the time this tale begins, some five years prior to the events set out by Jane Austen, Mr Darcy is already married, having proposed to Ms Anne de Bourgh earlier, both to give his cousin an escape from her mother s overbearance and to allow him avoid the torments of the Season and the search for a wife These two contrivances set the stage for the event around which everything else involves the violation of fifteen year old Elizabeth Bennet at the hands of one of his depraved cousin while on a visit to her aunt and uncle in London This one event so manifestly changes the tale that when we finally arrive, six years later, in Herefortshire and the arrival of Mr Bingley and his brooding friend, the exact same happenings produce unexpected results to alter the tale far beyond recognition Lizzy returns to her sisters altered, stronger and weaker at the same time While hiding her terrible secret she is determined to protect her sisters from her own mistake, altering their own characters as a result Jane Austen s beloved words come out but from the mouths of different characters It is Lizzy who is forced to write to Mr Darcy to put him on guard about the schemes of Mr Wickham Jane s stoic reserve is given root cause as does Mrs Bennet s obsession with marrying off her daughters Lizzy s alteration makes her most unsuitable to the attentions of Mr Collins, who instead takes on the dour Mary, only Mary is no longer dour, having been changed by her forced interaction with her father when assisting him in Lizzy s absence While truly evil characters have no redemption here, the author finds it in her heart to grant it to everyone else Even the misguided Mr Collins and the frivolous Mrs Bennet are turned into goodly creatures But there is no forced conversion or uncomfortable compromise in the story to make these events happen thanks to the skillful manipulation of the author.Stepping away from the events, I have just as much praise for the depth of the author s research I often peruse the acknowledgements if they come before the start of the book and I was initially surprised by the length and to the range of literature, art and music to which the author referred But having read the book the literary and artistic references are integral to the book as the the works referred to are used to mirror the situations being played out The references do not bore even if they are unfamiliar and they are constantly used to further the story rather than fill pages with unnecessary descriptions Some people set on total authenticity may criticise certain conversations which cross the bounds of propriety but I believe in this case the criticism doesn t apply as the novel itself strives to cross that line intentionally to acknowledge that event which is so often concealed and not spoken about To reach resolution and happiness the characters are forced to discuss the unspeakable and the skill of the dialogue makes these conversations feel natural The worst I can say about this book is that the author needs to have it better edited for some minor typographical errors such as the occasional lost quotation marks and one or two words that look to have gone missing and so forth Don t read this if you want a frivolous romance romp Read this if you want to keep thinking for a while after you put the book down and are interested in an emotional journey that, even with the scars, comes out all the sweeter and happier for the trials and tribulations A Note from Indie Jane The author was informed in advance that this review would not be positive and elected to go forward with the publication Indie Jane fully supports Patty Marq and her balanced review of Goodly Creatures The other day, Nancy tweeted a link to book recommendations for different kinds of Janeites There they described three types of Janeites Purists who read only the original works and other letters and unfinished works writte A Note from Indie Jane The author was informed in advance that this review would not be positive and elected to go forward with the publication Indie Jane fully supports Patty Marq and her balanced review of Goodly Creatures The other day, Nancy tweeted a link to book recommendations for different kinds of Janeites There they described three types of Janeites Purists who read only the original works and other letters and unfinished works written by Jane Austen, Free for Alls who read anything related to Jane Austen, and the Inbetweeners who read adaptations, sequels but want to stay loyal to the original works Depending on which type of Janeite you are, there are some stories which you will or will not tolerate.In Goodly Creatures, Beth Massey writes about a series of events that happen years before Mr Darcy and Elizabeth, events that forever change the fate of all the characters from Pride and Prejudice In this book, we see some of thenegative circumstances often not talked about in light hearted Regency romances, such as rape and murder And that is the main problem with this book, that while other stories have included pre marital sex or children born out of wedlock, we do not often see it to the extremes of portraying the rape of a girl so young that she is basically a child nor a young teenager committing murder with very little afterthought A good portion of the book is spent on re telling the horrible events that happened so long ago and we get to see inside the thoughts of a man who has become a pedophiliac If you were looking for a lighthearted adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, you will not find it here.However, later in the book we start to get the redemption that many of the characters needed We see punishment come to those who deserve it but at the cost of being faithful to the characters portrayed This is another problem I have with the book, some characters change without explanation While the main characters do have a backstory to explain why their characters have undergone changes, it is the people around them who change without reason Lydia becomes a good judge of character but nothing of her past explains the dissonance between Lydia in Goodly Creatures and Lydia in Pride and Prejudice Charlotte marries Colonel Forster but we do not know how this even came to happen, it is just stated While I have no problem seeing the characters with different characters or partners, I like to see a plausible explanation why they changed.In the end, we do get our happy endings Those who were prevented from being together as they should have been earlier in the book finally get to be together at the end but the story of how they got there was too horrific to make this a book I would recommend to others It deals with the horrific rape of a girl who was practically a child and that is something we constantly relive throughout the book due to her posttraumatic stress disorder.Two out of five stars.Reviewed by Patty Marq for Indie Jane `DOWNLOAD EPUB ↚ Goodly Creatures: A Pride and Prejudice Deviation ↟ A life altering event inextricably links a fifteen year old Elizabeth Bennet to Fitzwilliam Darcy while simultaneously creating an almost insurmountable divide This Pride and Prejudice deviation takes the reader on a journey through a labyrinth filled with misunderstandings, bias, guilt and fear not to mention, laughter, animal magnetism and waltzing As Elizabeth says, she shed enough tears to float one of Lord Nelson s frigates but as she learned from her father unhappiness does, indeed, have comic aspects one should never underestimate Though the path for our protagonists is much arduous than canon, the benefit remains the same a very happy Janeite ending for these two star crossed lovers Along the way there is retribution, redemption and reward for other characters including a few that recall players in two grave injustices as written by Ms Austen in Sense and Sensibility These grievances prompted this long time struggler for women s rights to write a tale that provided these women vindication