By: James P. Wollak
Published by: Atmosphere Press
Publication Date: December 1, 2022
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: December 12, 2022
Distress and Determination is a wonderful novel that gives the reader a fresh look into the Darcy family that was begun in the amazing novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I will admit that I was concerned when I was first given the book that anyone would attempt to write something like this and continue in the footsteps of this amazing woman and author and I am very pleasantly surprised to know that my concern was completely unwarranted. This is a captivating story that stands very well on its own and I am impressed.
Distress and Determination is the story of the family of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, most notably the story of Frederick, their second son. While we are treated to glimpses of the entire family and the trials that they must endure, it is truly Frederick’s story. A young man of 18 who is struggling to become confident in himself in the middle of an unexpected and tragic event. Frederick’s life is completely turned around with the death of his brother Henry and he loses the right to choose his own future as he will become the next Master of Pemberley instead. Frederick is a scared, quiet, and confused young man who is thrust into the next part of his life overnight and is not at all ready for it. Now he must quickly learn how to become a capable and respected manager of a huge estate, be the child that his parents turn to for advice and help regarding his siblings when they get into trouble, and be the man that can survive life-threatening situations to save others. The question is...can he do it? The answer is... It is wonderful to watch as Frederick works on his transformation from a confused boy who is sent down from Cambridge at the beginning of the novel into a confident man.
Mr. Wollak is to be commended for successfully bringing the story of Frederick and his family to life. From the dialogue to the descriptions of people and places to the heartwarming and heartbreaking family moments throughout the novel, he is perfect in his way of bringing the story across to the reader. I really do commend him for what he has accomplished. This is a story that will keep the reader involved from beginning to end with its storylines, both the happy moments and the shocking ones, and will leave you wanting to know what is next for young Frederick and his siblings. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment and believe that many others will be as well.
Quill says: Given the fact that Ms. Austin made Mr. Darcy a well-known name and many a young girl’s perfect fantasy, I think she would be very proud of Mr. Wollak and the fact that he has been able to do the same for young Frederick Darcy. I highly recommend the book to everyone.
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