Story Title: Hedgerows
Author Name: Astonishment
Category: Pride & Prejudice
Story Url: Story Link
Content Rating: All Ages
Length: 21,100 words
Story Summary: What if the Bennets were evicted from their home and were forced to live in the hedgerows? This story follows the Bennet ladies out into the cruel world after losing their beloved Longbourn. Will ODC find their way to each other?
“Hedgerows” is a remarkably well-written story in which all of Mrs. Bennet’s most dire predictions come true when Mr. Bennet dies and they actually are thrown out into the hedgerows – almost literally, in fact. It’s a situation that would seem outlandish, had anyone suggested this scenario would occur in advance. Surely no-one would be this devoid of all compassion or lacking the wit to understand how reprehensible and contrary to the simplest courtesies this would be! Yet Mr. Collins manages to live down to even the worst expectations in his behavior here.
There’s not much I can say without spoiling the story. I can, however, praise Astonishment’s writing abilities to the high heavens. This is a spectacular example of how emotionally evocative her writing can be. I was so furious I developed a raging headache. (Okay, that could’ve been my allergies, but I’m pretty sure it was Mr. Collins’ ignorant, inconsiderate, selfish behavior.) And when things finally improve, I bawled. I loved the way we see how each character responds to this situation. Mrs. Bennet, in particular, was a wonder to observe. She certainly lives up to the old adage that the worst of circumstances can bring out the best in people.
My Only Critique: There is nothing I can think of that would hinder one’s enjoyment of this story. I didn’t catch a single typo. I loved the schadenfreude in the end, though I must admit that there was a spiteful imp within me who would’ve enjoyed seeing the villain of the story suffer even further. But that’s okay. Thanks to the author, I get to imagine him doubling as Violet Beauregarde from Roald Dahl’s marvelous tale. The image inside my head is extremely amusing.