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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl by Tessa Dare, Joana Starnes, Amy D'Orazio, et al. is a collection of short stories that retell, in part, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Written by ten different authors, the stories place Elizabeth Bennet and her friends and family in various time periods, including Austen’s own, and in various circumstances. Each story presents a different take on Elizabeth and Darcy’s romance. Some authors place them in modern times and places, while others leave them in Regency England. Elizabeth is, in one story, a stage actress in the 1930s, and in another, a waitress working her way through college in modern Oklahoma. The stories set in Regency England often explore alternate paths Elizabeth and Darcy’s courtship could have taken.
This anthology comes from the pens of ten established and talented romance authors, many of whom have published Austen-related works before. The stories are all beautifully written. Each one feels true to the time in which it is set. The language and speech patterns all feel authentic and natural, which can be a difficult thing to accomplish. In all the stories, both Lizzie and Darcy are, for the most part, well-drawn and realistic. The supporting cast of Jane, Bingley, Collins, the Bennet family, Georgiana, etc. are used well too. It isn’t Jane Austen and hardcore Austen fans might not appreciate some of the liberties that were taken with the personalities and time periods, but less picky readers will appreciate and enjoy Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl for what it is: a fun and interesting collection of stories that take a different look at characters we all know and love.