Rebecca Ann Collins
The Pemberley Chronicles Series
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Review - A Woman of Influence
Best Romance Stories -
As with most romance readers, I am a huge fan of all of Jane Austen’s books. Upon reading the latest book by Rebecca Ann Collins, I realized that I have another author I can love just as much. A Woman Of Influence is the ninth book in the Pemberley Chronicles and I was fascinated by the similarity in writing style between my favorite author, Jane Austen, and my newest favorite author, Rebecca Ann Collins. Collins uses more than a little intrigue to keep the attention of the reader along with an interesting story line. Although this is my first book from the Pemberley Chronicles, I felt like I had an intimate knowledge of the characters because the author stays true to the original characters created by Jane Austen.
The story centers around Becky Tate. Recently widowed from an unfulfilled marriage, she is living as an independent woman and is ecstatic with her new found freedom. She is bright and witty – sometimes to a fault – and there is never a dull moment when she sinks her teeth into a cause. The story gets especially interesting when Becky decides to help a young homeless woman and her son. The mystery surrounding this tragic pair becomes Becky’s mission in life to solve and the mishaps that occur during her search will keep you reading late into the night. Becky can be obstinate but she is always pragmatic and she thinks all her decisions through very carefully, especially with the help of Jonathan Bingley. Becky has been in love with Jonathan Bingley all of her life and she is so happy to have him there to counsel her now when she needs it.
Rebecca Ann Collins really ignites the reader’s interest when the situation turns from one of potential unrequited love to new romance when a handsome gentleman from Italy comes to call on Becky. One thing is for sure, for this self determined widow, she is not about to give up her independence. The author uses an incredible knowledge of the history of the time period and a familiarity with Jane Austen’s novels to create a character any Pride and Prejudice fan will love and want to read more about.
Natalie Jones, NSW.Australia -
My dear Ms Collins,
Having finished reading your last two novels in The Pemberley Series, Recollections of Rosings and A Woman of Influence- I could not wait to tell you how much I have enjoyed them. In fact, they are without doubt my most favourite books in the series and as far as I am concerned, they need not have any link to Pride and Prejudice or Jane Austen at all, because they are just perfect stories in their own right.
I found the characters of the two Collins sisters- Catherine and Becky- so completely believable, so easy to empathise with, they became like personal friends to me. I loved the way you developed the relationship between the sisters and between these two, strong,interesting women and the men who come late into their lives to bring them a chance of happiness.
As I read each chapter, I wanted to know what you had in store for them, I feared things were not going to work out as I hoped and I was delighted when it did. Every detail, every letter and conversation seemed to fall into place, building up a visual and emotional picture of their lives in Victorian England, in a most delightful and satisfying way.
I know you have used some of the favourite characters from Miss Austen’s original novel – P&P and that’s OK, but , believe me, your characters are so credible and their stories are so well told, you do not need the support of any original novel.
I understand we are almost at the end of this series- may I be so bold as to suggest that you attempt something new and give us another example of your imaginative and eveocative writing. I for one will look forward to the next novel by Rebecca Ann Collins .
Thanks very much for a most rewarding reading experience.
Wishing you the very best.
A Woman of Influence – Another triumph! by Amy Zelenka -
In the ninth of her 10-book series, author Rebecca Collins gives us a closer look at her namesake – an original character created for the Pemberley Chronicles series. Modern women can easily identify with Rebecca “Becky” Collins Tate – daughter of the lovable Charlotte Collins and her “somewhat less lovable” husband, Rev. William Collins of Hunsford Parish.
To those around her Becky seemed to lead a charmed life. Married to a wealthy and successful newspaper owner, Becky had many unique opportunities for a woman of her era. She wrote and published articles; she traveled the country, interacting with interesting and powerful people. And she used her intelligence, charm, and tenacity to effect social change. Becky was the sort of Victorian woman that other intelligent women of her day must have envied.
For some time Becky was content with her life. But the truth will eventually surface. And the death of her beloved daughter changed Becky, shook her confidence, and caused her to rethink her own place in the world.
When we meet Becky Tate in volume 8 of the series (Recollections of Rosings), she is seeking to fill the void in her life with social-climbing and busy-bodying. Through a series of events, Becky begins to see that her life has become one of idle gossip and vapid relationships. A renewed relationship with her sister Catherine helps her to turn that corner and begin to view life with new optimism.
Throughout the book, we learn how Becky came to be so unhappy, and we walk beside her as she bravely navigates her middle years – trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. She has become rather lost. A renewed relationship with her sister Catherine, whose strength and calmness of temper help Becky put things back into perspective, including her once well-honed sense of social justice. Becky throws her energy into helping young Alice Grey, whose husband is the victim of gross injustice. Through her efforts she manages to bring restitution to Alice’s family and a deep sense of satisfaction for herself.
The book brings back many favorites. The Darcy and Bingley families figure prominently throughout the book (Jonathan Bingley in particular), reminding Becky directly or indirectly that her life has indeed been one of influence for good. The causes that she and her husband championed in their younger years were meaningful and important.
And, finally, we witness a new romance for Becky – the return of an old flame. And so her life comes about, full-circle. Once again, I’m deeply moved by the author’s ability to draw the reader into the lives of her characters. I have loved this series and getting to know its characters. It will be difficult for me to read book ten (the final in the series) and to say goodbye to the “family” I’ve come to know so well.