Sunday, March 7, 2010
Review: RECOLLECTIONS OF ROSINGS by Rebecca Ann Collins
If you like Pride and Prejudice, you’ll like Rebecca Ann Collins's Recollections of Rosings. Recollections of Rosings, Book 8 of The Pemberley Chronicles, follows the Pride and Prejudice characters and their offspring into the future with this tale of love new, love old, and love lost. Emotional intensity, pictures painted with words, and an engrossing story--Recollections of Rosings has it all.
The Chronicles have now reached the Victorian age, and Ms. Collins deftly interweaves the stories of Catherine Harrison and Becky Tate, daughters of Elizabeth Bennet's friend, Charlotte Lucas, and Mr. Collins, and Catherine’s daughter, Lilian. Lilian is caught up in her first love, and Becky’s marriage is troubled.
But the story centers on dutiful daughter and wife Catherine, who has spent her entire life near Rosings, the palatial residence of the late, unlamented Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The book opens with a devastating fire that incinerates part of Rosings. The destruction dredges up twenty-five year old memories, which force Catherine to reexamine her experience as companion to the difficult Lady Catherine, and her valued friendship with Mr. Frank Burnett, who was then the great house's librarian.
As Catherine tends her seriously ill husband, Frank returns as an advisor on conserving the remaining Rosings treasures. Their friendship resumes and she wonders if she felt more than friendship for him in the past, and if he felt the same.
Ms. Collins keeps you guessing almost to the end before she reveals what happened between Catherine and Frank so long ago, including Lady Catherine's meddling, and what their feelings for each other are now. Both characters are finely drawn. And while I love Catherine, I adore Frank. Would that more romance novel heroes were like him.
Since Recollections of Rosings is Book 8 of The Pemberley Chronicles, a lot of story has gone before. I haven’t read Books 1 to 7 yet, but Ms. Collins has kept any necessary explanations of the past to a minimum.
So, if you can't get enough of Pride and Prejudice, try Recollections of Rosings. Book 9 is sitting in my TBR pile, and I can’t wait to see how the story continues.
Thank you all,
ARC supplied by Sourcebooks