He yearned for her but she could never be his. She was promised to another, as was he. … And yet, there he stood, transfixed in a doorway, with the rain beating down on the panes, dreaming of a world with this woman, hoping he would not be discovered as she gazed into the night.
(from A Lie Universally Hidden)
A Lie Universally Hidden is a beautifully written variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that forces Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet to face seemingly insurmountable obstacles tied to their strong sense of duty to their families. Anngela Schroeder imagines a world where Mr. Darcy is committed to honoring his dead mother’s wishes, with plans to marry his cousin, Anne de Bourgh, in a few months’ time despite the fact that he loves another. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is expected to marry her childhood friend, James Hamilton, who has inherited his aunt’s estate, but she is captivated by Darcy and his love and devotion to his younger sister.
There is no insult at the Meryton Assembly in Schroeder’s variation, and it is easy for Darcy to overlook Elizabeth’s lack of connections because he is already betrothed to another. But Schroeder does a fantastic job altering the situations of the original novel, still finding ways for them to misunderstand one another, still making it uncertain how a happily ever after can be achieved, and developing their regard for one another in a believable way. There are so many tender scenes in this novel, so many beautiful passages as Schroeder lets readers into Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s minds as they try to come to terms with their feelings for one another, the expectations placed upon them, and their desire to live for themselves.
I enjoyed how Schroeder brought to the forefront many of the secondary characters, especially Georgiana Darcy, Kitty Bennet, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Anne de Bourgh. Her versions of Mrs. Bennet, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Caroline Bingley were delightfully horrid as well. Mrs. Smith, Lady Anne Darcy’s maid, was a wonderful addition, and Schroeder did a great job portraying her illness and her connection to the secret at the core of the novel. I was on the edge of my seat wondering how it would all play out, and I was not disappointed.
A Lie Universally Hidden is a fantastic retelling of Pride and Prejudice that grabbed me from the very first page. I absolutely loved Schroeder’s portrayal of Darcy and Elizabeth. I know I’ve read dozens of Pride and Prejudice variations over the years and it’s hard to choose a favorite, but A Lie Universally Hidden would definitely be a contender if I were to compose a list. I can’t wait to read more of Schroeder’s work in the future.
About A Lie Universally Hidden
Fitzwilliam Darcy has always lived a life of duty and honor; his engagement to his cousin Anne de Bourgh fulfills the final wish of his deceased mother. His life is neatly in order to pursue these intentions when he meets Elizabeth Bennet; the one woman who turns his world upside down.
Elizabeth is not indifferent to him, but her life is also on a divergent course. As she prepares to accept a betrothal from a suitor she esteems, she finds herself experiencing unexpected feelings. Yet knowing that Darcy and Anne are united by their love for one another, she attempts to put Darcy behind her. But why does she suspect that Darcy may have similar feelings for her, and if he does, can they really change the course of their future paths?
About the Author
I have a degree in English with a concentration in British Literature and a Masters in Education. I love to travel, bake, and watch college football with my husband of 16 years and 3 rambunctious sons. My goal in life is to make not only my children, but also my students feel that they are loved, and to bring magic into everyone’s world. My weaknesses are yellow cake with chocolate frosting, French bread with real butter, and my father’s Arabic food, namely grape leaves, and falafel. I live in California where I dream of Disney adventures and trips across the pond.
Watch Anngela’s interview on Good Day Sacramento here.
Anngela is giving away two autographed hard copies (U.S. mailing addresses only), two Kindle versions (open to international winners), an autographed copy of Then Comes Winter (U.S. mailing address only), and an autographed 5×7 of the A Lie Universally Hidden book cover. To enter, please click here.
Follow the Blog Tour
January 16/ My Jane Austen Book Club/Launch Post & Giveaway
January 17/ From Pemberley to Milton/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 18/ A Covent Garden Madame Gilflurt’s Guide to Life/Guest Post
January 19/ So Little Time…/ Excerpt Post & Giveaway
January 20/ My Vices and Weaknesses/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 21/ Babblings of a Bookworm/ Book Review
January 22/ Just Jane 1813/ Excerpt Post
January 23/Austenesque Reviews/ Author Spotlight & Giveaway
January 24/ Obsessed with Mr. Darcy/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 25/ Every Savage Can Dance/Book Review & Giveaway
January 26 / Diary of an Eccentric/Book Review & Giveaway
January 27 / Austenesque Reviews/ Book Review & Giveaway
January 28/ My Kids Led Me Back to Pride and Prejudice/ Excerpt & Giveaway
January 29/ Savvy Verse & Wit/ Guest Post & Giveaway
Disclosure: I received A Lie Universally Hidden from the author for review.