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First Impressions (A Review)

Meg Chaney

I received this book from the Bethany House Bloggers Program, in exchange for my honest review. 

I received this book from the Bethany House Bloggers Program, in exchange for my honest review. 

I adore Jane Austen. In fact, back in the day, my Master's Thesis was on Pride & Prejudice. And so, I jumped at the chance to review a modern retelling of the tale. When I received the book in the mail, my first impression was that I loved the cover! Covers are so important to me! I want to be drawn right into a story. I was also excited that the author was Debra White Smith. I've read many of her other books (like the The Seven Sister's Series) and enjoyed them!

This modern retelling takes place in Texas. Texas is a place very far away and different than England. Or maybe not so much? If there's one thing I've found out about Jane Austen over the years, she's relatable at so many levels, that's why we love her stories to this day! In First Impressions, the characters truly have their own backgrounds and stories, but the story does fall out like Pride and Prejudice. The characters within the story are also in a local theater production of Pride and Prejudice, so there are definitely many layers of nods toward the original story. Even in modern day Texas, or at least the Texas of this story, there's a class division between the rich and not so rich. There's a certain expectation to marry well, or at least marry the right person. There's a pull to marry the person with all the money, for just the wrong reasons. And there's deceiving first impressions, that are often wrong, until the characters take the chance to truly get to know each other. 

For me, I liked the modern retelling, I even liked the characters. My only struggle came with the plot at times. At times, I felt as if the story was being forced into the Pride & Prejudice mold. I was reminded that the author was trying to match it to the original tale, which can be... a little heavy handed maybe? I love to be swept away by a story. I want to be so gripped, so mesmerized that I can't put it down, and actually feel sorry when the story is through. I never want want to be reminded that the author is forcing the story a certain direction. I hope that makes sense. And I hope that doesn't deter any of you. If you'd like a nice, rather light summer read, maybe for the beach, and you're a Jane Austen fan, you may enjoy it. When you've read it, come back and let me know what you think! 

Happy Summer reading!

I know this blog has been quiet for such a long time. I'm really hoping one of these seasons to be back with more!


Waiting on God's timing in all of this,