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Pemberley Ranch

by Jack Caldwell

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7911272,694 (3.63)None
When the smoke has cleared from the battlefields and the Civil War has finally ended, fervent Union supporter Beth Bennet reluctantly moves with her family from their home in Meryton, Ohio, to the windswept plains of Rosings, Texas. Handsome, haughty Will Darcy, a Confederate officer back from the war, owns half the land around Rosings, and his even haughtier cousin, Cate Burroughs, owns the other half. In a town as small as Rosings, Beth and Will inevitably cross paths. But as Will becomes enchanted with the fiery Yankee, Beth won't allow herself to warm to a man who represents the one thing she hates most: the army that killed her only brother. But when carpetbagger George Whitehead arrives in Rosings, all that Beth thought to be true is turned on its head, and the only man who can save her home is the one she swore she'd never trust.--From cover.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow to get into at first, but then the pace really picked up. The only thing I had a problem with was that there were too many "Uhhs" and "Ummms" throughout the book. It broke the pace of the language and didn't seem to fit in with the Civil War and post-Civil War setting. I enjoyed reading about Will and Beth's story, even though I kept calling them "Darcy" and "Lizzie" in my head! I thought this book was an interesting twist on Pride & Prejudice. ( )
  CarpeLibrum58 | Jun 4, 2016 |
I was a little hesitant to read this book, even though the premise was intriguing. Pride & Prejudice in TEXAS? What the? But you know what? It worked.

"Pemberley Ranch" doesn't simply follow the original story in a Western setting, it also changes a number of situations around while keeping the personality and responses of many of the characters intact. For example, Jane and Bingley marry early on in the story - vastly different from Pride & Prejudice. But this change in itself leads to other events happening that are still in keeping with P&P's story.

"Beth" coming to her realisations is a lot more confronting than the original novel, which was actually quite enjoyable. And seeing Anne and Darcy's sister, Gaby, playing more of an active role is also quite refreshing.

No prim and proper letters and ladies in Texas, good sir - it's all about cattle and Winchesters!

Definitely an enjoyable read, and one I'm glad to display on the book shelf. I can't wait to see what other morsels of fun Jack Caldwell dishes up for us! ( )
  snitchbitch | Sep 10, 2013 |
Pemberley Ranch by Jack Caldwell is a re-imagining of Pride & Prejudice set during the U.S. Civil War and opens during the battle of Vicksburg, Miss., which was the final surge of the war between union or Yankee troops and southern confederates. Darcy is a captain in the confederate army and readers are dropped right into the action of war as the novel opens. He’s commanding his troops as union soldiers pin them down, but then they suddenly withdrawn. Caldwell’s prose is descriptive down to the sidearms used by the battling troops.

The book quickly turns to the Bennets’ story as they mourn the loss of their only brother Samuel and decide to move to Rosings, Texas to run a different cattle ranch and leave their home in Ohio. Imagine the tensions following the Civil War between former Confederates and the new Yankees who migrate to the rejoined nation of the United States. Beth Bennet and Darcy meet and sparks fly in more ways than one, and this is coupled with an underhanded attempt by George Whitehead to usurp cattle ranches, land, and power through a complex plan with help from a darker Denny and a gang of former confederate soldiers still bitter from their loss.

Read the full review: http://savvyverseandwit.com/2011/12/pemberley-ranch-by-jack-caldwell.html ( )
  sagustocox | Dec 30, 2011 |
The tag line on the back cover is "Frankly, Mr. Darcy, I don't give a damn..." How could I resist?

I'm glad I didn't resist. Caldwell stays true to the original feel of the story while incorporating the new setting. I liked that he didn't try to force Georgian manners and customs into post-Civil War Texas, instead he took most of the main plot points and changed them slightly (so instead of a ball, they have a barbecue) to make a better fit.

