A tale of second glances and second chances.
Elizabeth Bennet has disliked the aloof and arrogant Mr. Darcy since he insulted her at a village dance several months before. But an unexpected conversation with a startling turn of phrase suddenly causes her to reassess everything she thought she knew about the infuriating and humourless gentleman.
Elizabeth knows something of people who think differently. Her young cousin in London has always been different from his siblings and peers, and Lizzy sees something of this boy’s unusual traits in the stern gentleman from Derbyshire whose presence has plagued her for so long. She approaches him in friendship and the two begin a tentative association. But is Lizzy's new understanding of Mr. Darcy accurate? Or was she right the first time? And will the unwelcome appearance of a nemesis from the past destroy any hopes they might have of happiness?
Warning: This variation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice depicts our hero as having a neurological difference. If you need your hero to be perfect, this might not be the book for you. But if you like adorable children, annoying birds, and wonderful dogs, and are open to a character who struggles to make his way in a world he does not quite comprehend, with a heroine who can see the man behind his challenges, and who celebrates his strengths while supporting his weaknesses, then read on! You, too, can learn what wonders can be found when we see the familiar through a different lens.
In the author's words . . .
I've always wondered if Jane Austen's Darcy had a touch of Asperger's to him, and so I decided to explore that in my own variation. I loved the man I discovered - he is very much a part of the world and of society, but he's also a bit confused by it and struggles to move in a society that doesn't understand him. I loved discovering this Elizabeth, the heroine who has some insight into what makes an autistic hero tick, and I loved getting to know Elizabeth's young cousin Sammy, who has his own neurological differences. What I really love, however, is how these characters can be heroes in their own right. They don't need to fit, they don't need to be fixed. They might be different, but they are perfect just the way they are.
Enjoy a sneak peek from Through a Different Lens
by Riana Everly
He frowned, then paused and asked his guest, “You have surely heard of the atelier in Waterford in Ireland, where some of the best cut glass and crystal are produced.” Elizabeth nodded, unsure how this topic related to the previous one, if at all. “I travelled there two years ago, and commissioned a work for my sister, for her eighteenth birthday. It has recently arrived, and I have it safely at Pemberley, where I shall keep it for the next two years until she reaches that age, but I wish to show you something else.” Elizabeth screwed her forehead in confusion, but said nothing. There must be a purpose to this diversion.
Mr. Darcy moved to the shelves at the far end of the cabinet, and opening the glass doors, removed a small wooden box from the top shelf. He handed it to Elizabeth. “Open it,” he whispered.
Her hands nervously unhooked the hinged clasp, and she raised the polished lid to reveal a velvet interior, housing a small crystalline butterfly. “You may pick it up,” he assured her. “I trust you to be most careful. I should not show it to you were I not to have full faith in that.”
And there, in her hands, sat the most exquisite ornament she had ever seen. Each detail of the butterfly was a clean edge, cut from the clearest crystal she had ever seen. “It is most marvellous!” She hardly heard her voice as she spoke. “Truly, wonderfully marvellous!” Holding it now to the glass, she watched in rapturous delight as the multifaceted figurine captured the light streaming into the window and sent it exploding in a hundred different directions, lighting the butterfly from within and sending a myriad of tiny rainbows around the room. Even the boys looked up from their tasks to marvel at the display.
“The artisans used the same technique to cut the glass as they use in their drinking and display vessels. The idea for a figurine was my sister’s although she does not know this exists. It was merely a musing of hers one evening. This particular piece was the first, small attempt on the part of the artist, to see whether he could complete the larger project. The one wing is chipped—there,” he pointed to a minute irregularity in the edge, “and so it is not perfect. But it is too beautiful to discard, and so I keep it here to admire when I wish. It shows to its greatest advantage now, I see, being held by one as lovely as you.”
Elizabeth did not know what to say and blushed before finding her tongue. “You seem to have acquired a facility with words, Mr. Darcy,” she attempted to tease lightly.
“Perhaps I merely needed the right inspiration.”
She caught his eyes with her own and felt drawn into their moss-green depths. “Oh,” was all she was able to say as she stared, lost, unaware of time or the drawing of breath or the brilliant light-filled fragile butterfly she held in her hands.
It was only when the boys, who were completing a stage of their periscopes and needed assistance, began calling Mr. Darcy’s name that the couple at the window recalled themselves to their senses.
“Um, well, yes, Miss Elizabeth, I shall return once I have finished helping the lads. Please feel free to peruse the rest of the collection, should you so desire.” “Thank you… I shall.” She watched him return to his pupils with the rainbows dancing across his back.
End of Excerpt
Copyright © by Riana Everly
Learn more by visiting the author's website. THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENS released January 2019.
Meet the Author
Riana Everly was born in South Africa, but has called Canada home since she was eight years old. Although her background is in Medieval Studies and early music performance, she loves to write about the early nineteenth century, both in England and in the Canadian provinces.
Riana now lives in Toronto with her family. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around the beautiful province of Ontario with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading!
Riana's second novel, The Assistant, was awarded the Jane Austen Award by Jane Austen Readers' Awards, and her debut novel, Teaching Eliza, was listed on a list of 2017 Favourite Books on the blog Savvy Verse & Wit. For both of these honours, she is delighted and very proud!
Through a Different Lens by Riana Everly
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Language Level: 2
Violence Level: 1
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