I'm an Australian writer, living in suburban Sydney, with my husband Ron and my little white dog, Chicki. As an avid fan of Jane Austen, I wanted to pay tribute to her. What better way than to breathe new life into her characters?
Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Much Ado at Longbourn is the fifth in a series of Jane Austen fan fiction short works by author Margaret Lynette Sharp. Based on characters in Pride and Prejudice, the story focuses on the next to youngest Bennet sister, Kitty (Catherine), and a budding romance with her brother-in-law’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Readers unfamiliar with the characters in the Austen classic may find the story a quick, light, and sweet romantic tale. Sharp paints Kitty as good-natured, humble, and pure-hearted. Fitzwilliam is believable as a likable man with a modest income who would make the perfect romantic partner to someone who valued character over money any day. The story moves at a good pace and is made suspenseful through reports of Fitzwilliam visiting a wealthy heiress.
As a reader familiar with the original, I find myself torn on Much Ado at Longbourn. On the one hand, I’m amused by it. Sharp does a credible job of carrying the tone and voices of several characters. And, what better fun to have with a classic tale than to write fan fiction with unexpected twists? On the other hand, amusement can verge on disappointment when “unexpected” verges on “illogical.” Lizzie attracted to another man? Fitzwilliam attracted to Kitty? The wealthy heiress still unmarried? Lady Catherine travelling to Longbourn to repeat the conversation with Kitty that she once had with Lizzie? Well, I, for one, prefer to be amused by Sharp’s romantic tale rather than disappointed by it. If love is to find its way, then why not?