“‘Dum spiro spero! Dum Spiro Spero!’ While I breathe, I hope.” (pg. 10-11)
Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes by Ginger Monette has created a believable catch-22 for Mr. Darcy of Pemberley, now a British captain during WWII. He is sent to France after losing nearly all his men at the Somme and months after his failed proposal to Elizabeth Bennet, a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse’s assistant. At The Ritz, Darcy is confronted with all of the feelings he’s denied on the battlefield and he must confront his vow of never again having attachments. Elizabeth, on the other hand, has put the blame on Darcy all this time — his military requisitioning of her family home, the death of her father, and much more. She’s vowed to loathe him for eternity, but can she keep that vow as the ravages of war continue to push them together and force them to work together to keep the hospital going and saving the casualties of WWI?
“He was no more distinguished than a tiny grain of sand on an endless beach.” (pg. 56)
“So many of the conclusions she had glibly drawn about people and situations — and stood upon as a firm foundation — were now shifting like sand beneath her feet.” (pg. 137)
Monette has set the tone early on, and these characters will be tested in terms of their perceptions, values, and character. Darcy is more stoic in Monette’s novel; he’s a man hammered by war and burdened by a secret mission he feels ill-equipped for. But he still plods onward, doing his duty and nothing more. Elizabeth has come into her own as an independent woman, finding her way in the medical field and hoping for a future where she doesn’t need to depend on anyone. Both are closed off, but under the threat of the Germans and the constant barrage of casualties, they are forced to re-examine themselves and what it means to truly be a casualty of war.
Darcy’s Hope: Beauty from Ashes by Ginger Monette peels back the layers of the ways in which we protect ourselves from pain to reveal that we all want to be loved, protected, and esteemed.
RATING: Cinquain (I cannot wait to read book 2)
About the Author:
The teacher always learns the most. And in homeschooling her children, Ginger Monette learned all the history she missed in school. Now she’s hooked—on writing and World War I. When not writing, Ginger enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon.
Her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders Field of Grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s 2015 Picture This grand prize.
Ginger lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she happily resides with her husband, three teenagers, and two loyal dogs.
With Darcy’s Hope set during the era of Downton Abbey and the tour being right before Christmas, I thought it would be fun to use Downton Abbey ornaments as the giveaway.
Seven ornaments will be given away and is open to U.S. residents in the continental US. The prize for residents of the continental U.K. is a Downton Abbey mug.