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a peculiar connection

Source: Review copy from Meryton Press
Rating: ★★★★★

I would be as I had ever been…before I loved him.

With a determined set to my shoulders, I turned and quietly crawled back into bed, hoping to avoid waking Jane.  The only problem that remained was what to do with the pain in my heart.

(from A Peculiar Connection)

Quick summary: Jan Hahn’s A Peculiar Connection is a variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that opens with Lady Catherine’s arrival at Longbourn.  In this “alternate path,” Lady Catherine drops a bomb on the Bennet family in the form of an old letter that drives a wedge between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy even as it brings them together.  Unable to acknowledge or deny the passion that flames between them, the pair journeys from London to Bath to Ireland and must piece together clues from paintings, a rundown mansion, a hidden church, and old documents to shed light on long-buried secrets.

Why I wanted to read it: I was intrigued by the cover of this novel, and once I read the summary, I just had to know what happens!

What I liked: I was hooked from the very first page and found it hard to tear myself away to work, eat, or sleep.  Seriously, this novel took me on an emotional roller coaster, making me laugh, cry, and get angry, sometimes in the same chapter.  Hahn’s writing is fantastic; I could feel the desire, sorrow, and despair, and I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the lighter moments, like Darcy and Elizabeth discussing potential nicknames for each other.  Hahn’s decision to write the novel from the first person viewpoint of Elizabeth was brilliant, as giving readers a front seat to her emotional turmoil, though painful, was so much more powerful.

What I disliked: Absolutely nothing!

Final thoughts: A Peculiar Connection is one of the best Austen-inspired novels I’ve ever read, and I’ve read a lot of really good ones!  It has everything I’m looking for in a Pride and Prejudice variation these days, including a unique plot, a bit of mystery, and even a little darkness to balance out all the lovey-dovey stuff you expect in a novel about Darcy and Elizabeth.  A Peculiar Connection will definitely be on my “Best of 2015” list!

Disclosure: I received A Peculiar Connection from Meryton Press for review.

© 2015 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.

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