Thursday, February 24, 2022

Sophia Rose Reviews Epiphany by Jessie Lewis

Today I once again welcome Sophia Rose to the blog this time to review, Epiphany by Jessie Lewis an Austen reimagining. And we know how our Lovely Sophia Rose loves those.

Epiphany by Jessie Lewis

Historical Romance

Publisher:  Quills and Quartos

Published:  1.6.22


Pages:  259

Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: Trade Paperback

Source:  Quills and Quartos

Sellers:  Amazon

ADD TO: GoodReads 


GoodReads Blurb:

“Somehow, his hapless sister had begun a rumour that he was romantically attached to the penniless young woman, from an unheard-of and vulgar family, with whom duty and good sense forbade him from ever considering an alliance…but whose extraordinary wit and captivating eyes he had been entirely unable to banish from his thoughts.”

HAVING RETURNED TO LONDON, in December 1811, Mr Darcy is appalled to learn that Anne de Bourgh, his vexatious spinster cousin, has embarked on a journey to Hertfordshire to visit Miss Elizabeth Bennet. From her correspondence with his sister, Georgiana Darcy, he learns that Anne intends to rid Miss Elizabeth of any false hopes she may have of marrying him. His dismay quickly turns into alarm when Anne begins to insert herself into Hertfordshire society, even attending balls with the dastardly George Wickham.

ELIZABETH BENNET FINDS HERSELF INTRIGUED by Miss Anne de Bourgh. After all, what sort of lady could ever meet the standards of the proud and fastidious Mr Darcy? She soon comes to realise, however, that her understanding of their supposed engagement—and indeed of Mr Darcy himself—is distinctly flawed.

As the cold days of December bleed into the new year, epiphanies abound for Elizabeth, Darcy, and even Anne, laying bare the machinations and desires of all those around them.


Sophia Rose's Review:

What will it take to get the attention of a handsome gentleman in denial and a spirited woman convinced he’s the last man she would ever consider? A sister’s correspondence, a cousin gone rogue, and a series of engaging misadventures back in Hertfordshire lead to an Epiphany I was tickled to experience. 


While not a new to me author, I’ve only experienced a short story from Jessie Lewis so I was curious to try one of her full-length stories.  Epiphany is a variation story that parts from the Jane Austen P&P original early on at the point when Mr. Darcy and the Bingleys go back to London for the winter and have no plans to return and every opportunity to forget the allure of the beautiful Bennet sisters back in Hertfordshire.  While it wouldn’t hurt to have read the original story first, I don’t think that is absolutely necessary.  That said, there will be a sense that Epiphany begins at the second act.  It started off slow to me and took a bit to grab my interest.  Darcy is brooding over leaving a beautiful woman behind that he doesn’t think he can have out of a misguided sense of duty and his infernal pride plus he has dragged his best friend away from the woman’s sister and is working with Bingley’s sisters to help him to forget the lovely Jane Bennet.  He’s something of a crotchety Scrooge and made me wonder why Bingley and Georgie put up with it the way they did.  Meanwhile, in Hertfordshire, Jane is sad at the loss of Bingley and Elizabeth is thrilled that the obnoxious Mr. Darcy is out of her hair with not a suspicion that she is causing the man severe angst.


Lighter in tone and relatively low-angst, the book surrounds a romance with interwoven threads of friends, family, and Regency holiday fun.  I got a good laugh when Georgiana innocently tattled to her cousin about her brother’s dead-in-the-water love life and got the story rolling.  Then there was an obnoxious, but hilarious Anne who is socially awkward, but determined.  She made a lousy cupid, but in the end, she was my favorite part of the book with her over the top remarks and total ability to ignore proper manners as a guest.  Though, I have to give kudos to Elizabeth’s mother for the total scene-stealing verbal smackdown she delivered to another character who deserved it. 


Besides the humor in the children’s little Christmas play, I felt this was a big moment.  This was one of the cutest scenes and led to a tender moment as Elizabeth saw Darcy appreciating something simple, full of family antics that she was so certain he would look down his nose on and she was very wrong.  Instead, he laughed and was so sweet with her little cousin.  I appreciated how the author developed a whole new set of feelings within Elizabeth and Darcy as they went from the wrong foot to the right one.  It didn’t happen overnight and it was a series of moments that led to the change.  They both had to see the other differently, but more importantly, see themselves clearly and get that epiphany moment.


There were misunderstandings, people happy to get in the way, and a holiday season to remember.


Funny, but also thoughtful and heartwarming moments made this thoroughly engaging.  I loved seeing the brother-sister interactions between Darcy and Georgiana and giving Anne de Bourgh a larger role as a third main character was fascinating and lent fabulous comedy, but also a surprising depth when her character is fully revealed in the end. 

Epiphany read quickly and easily showing lightness and depth in turn.  Definitely one to entice sweet historical romance lovers who enjoy both comedy and a family holiday setting with their romance.


Author Bio:

I love words—reading them, writing them, and as my friends and family will wearily attest, speaking them.

I can string together the odd facetious rhyming couplet well enough, though I lack the patience for anything academic types would call real poetry. What I really like doing is messing around with words until they make a reader feel the way I want them to feel, or understand the thing I want them to understand. Words are clever little things like that. Whether it’s the cadence, or the meaning or the expression, there’s always a way to make words convey what you want. Sometimes you have to wrestle it out of them (the words, not the people – that would be illegal), but that’s half the fun of writing.

I studied Literature and Philosophy at university, which helped enormously in growing to appreciate literature even more, and didn’t help at all when it came to getting a job. Regrettably, being able to argue eloquently is not as valued a talent as it once was. As a result I did a whole load of jobs that were not very interesting for a few years afterwards, until eventually, I got my ducks in line and started writing books.

My first few forays into the world of published story telling have all been inpired by Jane Austen’s writing. I am in awe of her literary cunning and that, along with my own family ancestory, means I’ve had a whale of a time exploring regency England in my historical fiction writing. Find out more about the books I’ve written, and those in the works, by clicking on the aptly titled tab at the top of the page.

It is of no relevance whatsoever, other than a means to conclude this little interlude of self-reflection, to tell you that I live in Hertfordshire with one tame cat, two feral children and a pet husband. I am also quite tall, in case you were wondering.




Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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  1. I totally ❤️ this, and it sounds like a fun read. Hugs, RO

    1. Yes, isn't it gorgeous? And, it was a blast, Ro, thanks!

  2. I almost want to read P&P just so I can enjoy all of these stories based on that book. Great review!