Friday 10 December 2010

Review: Pemberley Ranch - Jack Caldwell

Genre: Historical Fiction, western, P&P variation
Pages: 384
Published: December 2010

In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Bennet family has just moved from Ohio to the town of Rosings, Texas, set on creating a fresh start. But their daughter Beth still prefers the familiarity of Ohio to the plains of Texas-that is, until she encounters Will Darcy, the reclusive owner of Pemberley Ranch. Will and Beth are instantly smitten, but pride, prejudice, and a gang of villains determined to take over Rosings threaten to keep them apart. This fresh idea in the world of Jane Austen retellings brings together the world of Pride and Prejudice with the struggles of the antebellum South.

The Bennet family moves from Ohio to Texas. Beth is still angry at the south because her brother died in the war, but her sister finds happiness with a Doctor. And so the book begins, she meets the rich rancher Will Darcy. There is dislike, and there is prejudice. And there is wicked George Whitehead with plans of his own for the area.

My thoughts:
I do like Pride and Prejudice re-tellings and this one was so fresh and original. This time the prejudice in the book comes from Beth being from the north and Will from the south. He fought in the wars and he has the scars to prove it. And Beth things everyone in the south had slaves and that is why they fought. She is filled with northern propaganda, but as in the original book she soon learns that there is more to the truth then meets the eye. Darcy, actually he is not as "bad" as he is the original book. Sure he thinks her family is silly but he gets over it. He just fancies her.

You will meet all the characters, Collins as a banker, Cath Burroughs as a ranch owner, Anne with more to her than in the original books, Sheriff Lucas and his daughter, George Whitehead and Denny the kid. And there is reverend Henry Tillney, Mr Knightly, Edmund Bertrand who works at the bank, yes Caldwell has used more Austen characters and I like it.

The book follows, kind of the original, but there are changes, good changes, I enjoy them. And there is gunfights, and wicked plans. If you all thought Wickham was a rotten egg in PP then in this one he is a complete bastard. But it is the wild west.

What a great idea, Mr Darcy as a cowboy and soldier. I liked it at once and he fills the shoes nicely. This is such a fun setting for this story and he makes it work.

Final thoughts and recommendation:
Yes I will recommend it to all you PP lovers, but since the story feels so different then come along historical fiction fans and you all who like a good western. This book has something for everyone. It's a good 3,5 and I enjoyed and for once I did not know what would happen. An enjoyable story with hidden depths. Not to mention it was written by a man, I liked that.

Reason for reading: 
I have a soft spot for PP stories

I like it


  1. I would love to read this book as I really like the JA fan fiction! it will take ages to get where I am!

    I am having my first giveaway on my blog - a gift card sponsored by CSN Stores (its for US and Canada only!)

  2. Great review! I'm very much interested in this retelling of PP. Sounds good and truly original.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I bought it last week and look forward to reading it. Have a great weekend!

  4. I loved this book! Very different retelling, which is what I'm looking for these days.

  5. I like PP retellings so I'd probably like this one. Kind of interesting that it's written by a man. I have to say I love the cover- I'm always a sucker for those covers with old fashioned dresses for some reason.

  6. I saw this first time last week and it sounded good. But didn't realise it's PP related. Started it once but didn't finish it. Maybe I will leave this alone then.

  7. Although I live in the west, I don't go for the westerns. I may make an exception for this one, however. A P&P remake? Yep, that got me interested. Maybe I'll even be able to get a cousin (who LOVES westerns) to like P&P after this book. :)

  8. I have this on my wish list. It sounds so good. P&P is my favorite Austen.

  9. Mystica
    Hihi me too, JA fiction is the best, I love it to pieces and I am so glad to have discovered it

    It was truly that, he took twist and turns and still there was the old story

    I hope you will enjoy it too. Have a great weekend too

  10. Anna
    So fresh, loved it. And I can totally see Darcy as a cowboy

    Oh I love old dresses so I always tend to like those too.
    And yes a man, I was so intrigued by that fact

    Oh, it's a re-issue then? Did not know

  11. I don't read P&P sequels, but this sounds like a re-telling that I would enjoy - different enough from the original.

  12. Interesting retelling. I'll have to keep an eye out for it. Great review!

  13. Melissa
    You just have to spread some PP love if your cousin likes westerns :D
    Everyone needs that lovestory

    I do love it too, but for a few years now I have really loved Persuasion

    And things were so changed too, not everyone ended up where they should

    I am sure you would enjoy it :)

  14. Oh my goodness I have to get this one! P&P set in the South and I am drooling over the cover! Glad you liked it.

  15. JA fiction is generally not my piece of cake but if it is original enough, like this one seems to be, I might be tempted. First, however, come the books with vampires in them. ;p Thanks for your review!

  16. glad to hear it is a fresh one. i love the western imagery. this is one on my radar.

  17. Amused
    What is there not to like, Texas, cowboys, Mr darcy :D

    Lol, aye the vamps are fun, I did enjoy Emma and the vampires ;)

    It's great :)

    I am amazed that this story still can be fresh but it so was

  18. I liked it review will go up next week. I loved that it was written by a man!

  19. Staci
    Lol, that might have been the best part. Way to go Jack :D

  20. I just finished this one, and I loved it!!!

  21. Carrie
    Wasn't it so fun :D Aye Mr Darcy is such a good rancher

  22. This has to be one of the most unique ideas for a retelling of P&P that I've seen yet.

  23. Alyce
    That I can sure agree with :)

  24. That good, huh? Love the cover but I wasn't sure about the rancher re-telling of my beloved classic. Your fab review has convinced me to change my mind though :)

  25. Jenny
    It totally worked, he changed things and they just fit so good



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