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The Journey Home to Pemberley

A Pride and Prejudice Variation
Narrated by: Stevie Zimmerman
Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A chance encounter in the wilds of the North brings more joy to Elizabeth and Mr Darcy than either of them dared hope for. But her world is rocked by blow after blow - and the truth would only cause him pain. ‘I must be cruel only to be kind’ is Elizabeth’s guiding precept, and she chooses her path. Yet time, circumstances and new acquaintances teach her she had made a terrible mistake. 

How can she regain what she had lost and rebuild a future with the only man she will ever love, but for whom disguise of every sort is his abhorrence?

©2019 Joana Starnes (P)2019 Joana Starnes

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A Roller Coaster Ride

Stevie Zimmerman did an excellent job as usual narrating this angsty tale by Joana Starnes. I very much enjoyed listening to it, though I must admit, the angst in the middle was pretty rough...for both Darcy and Elizabeth, and me.

Taking place after the Hunsford proposal, this story has Darcy travelling by himself, trying to let out his feelings. Lizzy is traveling north with the Gardiners. A storm causes all of them to meet at a remote inn. D and L get an unusual chance to talk in private, and it looks like they are going to have a second chance at happiness together. In fact, circumstances are such that Darcy travels north with the group, and they have a lovely time leisurely traveling to Pemberley, enjoying the sights. But then Elizabeth receives terrible news from Jane, and everything unravels. She feels the need to break things off yet again, and this time the separation is much worse.

While both of them deal with the separation in their own ways, they again meet when it is least expected. The pain and awkwardness is acute. Will those two ever be able to get to the truth of things? (Don't worry. The answer is yes. Be thankful for annoying matchmaking aunts and cozy book rooms.)

This is definitely an engaging story with some great new characters. I loved the Monkford sisters and their part of the story.

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Outstanding narration for this exquisite novel

In a field of many ardent and talented Jane Austen-inspired authors, we are blessed to be living in such days as these when self-publishing makes it easier for talented writers to find their niche. Starnes has long established her place at the top of several “Favorites” lists with bestsellers like Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, The Unthinkable Triangle, and Miss Darcy’s Companion. The Journey Home to Pemberley, her latest Pride & Prejudice reimagining, begs the question: How can Elizabeth Bennet find solace after she gives up the only man she will ever love?

In The Journey Home to Pemberley, that holiday to the Lake District with her aunt and uncle Gardiner takes place (remember in canon Mr Gardiner’s business would not allow an extended trip and so they had to content themselves with the celebrated beauties of Derbyshire) and, as Fate would have it, Elizabeth meets with Mr Darcy again. He was thrown from his horse and, when found, he was brought to the same inn where Elizabeth and her relatives have accommodations. While he convalesces, they reconcile their misunderstanding after that unfortunate proposal scene at Hunsford months before when she had strenuously refused him...and now love blooms. Can we dare to hope for a happily-ever-after so soon? Certainly not, as this is only the beginning of their journey. And as Pride & Prejudice-like circumstances arise, Elizabeth selflessly, even foolishly, alters their course:
“She could not inflict that curse upon him—have him bear that shame for as long as Lydia lived—for the rest of their natural lives, rather, for such an enormity would not be forgotten. Nor could she live with him day after day and witness the result. See the opprobrium eating away at him. See the love fading from his eyes. Between the surgeon’s knife and the gangrene’s slow poison, the choice was clear: she would take the knife every time. For his sake as much as hers. Cruel to be kind.”

Months after this folly, she learns what we knew all along: she erred in thinking her sacrifice had protected Darcy, creating only misery of the acutest kind. “Foolish, headstrong and misguided girl! Should you not have known better than to brave this alone?”
Oh Darcy, I couldn’t agree more!

But is Fate unkind throwing Darcy and Elizabeth together time and time again in this soul searching journey from the wilds of the North to Dorsetshire (and beyond) then full circle back to Pemberley? Of course not! We love that kind of push and pull as the tension builds, leaving us nearly breathless in anticipation for this hard won happily-ever-after:

“Her heart overflowing, Elizabeth ran her thumb in a gentle caress over the bold penmanship that was by now as familiar as her own. Just three words—but sometimes three words were enough. He had not gone as far as to plainly write ‘I love you’ lest the note be read by anyone but she. Yet it was all there—the love, the joy, the promise—in other words: ‘Not a dream.’”

(#swoon) Prose like that keep me coming back for more great Austenesque novels! This is author Joana Starnes at her best. For lovers of Darcy and Elizabeth, The Journey Home to Pemberley is a MUST READ. (Heat Index: rated Moderate for sexual references but not explicit)

Once again, narrator Stevie Zimmerman is outstanding and does this exquisite novel much justice!

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Joana Starnes Austen variations do not disappoint!

Heart in my throat a few times wondering if Darcy & Elizabeth will ever find their HEA! Will they ever just speak plainly to each other? Don’t think I’ve read a P&P variation following this premise.

Joana Starnes never disappoints!

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Marvelous

I’ve just finished listening to this new Joana Starnes book and it’s both very romantic and heartbreaking. I loved Elizabeth throughout Darcy’s recovery and their growing relationship. But of course it’s Joana’s book so there had to be separation, sacrifices, mistaken decisions and heartbreak. Nobody puts ODC through the ringer like Mrs. Starnes. I took precautions and listened to the book on my iPod, because my Kindle might have not survived the experience of being thrown around. But when Darcy and Elizabeth get together and have their HEA I felt like crying from joy.
Stevie Zimmerman’s narration flawless as usual, emotional and picturing all characters personalities and behavior perfectly. Congratulations.

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  • funkstellinweg
  • 11-07-19

A great favourite of mine

The audiobook had all my attention from the start. The author has such an exact knowledge of the various locations - I felt as if I were right there at the Kirkstone Pass Inn with Lizzy and her relations and a certain gentleman.

The local accents (Lakeland and Derbyshire) given to various people in the book is such a sweet touch. I loved it.

The audiobook had me on an emotional rollercoaster - from sheer joy to vexation to actual tears rolling down my cheeks... it doesn't happen often that a book takes such an effect on me.

My best part of the audiobook is, in chapter 16, when Lizzy and FD meet in a certain personal room...ahhh utterly charming scenes await the new listener, as well as the revisiting ones.

Stevie Zimmerman's narrating lends itself to this book like no other voice would. It is such a joy to listen to her jump from one voice to another, without the feel of the same person speaking it. She speaks male, female voices, as well as old and young voices with such conviction. Those voices of the different characters have the ability to draw you in. Exceptionally talented. And to have the two together again - Joana Starnes & Stevie Zimmerman - what can I say? A match made in heaven.

The audiobook is bound to be enjoyed by all who will listen to it.