The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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"Greeley’s storytelling is intricate, masterly, and delightfully imaginative. Highly recommended." (Library Journal, starred review)
In this gorgeously written and spellbinding historical novel based on Pride and Prejudice, the author of The Clergyman’s Wife combines the knowing eye of Jane Austen with the eroticism and Gothic intrigue of Sarah Waters to reimagine the life of the mysterious Anne de Bourgh.
As a fussy baby, Anne de Bourgh was prescribed laudanum to quiet her, and now the young woman must take the opium-heavy tincture every day. Growing up sheltered and confined, removed from sunshine and fresh air, the pale and overly slender Anne grew up with few companions except her cousins, including Fitzwilliam Darcy. Throughout their childhoods, it was understood that Darcy and Anne would marry and combine their vast estates of Pemberley and Rosings. But Darcy does not love Anne or want her.
After her father dies unexpectedly, leaving her his vast fortune, Anne has a moment of clarity: what if her life of fragility and illness isn’t truly real? What if she could free herself from the medicine that clouds her sharp mind and leaves her body weak and lethargic? Might there be a better life without the medicine she has been told she cannot live without?
In a frenzy of desperation, