I am happy for the chance to visit My Jane Austen Book Club once again to share an excerpt from my newest release, So Far Away. Thank you so much, Maria Grazia!
In Lady Elizabeth: Everything Will Change Book One, Darcy made an astonishing discovery that set him on a course destined to change Elizabeth’s life forever. So Far Away: Everything Will Change Book Two centers upon the aftermath of Darcy’s discovery.
So Far Away: Everything Will Change Book Two
Now that Elizabeth knows the truth about her past, she has returned to Longbourn. Wanting to reclaim her rightful place in the lives of her Bennet relations, she needs time before considering a life far away in Derbyshire with Mr. Darcy.
He promised he would wait for her for as long as it takes. With so much distance between the two of them the question soon became how long is too long.
When at last Darcy and Elizabeth are reunited in Hertfordshire, allegations and misunderstandings threaten to tear them apart. The question now becomes how much is too much.
Newsletter: Such Happy News
Chapter 1 - Home Again
Excerpt (Reprinted with Author’s Permission. All Rights Reserved.)
In this, the first chapter of the next part of Elizabeth’s life, it must be said that some things were just meant to be. Others simply were not. Were she asked if she had the power of turning back the hands of time, Elizabeth would be hard pressed to fashion a fitting response with certitude. Returning to the bosom of the Bennet family was meant to be a happy occasion. Pray she would soon realize what a blessing it was—for the Bennets as well as herself. However, it was hardly a blessing to have her whole world turned upside down. Frightening is what it was.
Would that she never knew what it was like to grow up surrounded by such a loving family. Then the separation might not hurt so much. Even if Avery, Lady Sophia, and she remained a part of one another’s lives, things would never be the same.
The hardest part of it all was that she had no one she could speak with to sort out the confusing emotions without the risk of giving offense to someone or another. The one person who might understand a modicum of what she was suffering was far away in Derbyshire.
Tearing her eyes away from the carriage window, Elizabeth looked at her sister Jane. Catching each other’s eyes, a happy smile spread over both young ladies’ faces. Their reunion was a blessing indeed. What a joy it was to have her Jane back after all those years. From the time she learned of her true life, Elizabeth had endeavored to recall what she could of her early childhood. Glimpses of the times Jane and she had spent together as small children, though fleeting, sometimes made the briefest of returns over the past week.
Jane had been a true angel, as well as a source of prodigious information that Elizabeth duly needed to puzzle over in order to piece together what she was to expect of her new life. Then again, Jane would only provide the most flattering accounts of everything and everybody, and Elizabeth soon began to suspect her sister had a view of the world that did not completely meet with realistic sensibilities. Surely there was something of less than perfection in the world Elizabeth was set to embrace.
Elizabeth wondered about her parents, Mr. Thomas Bennet of Longbourn, and her mother, Mrs. Francine Bennet, whom she sometimes heard her aunt Mrs. Gardiner refer to as Fanny.
Fanny. What a whimsical name, Elizabeth considered upon first hearing it mentioned, which led her to suspect her mother, Mrs. Bennet, might be a bit fanciful, with hardly a care in the world about the sort of weighty concerns that often pressed upon her mother Lady Sophia.
She quietly sighed. How am I to make sense of this newfound knowledge that I have not one but two mothers? Elizabeth asked herself any number of such questions designed to give herself a modicum of assurance over what would be a rather unclear next few days, weeks, and months as she navigated the uncharted sea of uncertainty that stretched before her.
Elizabeth could hardly think about the future without her thoughts drifting once again to the past. Her mind balked at the notion of leaving everything behind. Everything she thought she knew about herself had changed, and this was only the beginning.
She stared longingly out the window.
“Pray what is the matter, my dear? You have grown rather quiet in the past ten minutes.”
Elizabeth knew not what to say in the wake of her fluctuating emotions, and thus she remained silent. She reached out her hand in welcome of Mrs. Gardner’s outstretched hand. Squeezing it, she gave her aunt a tentative smile.
Mrs. Gardiner said, “No doubt this is a great deal to comprehend and in such a short amount of time. I dare say there is no cause for unnecessary worry. Or are your thoughts in Derbyshire still, along with your heart?”
Elizabeth did not feel it was best to dwell on the matter of her heart at that moment. Saying goodbye to Mr. Darcy was far harder than she would have imagined it would be. With Avery and Lady Sophia, there was hope for a family reunion. However, in the absence of an engagement with Mr. Darcy, there was no telling when they might see each other again or even if they would see each other.
Would he wait for her? If yes, how long a wait might she consider reasonable?
How long is too long?
Then, too, there was the more weighty matter that had to do with his feelings about her true connections. Mr. Darcy had all but confessed that he did not particularly like the Bennets of Longbourn. That was but one of the reasons she had done all she could to hold at bay any proposal of marriage she suspected he was on the verge of making just before they parted at Pemberley.
How might I possibly accept a life with him when my future with my Bennet family is so uncertain?