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Adam Sockel

Thoughts on the book overall (SPOILERS)

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ADR    1

Meh. Not a big fan of this retelling for a bunch of reasons. In no particular order:

-  Darcy is too nice. A little social awkwardness on his part doesn’t really set up the differences between Darcy and Elizabeth that create the tension in Pride and Prejudice. 

- The dialogue switches back and forth between what would be familiar from the British original and what would have been typical in Montana at the time.  I found that to be both unnerving and annoying.

- Jane’s back story seemed contrived  I’m not sure why it was necessary at all, and the idea that the whole family would have had to move because of it makes little sense.  Further, I never really figured out what Liza’s role in the scandal was, or why someone of her intelligence would have precipitated the scandal with what was apparently a bit of gossip.

I could go on, but I won’t. I’ll just say that a good editor would have helped. The Collins’ baby is a boy named William who somehow morphs into a girl at the end. Lol  Liza’s father apparently goes after Lydia and Wickham but there is no discussion of where he goes or when he returns.  Luckily,  he’s back in time for the wedding  Lol

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Robinreader    0

I wasn’t sure I would like a remake. But I was enticed by the setting (Wyoming).

I very much enjoyed the retelling.

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Meh. The endless hinting at traumatic backstories for every character was wearisome. Somehow I am inordinately bothered that money-tight Janie purchased two oranges from a grocer in middle of Wyoming.

I mostly made it through based on the advice in the author's introduction that the book is intended to be a brief distraction from employment while eating a sandwich

This would make a quintessential Hallmark film.

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Megnar    0

I liked it. This is the second retelling I've read, and I enjoyed it. Thank you

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The writing was alright, standalone. Story was entertaining. However, when comparing the character development and backstory to J. Austin's novel, the characters seem flat, one dimentional, and insipid. Darcy is too kind, and the fact that the author gets into his POV at times destroys the aloof character that the original Darcy was famous for. 

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Sandymom    0

Really enjoyed the book, but I agree with ADR about the backstory of Janie and was confused about how it exactly involved Liza. The train robbery was a good way to get Liza to visit Darcy's house (was wondering how that was going to happen), but I thought it was weird that the robbers made everyone get off of the train. (Couldn't the train just have broken down and everyone was forced to walk to the town?)

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Lrogers    0

I enjoyed the 24 hour escape, but this re-telling did not leave me with much to think about after finishing. I was hoping for more of an inspired story than almost a literal re-telling. The same character names as the beloved original bothered me and overall this lacked the subtle nuances of the orginal. But this did keep my attention and I really enjoyed escaping reality for a day so I thank the author for that.

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SueTown    1

I really disliked this book and was surprised that such a trite book was selected as the Big Read.  It was a very predictable retelling of the Jane Austins story, but the attempt to use similarly styled language really fell fell flat with me.  The story had no suspense, no believable drama and the continual use of metaphors was a bit much.  I read it in about 2 hours because as a reader I never had to reflect on the story or to ponder as to where the plot might be going.

Not a good use of my time.

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lallen    0

This book was a fine distraction and quick read for a lazy summer day, but I agree with other commenters that the backstories could have been flushed out quite a bit more and they were confusing at times. The continual drama of everyone getting sick, train robberies, and Jane's past all seemed a bit much and not believable. I did enjoy Darcy's sister's character (can't remember her name now), but again, the book continually alluded to difficulty between the siblings that was never really discussed. The editing was poor enough that I found it distracting while I read. 

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NancyVine    1

This was a good, quick read, in my opinion. It’s fluffy and romance novel romantic, which is a good break at times  

After reading the author’s intro, I was completely distracted as I started reading. I was constantly comparing the story to Pride & Prejudice. I finally had to just read it for its own sake so I wasn’t being bogged down.

There are some editing misses that need to be corrected (the Collins’ baby gender, and some typos), but overall a nice distraction for a day. 

