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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Joy Comes to Pemberley: Longbourn Stories 1 to 10 (From Longbourn to Pemberley) is a collection of Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice fan fiction short works by Margaret Lynette Sharp. Having previously published them separately, Sharp presents them here in chronological order. Told primarily through Elizabeth Bennet’s viewpoint and shedding some light on her marital relationship with Darcy, the stories begin sometime after their wedding (her sister Jane has recently given birth to her first child with Bingley) and continue through a series of romantic dramas leading to more marriages, pregnancies, and births involving other members of the Bennet, Darcy, de Bourgh, and Bingley families, and culminating in the event that gives the collection its title. A few surprises, twists, and turns along the way add to the drama.
Having read one of the stories in Joy Comes to Pemberley before, I looked forward to reading the entire collection and seeing it in context. Being able to see how they build on each other over time gives a better picture of Elizabeth and Darcy’s post-marital world as Sharp envisions it, and I appreciated her delicate handling of Elizabeth’s insecurities. Using light brushstrokes and depending primarily on dialog, Sharp artfully paints a picture of the class attitudes and social mores of the time, especially regarding marriage, which could easily engage any fan of historical romance. I found myself entertained throughout and even taken by surprise a couple of times as Sharp unfolded her plot. As a long-time fan of all things Austen and especially her spritely heroine Elizabeth Bennet, I enjoyed the entire collection and was happy to learn how joy finally came to Pemberley.