Now this isn't to say that Pemberly Ranch is exactly like the original. Some of the characters have undergone a change, for instance Sir Lucas becomes Sheriff Lucas, and he definitely isn't a bumbling squire. Other characters who have undergone transformations include Wickham (now Whitehead, a Yankee carpetbagger), Collins (from sycophant preacher to slimy banker), and Mrs. Bennet (who isn't quite as silly as she used to be). The story also focuses much more on Beth and Darcy, taking the Jane and Bingley drama pretty much out of the story by marrying them off at the beginning. There is also quite a bit of Western flair added with cattle drives (Will Darcy is a rancher), a saloon/brothel, and a some corrupt small town politics.

All in all, a well imagined retelling of Pride and Prejudice. ( )
  Bodagirl | Sep 5, 2011 |
I’ve read lots of Jane Austen fiction, and my love for our lady J is known far and wide. I can be a hard sell when it comes to modern (or historical) retellings of my favorite stories, and I know some purists frown upon “spin-offs” stemming from Austen’s original works. I’m not one of those readers, obviously; any additional time I can spend with the dashing Mr. Darcy is all right by me. But even I, a relatively adventurous reader, wasn’t so sure about this premise.

It just sounded so . . . silly. Over the top. Ridiculous, even. And I’m only admitting that in the interest of full disclosure, because I absolutely loved Pemberley Ranch. It was romantic, thrilling, adventurous; the plot was tight and interesting, and the whole novel richly atmospheric. I felt as thought I’d stepped back in time to ride sidesaddle through Darcy’s ranch, and I completely bought into the idea that these characters — these friends — to whom I’m tremendously attached could be transported to a different time, a different place, and have the story still work.

And work it did. Though I missed the prim-and-proper British manners that are so vital to Austen’s work, America in the 1800s wasn’t so grossly different from England. I mean, ladies weren’t permitted to hold court with a young man unchaperoned. And if you think you’re going to run off with a young woman without her father’s approval, son? Think again. There are right ways to do things and wrong ways to do things, and Caldwell knows that. Protocol in Texas isn’t quite the same as in Longbourn, but it’s not dissimilar, either.

Darcy is still a proud, upstanding citizen; Beth is still a hard-headed young woman who refuses to bend to society’s — or her parents’ — wishes. Though author Jack Caldwell manipulates the familiar plot in a new way, the spirit of our beloved characters is the same. And that’s what won me over most: the push-and-pull, will-they-or-won’t-they vibe we get from our leads is still present — but not the complete focus.

This isn’t a romance — not in a traditional sense. There’s no bodice-ripping here, friends, and very little in the way of uncouth behavior. Pemberley Ranch’s main focus is really on the Civil War and its aftershocks, bringing the discord between Beth and Darcy to this one salient point: on which side do you fall? And at one point do you let the past go?

Rich in historical detail and high on intrigue, tension and adventure, Pemberley Ranch is a spirited and fun addition to the Austen fiction oeuvre I love so dearly. Gobbled up over just a few nights, I was dying to learn what would become of my two favorite families and enjoyed seeing allusions to Pride and Prejudice even as Caldwell took the tale in new directions. A worthwhile, fun book, and one I heartily recommend to Austen fans and historical fiction lovers alike. ( )
  writemeg | Jun 30, 2011 |
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When the smoke has cleared from the battlefields and the Civil War has finally ended, fervent Union supporter Beth Bennet reluctantly moves with her family from their home in Meryton, Ohio, to the windswept plains of Rosings, Texas. Handsome, haughty Will Darcy, a Confederate officer back from the war, owns half the land around Rosings, and his even haughtier cousin, Cate Burroughs, owns the other half. In a town as small as Rosings, Beth and Will inevitably cross paths. But as Will becomes enchanted with the fiery Yankee, Beth won't allow herself to warm to a man who represents the one thing she hates most: the army that killed her only brother. But when carpetbagger George Whitehead arrives in Rosings, all that Beth thought to be true is turned on its head, and the only man who can save her home is the one she swore she'd never trust.--From cover.

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