Review – Pemberley By The Sea by Abigail Reynolds

pemberley by the sea Synopsis

Marine biologist Cassie Boulton likes her coffee with cream and her literature with happy endings. Her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice, but Cassie has no patience when a modern-day Mr. Darcy appears in her lab. Silent and aloof, Calder Westing III doesn’t seem to offer anything but a famous family name.
But there is more to Calder than meets the eye, and he can’t get enough of Cassie Boulton. Especially after one passionate night by the sea. But Cassie keeps her distance. Frustrated by Cassie’s evasions, Calder tells her about his feelings the only way she’ll let him—by rewriting her favorite book, with the two of them in the roles of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. But it’s up to Cassie to supply the ending ...


Pemberley By The Sea is a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, in a modern day setting.  All of the major players are accounted for, with Cassie and Calder in the starring roles. Cassie is a scientist and professor who has worked hard for what she’s accomplished and maintains a strong, independent personality. Calder, from an influential and powerful family is being encouraged to seek out a life in politics, and he has the ideal public persona to be a success.

These two quite different characters meet by chance, through friends, one summer on Cape Cod. Although Cassie and Calder find themselves clashing quite often, they can’t avoid the spark that ignites between them. Before they know it, they have fallen into a deeply romantic relationship. But soon enough the summer ends and they now must come to an agreement on whether to continue their relationship or go their separate ways.

Against his powerful families wishes, Calder wants nothing more than to make a life with Cassie. She, however, has other ideas. Pushing him away, and maintaining a distance are how she chooses to protect herself from revealing the secrets of her not so nice background. In an attempt to prove his love to Cassie, Calder uses her most loved novel, to win her over. Re-writing a classic with themselves as the main characters.

Overall, I found Pemberley By The Sea to be a fun read, although it is a longer book it was a very quick read. Cassie and Calder were an enjoyable portrayal of a modern day Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy and the secondary characters were also good.  The writing was really the highlight of this novel, the words have a wonderful flow, and the mixture of narrative and dialogue work perfectly. Also the addition of Calder’s novel excerpts and a few emails are a very unique touch.

Pemberley By The Sea was a very interesting look at how an Austen novel may have turned out had it been set in the present. However, some things that I found a bit off were the steamy but unromantic sex scenes and the references to street gangs. But perhaps had Austen been a woman of the here and now her novels may have been much like this. Pemberley By The Sea is a engaging re-telling of Pride And Prejudice, and makes a nice companion to the original.

About The Author

Abigail Reynolds  is a lifelong Jane Austen enthusiast and a physician.  In addition to writing, she has a part-time private practice and  enjoys spending time with her family.  Originally from upstate New York, she studied Russian, theatre, and marine biology before deciding to attend medical school.   She began writing From Lambton to Longbourn in 2001 to spend more time with her favorite characters from Pride & Prejudice.  Encouragement from fellow Austen fans convinced her to continue asking ‘What if…?’, which led to four other Pemberley Variations and her modern novel, Pemberley by the Sea.  She is currently at work on another Pemberley Variation and a sequel to Pemberley by the Sea.  She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two teenaged children, and a menagerie of pets.

Author Website

Published by Sourcebooks Landmark

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Fyrefly said...

I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was in high school, so I think I might have to check this one out. Thanks for the review!

Serena said...

This looks like a good read...its in my tbr pile for next month.

naida said...

I've seen this one around, it does sound good. Pride & Prejudice is one of my favorite novels.
great review.

Anonymous said...

Now that I'm buying books for everyone for Christmas, I've got my eyes open for books I think they might like. My sister loves Pride and Prejudice almost as much as she loves romance books, so this might be one for her.


Anna said...

I thought it was a bit long, but it really did fly by. I really enjoyed this one.

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