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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Mr. Bennet is still recovering from his illness, but the new and very young, very handsome physician, Hodges, has assured the family that he will make a full recovery. Mrs. Bennet has her eyes set on this handsome physician. What a fine husband Hodges would make for one of their unmarried daughters still living at home. But when Elizabeth returns to Longbourn with her husband and his sister, Georgiana, Mrs. Bennet’s well laid plans take a decidedly different turn as there is an instant spark of interest between Georgiana and the physician. But there is conflict in this unexpected twist of fate. Hodges is not from the pedigreed background that Mr. Darcy would expect of someone seeking to court his sister.
Author Margaret Lynette Sharp’s novel, An Encounter at Longbourn, is true to the Jane Austen legacy of proper etiquette, established places in society, and the innate desire to find true love (but in the confines of one’s position in society). Elizabeth continues to be shocked with certain outbursts from either her mother or her sisters, statements which are much too forward or blunt to be acceptable in polite society. And the twist in the plot from what Elizabeth’s mother wants is very much in keeping with the ever endearing and popular Austen style. Whilst Austen narrates a good story, her writing uses dialogue sparingly. Margaret’s style, although very much in keeping with the style of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, uses dialogue to narrate the story. The happily-ever-after scenario of Austen’s original is definitely in good hands with Margaret, whose penchant for storytelling has provided Austen fans with a wonderful array of ‘what if’ scenarios for the Bennet and the Darcy families.