The Internet is a strange and wonderful place. Yes, it’s a place for raving and ranting and spewing political slogans, as well as opinions not necessarily one’s own. But it can also be a place that can bring strangers together in ways we can not imagine. My husband has long since stopped rolling his eyes (I think!) when I talk about old friends I’ve never met before, or when I pick up and fly off to visit strangers from a chat group. (Smooches, January moms. You know who you are!)
One such wonderful connection occurred several months ago on a literature group, when I offered to read and comment on the first draft of someone’s story. I knew nothing of the author or of her tale, but I thought it might be an interesting way to get some insight into the creative process, while doing what little I could to help move a book from a dream to reality. As I sent my comments to the author, Sophia Meredith, I came to know her a bit, and over the course of many back-and-forths over her book and life in general, I discovered that she was as charming as her novel. If I may be so bold as to claim her as a friend, my life is richer for it.
Well, we are all a bit richer today, because that first novel has just been published! (Yes, you may all cheer wildly now.) Behind this beautiful cover is a lovely story, a re-imagining of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, starting with a What If.
So, without further ado, and with the caveat this this isn’t completely unbiased due to the above, here is my review of On Oakham Mount, by Sophia Meredith.
What if… what if Elizabeth Bennet were forced to marry Mr. Collins, and Mr. Darcy discovered her crying over her fate before he left for London? What if he, too, had a fate he wished to escape, and found in Miss Bennet a kindred spirit? And what if the two set aside their preconceived notions to really talk? But sometimes, things do not always turn out the way we plan! In this beautiful re imagining of an old favourite tale, Ms. Meredith weaves a complex story, full of interesting and fully-developed characters and a charming plot. The familiar inhabitants of Miss Austen’s original tale are all there, and they are true to their original selves, but with the greater familiarity that this story allows us, we come to know them differently, and indeed, some surprise us most exceedingly! Ms. Meredith’s language is graceful and elegant, evoking Jane Austen’s own lovely style, and the story unfolds naturally and unhurriedly. This is a book to savour and enjoy.
On Oakham Mount is available as an e-book on Amazon and Goodreads, and will soon be available in paperback.