Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813's Reviews > On Oakham Mount: A Pride & Prejudice Variation

On Oakham Mount by Sophia Meredith
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it was amazing

4.5 stars out of 5

From its breathtaking cover, to its skillfully crafted storyline, “On Oakham Mount,” by Sophia Meredith, is a “Pride and Prejudice” variation that delivers a Regency Era romance that remains true to the tastes and the values within Austen’s time period. Ms. Meredith’s debut novel, which is the first in her Pemberley Departures series, focuses on how the demands placed upon Elizabeth to marry Mr. Collins by Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, shape the course of her relationship with Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Beginning right after the Netherfield Ball, this variation takes us through Darcy and Elizabeth’s own personal voyages, as they both attempt to decipher and reconcile their true feelings towards each other. As Ms. Meredith demonstrates her wonderful command of Regency language, she transports us back in time and allows us to reimagine how Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship could have unfolded differently as various external and internal conflicts force them to confront the expectations of their families, while they also face the oppressive social structures found within their society.

This story opens with us immediately garnering sympathy for a hurt and angry Elizabeth Bennet. Once she receives the news that both of her parents have agreed to have her marry Mr. Collins as a means to save Elizabeth and her family from their uncertain fates, she finds herself overwhelmed by her emotional reaction. After experiencing the stinging betrayals delivered by both of her parents, she flees Longbourn to seek the solace she craves at Oakham Mount. On her way, she accidentally meets Mr. Darcy, where he discovers her in a highly emotional state.
Through their surprisingly pleasant conversation, they both find themselves exchanging confidences with each other only to discover that they have something quite meaningful in common with each other; they are both expected to marry their cousins against their own wishes. Together, they devise a plan that they both believe will alleviate their concerns before they return to face their family and friends.

As they prepare to put these plans in place, an engagement occurs for another Bennet sister. Now Elizabeth must decide whether or not she can go along with the plan she has agreed to with Mr. Darcy. Once she makes her decision and informs Mr. Darcy about her decision, the couple finds themselves at a crossroads. How will her sister’s engagement affect her relationship with Mr. Darcy?

I loved the idea of Darcy and Elizabeth agreeing to an engagement early on in their relationship and then breaking it off, because, in canon, I believe they both have a strong attraction to each other that they both initially fight against. From this point, the story requires that they truly reflect upon their deepest feelings and examine their motives towards each other through the painful separations of time and space. This story stays close enough to canon to include the themes and the characters we love to explore while Ms. Meredith adds enough departures from Austen’s original story that will resonate with readers who love to explore subtle, yet significant variations in Austen’s story.

I found Darcy to be quite charming in this story. He was kind and humble, especially once he realized his true heart. He was also confident and manly in a way that came across as attractive and a bit reserved. I had fun reading Ms. Meredith’s twist on the infamous confrontation with Lady Catherine de Bourgh and I had a huge smile on my countenance as I played that scene in my head!

The epilogue was a great wrap-up for this book! It was wonderful how Ms. Meredith wrapped up so many loose ends, like a giant present for us. Her epilogue resembles Ms. Austen’s final chapter in canon, leaving readers with a good sense about how our characters’ lives would play out for them in the future.

Ms. Meredith should be commended as a new author for her attention to detail, specifically regarding her precise word choices and her careful construction of Regency Era language throughout her story. There were a couple of places where the plot developed a bit slowly, and perhaps more attention in those places was given to the authenticity of her language development and less so to moving the plot along at a brisker pace. However, these are minor quibbles that didn’t prevent me from savoring the beauty of her writing and delighting in the simply touching romance that remains at the center of her story.
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Reading Progress

February 25, 2016 – Shelved
February 25, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 11, 2016 – Started Reading
March 15, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Sheila Majczan I just finished reading this and will now post my review. Great story.


Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 Love, love, love your review and posted comments on it too! So fun to share stories with you!


Sheila Majczan Ditto back at you. You always give me such new leads - what a dear friend!


message 4: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Such a great review!! I must move this to the top of my list!!!


message 5: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Meredith Thank you again, Claudine! Your review is my very first one in my whole life, so you can imagine what a special place it will always have in my heart! XOXO


Claudine DiMuzio / Just Jane 1813 Thank you Sheila and Erika! I love having JAFF friends that have similar tastes... And who are such proficient readers! Lol!!

Sophia, your words are so kind and I appreciate your support as well!


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