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Okay, so maybe I have read (and re-read) Pride and Prejudice a hundred times and seen the movie, one too many times, but this book is not even comparable to the original. Or perhaps, I was already guessing the next part, because I already knew what happens next. The author should have mixed it up just a little bit more. I read a lot of the same exact comments and phrasing as the original book/movie. As a stand alone book, I would have read it and said, "What motivated these individuals to act this way?" The ending was mundane and overall I never really felt pleased or sad or happy. (If a book can't make you at least smile or giggle or grimace or cheer, then it hasn't achieved its purpose.)

Darcy, as a character, should have been stronger. If he was really a tough cowboy, he would have fought harder against his feelings, not try to reveal them every time he saw Liza.  I feel that this was an easy read. Something that you pack in a beach bag and pull it out when you get bored, but can put it away and come back later.

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RLD    0

I was left disappointed. There were too many typing errors and inconsistencies to be a smooth read. I felt that the back stories of some of the characters were either irrelevant or underdeveloped. At one point during the read I returned to a previous chapter in order to clarify the gender of the Collins' baby which had switched from male to female by the end of the story. Sadly, this is not a retelling of a classic that I would recommend to a friend.

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Kathymac    0

I enjoyed every bit of this story. Coudnt wait to see what happens next. I haven't read a romance fiction in a while so it was a refreshing change. Lacy did a great job on developing her characters. Loved that it was set in Wyoming. 

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BDS    0

It was quick and easy to read.  I felt it was a little to superficial, Iwould have preferred more in-depth story lines and more 3D characters they were all a bit too nice. 

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I enjoyed the book, in the context that it was the third in a romance series, with the twist of being a homage to a beloved classic.

The unavoidable pitfalls with doing this sort of thing:

-- If you leave it to the reader to discover the similarities, many will say "Like, she totally ripped off Pride and Prejudice!"

-- If you announce that it is a retelling at the outset, it will be subjected to a microscopic scrutiny, compared and contrasted (often unfavorably) with the original.

Alas, with the Christian/Romance/Western genre, I am so far out of my depth that the fish have lights on their noses.  So take my opinions with a big grain of salt.  I did enjoy this book, though.  Thank you, Lacy, and thank you, my high school English teacher, who forced me to read Austen instead of something about rocket ships. 

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Ursula HF    3

I enjoyed the book, but I also agree that it was in need of editing. I like the characters and the plot was fine, but the disjointed details and the preposterous plot devices (stealing the train? Strange woman travelling all the way to another town to scold a stranger?) were distracting.

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Seams2crazy    8

Im partway through the book and find the writing trite, boring, predictable, and incredibly boring. I do like romance novels, but with much more sophisticated and intelligent writing. If this is anything like P & P, I doubt I would like that either

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Anne Murphy    0

I agree with  the various  "meh" comments  for basically  the  same reasons. This book was too superficial. The setting was interesting, but there was no real attempt to make the story relevant to  the  setting. Compare Romeo and Juliet to West Side Story.  The latter has the same basic theme of  the original,  but is totally  a story of  that time period  in New York City. 

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Lindaloulou    1

I didn’t enjoy the book. There were too many typos, grammar mistakes, completely wrong words and inconsistencies to make it an easy fast read. The “scandalous” back stories added nothing to the book. An explanation of how oranges made it to Montana during the 1800s would have been appreciated.

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Cjkaruna    2

I love Jane Austen and think we should all leave her alone. While the story pulled me through, it was mostly because I kept looking for the original story within. This was the second great library read I have done and I can’t understand who is choosing these inconsequential books. 

Meh is right.

Edited by Cjkaruna

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JezzieZ    2

I am surprised that this is a Big Read selection. I know it's summer, but still!

While I can appreciate some of the "what happened to Darcy and Elizabeth next?" fan fiction takes on P&P, this is a direct copy of Austen's plot and characters. Sure, the setting's different, but if the historical details and language don't line up, it's not even a good copy.

I'm looking forward to the next Big Read being something with substance.

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