Book Review- Pride and Intentions by Dushica Labovich
Updated: Sep 1, 2020
A breathtaking story of love, heartbreak, betrayal, and forgiveness. Romeo and Juliet meets Pride and Prejudice.
“Now I know that everything was supposed to happen just the way it did, because if it didn’t, maybe I wouldn’t have spent the rest of my life in the most beautiful fairy tale with your grandfather.”
When I heard Dushica Labovich announce that she was writing a story inspired by Pride and Prejudice-- my favorite Jane Austen novel-- I just knew I had to read it. Honored to be chosen to receive an advance copy of the book before it even came out, I began reading, expecting a modern take on the classic story, or something reminiscent of You’ve Got Mail or Bridget Jones’ Diary. I was unprepared to be blown away by the amazing saga that unfolded before me!
The story draws some parallels to Pride and Prejudice; the main characters bear some resemblance to Darcy and Elizabeth, and some of the side characters take on roles that echo Austen’s blueprint. But Pride and Intentions is not simply a retelling of Austen’s story-- it is its own original masterpiece.
The book opens at a funeral, where an elderly woman named Doris is celebrating the life of her late husband, dressed colorfully according to his wishes, amidst the black-clad mourners. She returns home with her granddaughter, Elizabeth, where she begins to tell her entire life story, and how she and Elizabeth’s grandfather met and fell in love.
Her narrative, which takes place across the 1950’s-1960’s, is so vividly described, I felt as though I were watching a movie the whole time. All that was missing was the soundtrack! I could easily picture wealthy young Doris, dolled up in A-line dresses, high heels and red lipstick, looking like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. I could imagine myself wandering the library with her at her beloved Magnolia Castle, or climbing the hillside to look across the whole town of Harrogate.
Dushica’s tale is woven full of beautiful prose and poignant moments, as Doris finds herself torn from the first love of her childhood, unable to find him again as the years go by. She goes through a series of other relationships, but none are able to compare to the tender love of youth. Until she meets Edward Brown. He’s confident, handsome, successful, unlike any man she’s ever met, and yet somehow, he reminds her so much of her childhood sweetheart, Victor. She never thought she could fall in love a second time, yet she finds herself inexplicably drawn to his magnetic personality, and her heart can’t help but burst into flame. But there are family secrets entangling her life and Edward’s, and when those come to light, his betrayal shatters all the trust she held for him and causes her to doubt that love ever held any promise for her. Can she make a new life for herself free from the duplicity and deception that has shrouded her entire life and manipulated her destiny? Can she love again after heartbreak has destroyed her hope? Will she ever learn what happened to the poor young man who sold strawberries and read poetry to her in a quiet village in England so many years ago?
A must-read book!