Following the death of her father in Africa, Miriam heads to England to meet her mother’s family. She has little knowledge of the social conventions of the country due to the freedom she has enjoyed in Africa. She is anxious about her family as she believes they have rejected her mother. Meanwhile her heart is caught between an artist and a sailor…
Miriam is the third book in the Cousins of Pemberley series which tells us about the next generation of the Bennett family from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I have previously reviewed Catherine and Cassandra.
The main character Miriam is the only daughter of Mary, the middle Bennett sister. Mary was always the odd one out but hopes that her family will welcome her daughter and set up a home for them in England. Her negativity colours Miriam’s perception of her aunts which is further complicated by Miriam’s own free spirit at odds with the expected behaviour of young ladies.
There is also a romance at the heart of this book. Miriam meets Mr Sullivan on board the ship home and there is a wonderful antagonism between them. When she arrives at Pemberley, her attention is swayed by the charming Mr Avery, an artist. The path to romance doesn’t run smoothly and I was able to guess the plot developments but this did not stop me loving the characters and unfolding story.
The style of writing is easy to read whilst also keeping some of the tone of Austen’s original. The gender and class roles of the 1800s are brought to life through the descriptions and experiences of the characters. I was swept back to Pemberley and didn’t want to leave!
Miriam was a wonderful addition to the series and I can’t wait for the next book!
Many years have passed since the dramatic events of Pride and Prejudice. In The Cousins of Pemberley series we follow a new generation of heroines – cousins with lives as different and interesting as those enjoyed by their mothers.
Mary Bennet – overlooked, laughed at, despised – married a missionary and vanished into a life of service out in Africa. But now Miriam, her daughter, is coming to England, disliking everything she has been told about her family.
Her aunts and cousins are expecting someone quiet, dull and bookish, just like her mother, not the quick-tempered, impulsive girl who arrives.
How can this adventurous girl with her desire for freedom possibly fit into their well ordered world? And what havoc will she cause as she tries?
Fiction has always been my go-to world, a place of entertainment, excitement and imagination – I am told that I wrote my first story when I was four about a lady who had twenty children! Sadly it has been lost for posterity.
I have been writing all my life in the time I could spare from having a “proper job”, mostly for children under the name of Linda Blake, stories of ballet dancers, pony riding and talking animals! Not all in the same book!
But my love of romance, a great tendency to say “What if..?” and the endearing characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have now resulted in a series of books that will take the reader forward to the next generation of heroines.
I am retired, live in Kent and am a keen member of my local drama group. Directing and acting take up a lot of my time – I have been given the onerous task of writing the Christmas pantomimes – but I still need to cope with a large garden, doing daily battle with the heron who thinks my pond is his own breakfast buffet and keeping in touch with friends and family scattered all over the world.