Reviews

Review: The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley

Book Review

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley
Historical Fiction, Retelling

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Synopsis
In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.


As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart. 

What I thought
Have you ever stumbled upon a book and realized that you really needed this story? And that story is based on a side character from a beloved book?  Well, here is that book for me.

There are a lot of people who don’t remember who  Anne de Bourgh is in Pride and Prejudice.  I will be honest I had to think about it for a moment too.  She is a side character you only see maybe once twice and it’s her mother that ends up overshadowing her character in the book.  This book is her life story and I loved it so much.  You are never really told anything about her other than she is sicky and I think that even Austen would like this telling of her.  Please do note that this is a slow-paced book from the perspective of Anne who is sometimes drugged. 

For anyone who has not read Pride and Prejudice (P&P) or does not really remember Anne, she is the cousin that was promised from birth to Darcy.  Neither Darcy nor Anne are supposed to have a choice in the matter because it was their mother’s wishes.  So I guess we all should be thankful that it does not appear that anything formal was set up.  Due to Anne’s father’s estate set up, it can be inherited by a woman which is very rare for that time.  So yes the sisters were thinking about how large an estate this would pull together if their children married, and not about the happiness of those children. 

In this book we follow Anne throughout her life and as sheltered as she is you really get to see her spirit as you go through this book.  I loved that we get to see her take her life into her own hands and finally come into her own.   Anne proves she doesn’t need a man to run her estate and I loved her for that.  

We all knew from P&P that Anne’s mother Catherine was a piece of work but drugging your baby just so they wouldn’t cry and would act well behaved is a whole new low.  As a mother I am appalled but I am sadly not surprised.  However, at this time Laudanum was the magic fix all and they were just beginning to realize how bad it was.  

I think my favorite part of this book is how Darcy and Elizabeth are brought back into Anne’s story later in life.  It really warmed my heart. 

I think that whether or not you are a P&P fan you would like this if you enjoy a good historical book set in Regency England.

My Rating: /5

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? March 8, 2021

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

Recent Books

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley | Historical, Retelling, Romance | Add to Goodreads

In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart. 


Dracul by Dacre Stoker, J.D. Barker | (Stoker’s Dracula #1) | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen–a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen–and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning.


Dragon Actually by G.A. Aiken | (Dragon Kin #1) | Fantasy Romance | Add to Goodreads

It’s not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear—a lot—or else salute. It’s true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe—a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger. She’s wrong…


The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs | Fiction | Add to Goodreads

There is a book for everything . . .

Somewhere in the vast Library of the Universe, as Natalie thought of it, there was a book that embodied exactly the things she was worrying about.

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, her only living relative—not counting her scoundrel father.

But the gruff, deeply kind Andrew has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem–Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. Natalie adores her grandfather; she’ll do whatever it takes to make his final years happy. Besides, she loves the store and its books provide welcome solace for her overwhelming grief.

After she moves into the small studio apartment above the shop, Natalie carries out her grandfather’s request and hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do the necessary and ongoing repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, also becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together while Peach works.

To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future, and her own heart.


The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams | (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #2) | Cozy Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes, practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and though Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn’t ready to divulge her secrets. But when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a suspect—or another target.
 
Summer’s end has brought other new arrivals to Miracle Springs too. Entrepreneur Griffin Kingsley opens Virtual Genie, a cyber business that unloads people’s unwanted goods for cash. With the town in an economic slump and folks hurting for money, Virtual Genie and its owner are both instantly popular. A patient listener, Griffin dispenses candy to children and strong coffee to adults, and seems like a bona fide gentleman. But Nora’s not inclined to judge a book by its cover. And when a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . . 


Currently Reading

The Moria Pearls by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #2) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A missing necklace, a murder, and an extra helping of plum pie…

The magical Moria Pearls are hidden somewhere in Devon, and Miss Elinor Avely and the tiny vampire Miss Zooth are on the case – but a certain washed-up selkie prince is determined to find the powerful necklace before they do.

Pearls aren’t diamonds, curse it, so Elinor’s secret gift for divining jewels cannot help this time. And the bossy Lord Beresford would rather she stay out of trouble. His lordship’s opinion holds some weight, given that they have been (almost) engaged twice now, and Elinor is hoping for a third attempt of a more lasting duration.

When a selkie’s murder disrupts the Devonwide hunt, however, Elinor is backed into a troubling corner. She might be able to find both the Pearls and the killer… but everyone still believes that Miss Zooth is the jewel diviner. Somehow, Elinor and her vampiric chaperone must maintain the façade, extend Elinor’s divining gift, and find the Pearls before the murderer does … or risk forfeiting their lives.

Who poisoned the selkie? Where are the pearls? And just why does that plum jam taste so good?


The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams | (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #3) | Cozy Mystery | Add to Goodreads

In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixtysomething Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .


Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams | (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #3) | Cozy Mystery | Add to Goodreads

Controversy erupts in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, when the owner of the local bookstore tries to play peacekeeper—but winds up playing detective instead…

Nora Pennington is known for her window displays, and as Halloween approaches, she decides to showcase fictional heroines like Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Madeline Miller’s Circe. A family-values group disapproves of the magical themes, though, and wastes no time launching a modern-day witch hunt. Suddenly, former friends and customers are targeting not only Nora and Miracle Books, but a new shopkeeper, Celeste, who’s been selling CBD oil products.

Nora and her friends in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society are doing their best to put an end to the strife—but then someone puts an end to a life. Though the death is declared an accident, the ruling can’t explain the old book page covered with strange symbols and disturbing drawings left under Nora’s doormat, a postcard from an anonymous stalker, or multiple cases of vandalism.

The only hope is that Nora can be a heroine herself and lead the Secret, Book, and Scone Society in a successful investigation—before more bodies turn up and the secrets from Celeste’s past come back to haunt them all . . .


What are you hoping to read this week? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook

Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? March 1, 2021

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind.

Recent Books

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner | Historical Fiction | Add to Goodreads

A female apothecary secretly dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them—setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course

Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.

Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.

One cold February evening in 1791, at the back of a dark London alley in a hidden apothecary shop, Nella awaits her newest customer. Once a respected healer, Nella now uses her knowledge for a darker purpose—selling well-disguised poisons to desperate women who would kill to be free of the men in their lives. But when her new patron turns out to be a precocious twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning, an unexpected friendship sets in motion a string of events that jeopardizes Nella’s world and threatens to expose the many women whose names are written in her register.

In present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, reeling from the discovery of her husband’s infidelity. When she finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, she can’t resist investigating, only to realize she’s found a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she deepens her search, Caroline’s life collides with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive. 


A Trial of Sorcerers by Elise Kova | (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) | Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance | Add to Goodreads

Ice is in her blood.

Eighteen-year-old Waterrunner Eira Landan lives her life in the shadows — the shadow of her older brother, of her magic’s whispers, and of the person she accidentally killed. She’s the most unwanted apprentice in the Tower of Sorcerers until the day she decides to step out and compete for a spot in the Tournament of Five Kingdoms.

Pitted against the best sorcerers in the Empire, Eira fights to be one of four champions. Excelling in the trials has its rewards. She’s invited to the royal court with the “Prince of the Tower,” discovers her rare talent for forbidden magic, and at midnight, Eira meets with a handsome elfin ambassador.

But, Eira soon learns, no reward is without risk. As she comes into the spotlight, so too do the skeletons of a past she hadn’t even realized was haunting her.

Eira went into the trials ready for a fight. Ready to win. She wasn’t ready for what it would cost her. No one expected the candidates might not make it out with their lives.


Never Call Me Vampire by Tamara Grantham | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

The world calls him vampire.
But that’s not who I know. He’s my fellow patient at Crimson Hollow, a facility for those infected with the vampire virus. He’s lived for more than a century and been called many things. Vagabond. Circus freak. Prisoner. Murderer. Now he’s the world’s most famous person. He receives blood transfusions to stay conscious and rarely leaves the facility. He’ll never be free. Except in death.

And that was what he wanted…until I arrived. All I wanted was a cure. I wasn’t planning to fall in love.

He knows too much about my secret. And I’ve learned too much about his past.
Someone is plotting to unleash a serum that will destroy the entire world as we know it. But to save everyone—we must sacrifice ourselves.

They call him vampire. But only he knows his true nature

And I may never be prepared to accept it. 


Currently Reading

The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh by Molly Greeley | Historical, Retelling, Romance | Add to Goodreads

In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.

As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh’s doctor prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.

After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?

In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge—leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune . . . and her life.

An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart. 


The Moria Pearls by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #2) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

A missing necklace, a murder, and an extra helping of plum pie…

The magical Moria Pearls are hidden somewhere in Devon, and Miss Elinor Avely and the tiny vampire Miss Zooth are on the case – but a certain washed-up selkie prince is determined to find the powerful necklace before they do.

Pearls aren’t diamonds, curse it, so Elinor’s secret gift for divining jewels cannot help this time. And the bossy Lord Beresford would rather she stay out of trouble. His lordship’s opinion holds some weight, given that they have been (almost) engaged twice now, and Elinor is hoping for a third attempt of a more lasting duration.

When a selkie’s murder disrupts the Devonwide hunt, however, Elinor is backed into a troubling corner. She might be able to find both the Pearls and the killer… but everyone still believes that Miss Zooth is the jewel diviner. Somehow, Elinor and her vampiric chaperone must maintain the façade, extend Elinor’s divining gift, and find the Pearls before the murderer does … or risk forfeiting their lives.

Who poisoned the selkie? Where are the pearls? And just why does that plum jam taste so good?


What are you hoping to read this week? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Follow me on other platforms:
Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bloglovin | Facebook