Book Title: First Impressions (The Jane Austen Series)
Author: Debra White Smith
*Thank you to Bethany House Publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.*
First Impressions is the first book in a series (The Jane Austen Series). Below is the description from the back of the book:
“In an attempt to get to know the people of London, Texas–the small town that lawyer Eddi Boswick now calls home–she tries out for a local theater group’s production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. She’s thrilled to get the role of lively Elizabeth Bennet . . . until she meets the arrogant–and eligible–rancher playing her leading man.
Dave Davidson chose London, Texas, as the perfect place to live under the radar. Here, no one knows his past, and he can live a quiet, peaceful life with his elderly aunt, who also happens to own the local theater. Dave doesn’t even try out for the play, but suddenly he is thrust into the role of Mr. Darcy and forced to spend the entire summer with Eddi, who clearly despises him.
Sparks fly every time Eddi and Dave meet, whether on the stage or off. But when Eddi discovers Dave’s secret, she has to admit there might be more to him than she thought. Maybe even enough to change her mind . . . and win her heart.“
My Honest Thoughts:
Not only is this a re-telling of the original Pride and Prejudice, but the storyline of the book includes a production of the play (Pride and Prejudice) in a local theatre. Although it loosely follows the storyline and hits several major plot points of Pride and Prejudice, it stands on its own in case you are not familiar with the original classic. Whether you are an Austen fan or not, you can still enjoy the story and get to know the contemporary characters. One of the ways this book stands apart is the production of the play, but that also made the characters not as believable. They don’t seem to realize how close they portray the roles they are assigned in the play which I find odd. They are also practicing or preparing for the play a majority of the time. I would have appreciated more depth in the character development outside of play practice. I enjoyed the lines quoted from Pride & Prejudice and how they were incorporated throughout the pages. There is a spiritual perspective woven in but I would consider it to be very light. In my opinion, it is more of a sprinkled-in approach over writing it from a spiritual aspect.
A few fun facts: The author gives you a list of characters and who they are likened to in the book. The characters initials mimic those of the names they are likened to (Dave Davidson as Mr. Darcy and Eddi Boswick as Elizabeth Bennet).
First Impressions is Christian Fiction so it does have a spiritual angle to it, which some readers may not appreciate or find out of character. Although it is a re-telling, I prefer to read it on its own and not compare as that can lead to disappointment. Whether you are a fan of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (let’s be realistic….who isn’t) or not, you can enjoy this fresh, modern take on a classic.
To read my other reviews go here: Book Reviews