Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of my all-time favourite books, so I was keen to read Cassandra, which is inspired by it and features many of the characters we know and love from the classic novel.
In Cassandra (The Cousins of Pemberley, Book 1) the story begins in Newcastle in 1832. Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Wickham – the daughter of Lydia Allerton (one of the Bennet sisters, who married Mr Wickham) – is 18 years old and being presented to society at a regimental ball. Mr Wickham, her father, has died ten years before and Colonel Allerton is her stepfather.
Cassandra is very different to her mother Lydia who loves balls, dancing and regimental gossip. Cassie likes reading and appreciates other who enjoy books, such as Dr Richard Courtney. Lydia wants to marry off her daughter to someone with money and status. During the regimental ball, Cassandra overhears the Colonel arranging a financial agreement to sell her to a man who is a single father and wants someone to be his lover and a mother to his children.
Hating this idea, Cassandra runs away…
Ooh, I loved this, it took me right back to studying Jane Austen for O-level English Lit and falling in love with her world and her characters. Linda O’Byrne has got it just right and it feels like a real sequel, a story that fits in well in every way – the characters (both old and new), the gorgeous settings, the language, everything. She has done a great job and I will look forward to reading the second one in the series.
8.5 out of 10
Fiction has always been my go-to world, a place of entertainment, excitement and imagination – I am told that I wrote my first story when I was four about a lady who had twenty children! Sadly it has been lost for posterity.
I have been writing all my life in the time I could spare from having a “proper job”, mostly for children under the name of Linda Blake, stories of ballet dancers, pony riding and talking animals! Not all in the same book!
But my love of romance, a great tendency to say “What if..?” and the endearing characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have now resulted in a series of books that will take the reader forward to the next generation of heroines.
I am retired, live in Kent and am a keen member of my local drama group. Directing and acting take up a lot of my time – I have been given the onerous task of writing the Christmas pantomimes – but I still need to cope with a large garden, doing daily battle with the heron who thinks my pond is his own breakfast buffet and keeping in touch with friends and family scattered all over the world.
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Many years have passed since the dramatic events of Pride and Prejudice.
In The Cousins of Pemberley series we follow a new generation of heroines – cousins with
lives as different and interesting as those enjoyed by their mothers.
Cassandra Wickham, daughter of a flirt and a scoundrel, an innocent abroad in a world where money can buy you anything, even a bride.
When danger threatens and the man she thought she could rely on fails her, there is only one place she can turn to
for help –
Surely the Darcy’s will protect her, no matter what happened in the past to divide the two families?
Coming March 2022: Miriam – Book 2 in The Cousins of Pemberley series.