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Sarah
Welcome, friend! Relax & rest awhile, if you please. I'm an ordinary girl, a follower of Christ, mama to Gabriel, & wife to Evan. Here in this little space of the online world, I share all manner of bookish things, including full content reviews, writerly snippets, encouragement for everyday life, and a whole collection of names & their meanings.

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Book Review | First Impressions

First Impressions
A Contemporary Retelling of Pride & Prejudice
Debra Smith White

Bethany House Publishers | April 17, 2018
Christian Fiction, Romance, Classic Retelling

{GoodReads}
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 & 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 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.

Spark 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.

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WARNING: Possible Spoilers
I was provided a copy of this book thanks to the publishers in exchange for my honest review.

{The Basics}
So, I'm a classics girl.  I loves ALL the classics:  Jane Austen, Jules Verne, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Elizabeth Gaskell, P.G. Wodehouse, and many more!  And retellings!!!  GUYS.  If I come across a good, fun, engaging retelling of one of my favorite novels/stories/etc.---be it faerietales or classics---I'll definitely share it with the world.  And this one is certainly on my list.  

First Impressions was such a cute story.  If you read the book blurb above, you'll know the characters actually take part in a small-town, theater production of Pride & Prejudice.  As this is a retelling, the characters each represent someone from the story, and they end up playing the characters they represent.  I kept expecting someone to say, "Wow, this is so ME."  *cackles*  

Anywho, I certainly enjoyed this modern twist on my favorite Austen story.  And I think you need to add it to your TBR list.  *evil eye* xD

{Spiritual Content}
This is classified in the Christian fiction genre.  The characters pray to our Lord, and some have a past of having strayed from the faith.  It's so sweet to see the two older Boswick sisters praying for their rebel sister, Linda (who is exactly like Lydia. . .maybe worse). 

Characters acknowledge the beauty of creation in a sunset or the gorgeous layout of a rich estate or a star-studded sky.  They certainly know it was a Creator who made such scenes.

At one point, a character prays for deliverance from loving a woman who despises him, or at least allowing her to love him as deeply as he does her.

Dave visits his parents grave sites to talk to them for a little while.

{Violence}
A tornado rages through the town of London, damaging houses, buildings, cars, etc.  A couple is caught out in the storm in an attempt to run for cover, and are plummeted with debris.  They suffer minor cuts and bruises, but no worse.  A guy gets hit in the back by a flying clay pot.  (No one is killed!)

{Language // Alcohol & Drugs}
None, unless you count one use of "sheesh."

Linda is an alcoholic.  She drinks Coke laced with rum---her sisters can see it in her behavior and smell it on her breath.  They also note at some point that she has three margaritas after lunch.  Later in the story she takes a swig of whiskey, her "flask of courage."

Valium, birth control pills.  Someone is known to smoke weed.  A couple characters drink wine, or go out for a drink.

{Romantic Content}
Both Dave and Eddi sense an attraction for the other.  He finds himself drawn to her, and not just because she is pretty or lovely in her own way, but for her personality and character.  She doesn't care a whit about his vast fortune either.

Linda obviously sleeps around. . . (No details, of course.)  At one point, feeling jealousy, she freshens up in a bathroom, adding a thicker layer of lipstick and more expensive perfume to seduce a guy so he'd turn his full attention to her.  She unbuttons the top three buttons of her blouse, exposing a bit of cleavage.  

It's no surprise to the reader that Linda ends up staying with Rick for a while. . . as in, in his apartment. . . Rick pinches her bum in one scene and she squeals, running into the bedroom.  He follows with a growl, but nothing is described.  I assure you, this is a very clean novel, though it is certainly implied that some characters partake in sin on a daily basis.

{Other Negatives}
Another character, Rick, seems like a good sort of gentleman.  Eddi begins to trust him, not knowing him at all.  He's extremely manipulative, says all the right things, and plays on people's sympathy.  Can you guess who his character is based off of??

A woman learns she is pregnant, and on the direction of her lover, debates on having an abortion.  [SPOILER!] She doesn't go through with it though! Her family helps her, and steps are taken to mend the mistakes made.

Like Mrs. Bennet, Eddi's mother Mrs. Boswick certainly speaks her mind at times.  

{Conclusion}
While this story contains more mature content, and I would definitely recommend to ages 18 and up, it is perfectly clean in regards to language and descriptive content.  People sin and make horrible decisions that they will regret for their lives, but in this tale even the bad guy gets a happy ending (it just may not have been the way he would've imagined).  

I could go on a bit more, but I figure you should just read for yourself if you believe this might be something you'd like.  I enjoyed it, for sure!  :]

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Ages 18+

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Thanks for reading!
Do you have a particular retelling---classic or faerietale---that you would recommend?? 

Comments

  1. I heard about this book from another blogger - glad to see another review of it! I do love classic retellings, so maybe I'll give it a shot...

    Catherine

    ReplyDelete

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To each is given a bag of tools,
A shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
And each must make, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block or a stepping stone.
-Anonymous-

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