Story Title: His Uncle’s Favorite
Author Name: LoryL (aka Lory L or Lory Lilian)
Category: Pride & Prejudice
Story Url: Amazon Link
Content Rating: Mature
Length: 216,100 words
Story Summary: Elizabeth and Jane are both invited to spend the Christmas in London, with their aunt, in order to forget the stressful event of Mr. Bingley departure from Netherfield. But London is not quite so big to keep old acquaintances apart –and having an uncle in trade is not always a capital fault.
Please Note: This review is based on a reading of the unpublished, draft of the book in May 2013. As of June 2013, the book has been edited for publication, with any typos or errors remedied.
“His Uncle’s Favorite” is a story I’ve been eagerly watching since Lory L first began posting it. I’m an impatient, greedy reader, so after I discovered that the first two chapters were fantastic, I decided to wait to read anymore until the story was finished, lest I drive the author bonkers by stalking her. (I’m only slightly exaggerating.)
I love stories in which Elizabeth or the Bennets turn out to be wealthy, titled or have better social connections than in Pride and Prejudice, because of the way that it turns Darcy’s expectations and attitudes upside down. I enjoyed the way Lory took a unique spin on this, by having the important social standing come through her supposedly inferior connections on Gracechurch Street. That really serves to throw poor Darcy for a loop!
There is much about this story that I thought I understood prior to reading it in its entirety. Lory had previously posted a short story by the same name which later inspired her to write this novel-length tale. Based on the short story, I was certain I knew what to expect in this novel-length tale. I was wrong. Lory is a talented writer who knows how to create a fantastic, riveting story which isn’t in the least predictable. Even the title itself is far more of a mystery than I realized. Who is the uncle’s favorite? It wasn’t who I initially expected!
In “His Uncle’s Favorite,” Elizabeth and Darcy each have their Hunsford epiphany, but it doesn’t occur at the same time, place or manner in which it does in Jane Austen’s book. The protagonists have a similar road they travel, learning about each other and themselves, but it’s a very different road from that which we already know. Don’t expect this to be a rehash of canon or even of other Jane Austen fanfics. The story is primarily based in London and is populated by a large cast of original characters (OCs) who are extremely well developed.
My Only Critique: First, let me emphasize that my critique is based off of the unpublished, draft manuscript. I have not read the completed version that is up on Amazon, but I suspect it does not contain the few goofs I noticed in the draft. That said, I cannot begin to express how jealous I am of Lory L. Although English is not her native language, she is not only fluent, she can write fantastic stories in English. Furthermore, she can write Regency-era stories in English. I can’t write Regency-era stories, and English is my first language. Imitating the speech patterns of the early 19th century is flipping hard. Can you use “perturbation” in a sentence without double checking it? Prior to seeing it used in this story, I doubt I could. With all of that in mind, my only critique is that there are a few occasions when the lingo or punctuation is a tad off. Such situations are extremely minor and are unlikely to get in the way of anyone’s enjoyment. I’ve encountered far more examples of such slips in stories by native English speakers. I only bring up the language differences here to emphasize the extent of Lory’s talent and to add context for those of you for whom such minor details might inhibit your ability to fully immerse yourself in this fantastic story. Seriously, I’m awe-struck.