Story: Coming Home
Author: Linda K
Story URL: Story Link
Word count: 15,100
Summary: Married six months, the Darcys are returning to Pemberley for the summer. They run into trouble along the way and Darcy is left to wonder if he will ever see his beloved Elizabeth again.
This rec is actually a re-post, as I originally had posted a mere two sentences of praise for this, one of my absolute favorite stories in the JAFF fandom: “The story is listed as mild angst because the ending is a foregone conclusion. But that didn’t stop me from crying while I read this beautiful story.” Such brevity is utterly inadequate in expressing how moving and brilliant this story is.
Mr. Darcy’s POV sets the ominous opening tone for this story, as he reflects upon a disturbing dream he had in which he couldn’t find Pemberley’s new mistress within its quiet rooms. He is therefore on edge all day as he waits for Elizabeth to join him at their Derbyshire home. The story proceeds from there with an exciting, emotional journey for Elizabeth and her young charges, as she works to escape danger and make her way back to her beloved husband. And although the happy ending is a foregone conclusion, it doesn’t make it any less heart-wrenching to experience Mr. Darcy’s tangible grief and fear along with him, nor any less joyful to witness their reunion.
What really makes this story work is how fantastic the characterizations are. In this regard, Linda K ranks among the absolute best authors of P&P stories. “Coming Home” wouldn’t work nearly as well if not for the familiarity of all of the characters, and the utter certainty one has while reading this story that these truly are Jane Austen’s characters, and this really is what occurred after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice. From their culture’s stifling tendency to say and do what is polite and genteel rather than vociferously telling off a shrew such as Miss Bingley, to the utter disregard for those cultural restraints when Elizabeth and Darcy are reunited, this story feels so very true and realistic.
In some ways, this story actually could serve as a poignant counterpoint to the story “Eternal Flame by Heather F (Quill).” If you really want to go all out for the grief and joy, I suggest reading the two stories back-to-back.
My only critique: I can’t find a single typo or writing error within this story, so there are no technical errors to mention. I know some readers don’t like alternating POVs, so perhaps if you are one such person, you should be aware that this story does have a little bit of that. However, the entire purpose of this story is dependent upon multiple POVs, thus this isn’t remotely a writing flaw. Truthfully, I think this story is perfect, and can’t think of anything to critique.