Thursday, 12 June 2014

Book Review #5 (2014) - 'Return to Longbourn' by Shannon Winslow

Return to Longbourn (2013)
Shannon Winslow

What will happen to the Bennet females, now that Mr. Bennet has died? 

With Mr. Tristan Collins on his way from America to claim his property, Mrs. Bennet hatches her plan. The new heir to Longbourn simply must marry one of her daughters. Nothing else will do. Will it be Mary or Kitty singled out for this dubious honor? When the gentleman in question turns out to be quite a catch after all, the contest between the sisters is on. Which one will be the next mistress of Longbourn? Or will the dark horse in the race take the prize?

Darcy, Elizabeth, and the rest of the "Pride and Prejudice" cast are back as the socially awkward Mary emerges from the shadows to take center stage in Shannon Winslow’s long-awaited sequel to her best-selling novel, "The Darcys of Pemberley."

Many Austen fans have a soft spot in their hearts for Mary Bennet, wondering if she might have the hidden makings of a heroine. Now, in "Return to Longbourn," we learn what really makes her tick. Find out if she’s destined to be a governess forever, or if she overcomes the misfortune of being "plain" to find love and her own happy ending.
(Taken from Amazon)

As an avid lover of all things Austen, especially anything to do with 'Pride and Prejudice,' I was really looking forward to reading this book about what happened to the remainder of the Bennet females as Lizzy, Jane and even Lydia went off to live their lives as married women. After a slow start I began to really enjoy this continuation of Austen's fantastic novel. It was interesting to see the character of Mary Bennet become centrestage and although I didn't always agree with the interpretation of her character, the surprising romantic and sensitive side of the most serious of Miss Bennets was enjoyable to read. 

As with all of Austen's novels, there were of course some strong male characters, Tristan Collins and Harrison Farnsworth. The 'new Mr Collins' was at first quite a mysterious character and it would've been nice to have known a little more of his life in America, but even without this he was a likeable man who reminded me a little of a cross between Mr Bingley and Denny! Harrison Farnsworth reminded me a lot of Mr Rochester in 'Jane Eyre' and the novel does hold quite a few similarities with Bronte's famous work. If you are a 'Pride and Prejudice' fan, then you will love the resurrection of the old characters, Lizzie, Kitty, Mr Darcy and even Charlotte Lucas makes an appearance. However, the star of the novel, in terms of capturing the essence of Austen's original, was Mrs Bennet! She was at her best in this novel, exactly as Austen created and often made me laugh out loud when talking to poor Mary.

If you enjoy an 'Austenesque' read, along with familiar characters and enjoy seeing the 'underdog' succeed then you will love this! My advice, keep going! The first 10-15 chapters (Don't worry-they are super short!) are quite hard going but once the story kicks off it is an enjoyable read and a great way to explore the other characters from the iconic Austen novel.

Hope you enjoyed this review, definitely worth a read if you are an Austen fan! Would love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for popping by.

**All opinions expressed in this review are my own, I have not received any compensation for my review and do not wish to offend in any way.


  1. I am so excited to share this series with my sister-in-law...the person who bought me my first copy of a Jane Austen novel. These sound like good books for the summer, when mom refuses to "go to bed" before the sun goes down, but falls asleep sitting up - leaving me plenty of time to read! Thanks

  2. Sounds like a perfect Austen-lover's summer vacation read! :-)