Quantcast

Mistaken by Jessie Lewis

Source: Meryton Press
Ebook, 424 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Mistaken by Jessie Lewis is a Pride & Prejudice variation that will take Mr. Bingley to task for his easy-going manners that allow others to influence his decisions and will demonstrate how mistaking another’s actions can lead to disaster.  Misunderstandings in Jane Austen are nothing readers are unused to by now, but Lewis amps up the miscues and the drama in her variation.

“Life was muted in her absence.” (from Mistaken)

Much of the story from Austen remains intact here and Lewis shows readers what may have happened behind Austen’s scenes.  She also engages Austen’s characters in new ways and creates her own subplots. What worked well was the main love story between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, and his demonstrable grief and her anger are tangible in Lewis’ deft hands.  Their romance is believable, despite the obstacles, and his fierce protection of Lizzy rings true.

“‘Cease hiding behind the Titan and admit it. You agreed with him.’

‘I did?’

‘Aye! He did not make you leave. You chose to do it.'” (from Mistaken)

However, in ramping up the misunderstandings, we see a side of Jane, Lizzy’s sister, that is less than pleasant as jealousy and resentment consume her to the point where her relationship with Lizzy appears altered forever. As Jane’s behavior dragged on and worsened to the point where this reader no longer liked her, it was hard to watch Lizzy deal with not only her new responsibilities, but also the absence of her best friend and sister and the repeated flirtations of men she had no interest in.  It read a little too much like a daytime drama in some instances, but the scenes where the ton are gossiping was exactly as readers would imagine it to be and demonstrates how fragile a woman’s reputation was in those times.

Mistaken by Jessie Lewis is unique in the number of misunderstandings that occur and how they are resolved in a series of puzzles that are laid out in pieces for the reader.  Lizzy is still headstrong and lively, but it is clear that this personality could get her in loads of trouble among upper society.  Readers of Pride & Prejudice will recognize various differences in their beloved characters, and the lack of resolution at the end for one plot may leave the door open for another part to come. Lewis’ novel is engaging and terrifying all at once, especially if you’ve grown attached to the Bennets and their new husbands.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Author:

I’ve always loved words—reading them, writing them, and as my friends and family will wearily attest, speaking them. I dabbled in poetry during my angst-ridden teenage years, but it wasn’t until college that I truly came to comprehend the potency of the English language.

That appreciation materialised into something more tangible one dark wintry evening whilst I was making a papier-mâché Octonauts Gup-A (Google it—you’ll be impressed) for my son, and watching a rerun of Pride and Prejudice on TV. Fired up by the remembrance of Austen’s genius with words, I dug out my copy of the novel and in short order had been inspired to set my mind to writing in earnest. I began work on a Regency romance based on Austen’s timeless classic, and my debut novel Mistaken is the result.

The Regency period continues to fascinate me, and I spend a good deal of my time cavorting about there in my daydreams, imagining all manner of misadventures. The rest of the time I can be found at home in Hertfordshire, where I live with my husband, two children, and an out-of-tune piano. You can check out my musings on the absurdities of language and life on my blog, Life in Words, or you can drop me a line on Twitter, @JessieWriter or on my Facebook page, Jessie Lewis Author, or on Goodreads, Jessie Lewis.

  • Suko http://www.sukosnotebook

    Mistaken sounds very interesting. I like the idea of learning about what’s behind the scenes. Terrific post!

  • Janet T

    Thank you for posting this review, Serena. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.

    • Thanks, Janet

      • Jessie

        And thank you, Serena, for taking part in the blog tour for Mistaken!

    • Jessie

      Thanks for organising the blog tour and reviews Janet!

  • Ti Reed

    I don’t think I will ever read P&P! So all the books based on the original sort of fall by the wayside.

    • You should read it. There are some characters and societal commentary you’d probably like.

    • Jessie

      You don’t have to have read P&P to read, understand and (hopefully) enjoy Mistaken, Ti. I tried very hard to write it in a way that anyone could enjoy it, even those who weren’t big fans of Austen. I hope you’ll give it a try. 🙂

      • Ti Reed

        Thank you for the comment. I will keep this in mind.

  • Vesper Meikle

    sounds better than the bland Jane of canon

    • I agree that Jane is very bland in the original.

    • Jessie

      To err is human and all that! Thanks Vesper!!

  • Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

    Part of me is curious about this Jane, but part of me doesn’t want to dislike her!

    • I disliked her, but you’re supposed to.

    • Jessie

      She’s just very … human in this, Anna. She makes a few bad choices and then gets turned in circles a bit before she realises that she’s gone wrong. Not that dissimilar to a certain other Bennet sister (whose name begins with E) when she started having too much faith in her own judgement, and started listening to the sob stories and advice of unsavoury characters, and turned away from the people who could have loved her best… Mistaken Jane isn’t as perfect as Austen’s but I hope you won’t let her fallibility put you off 🙂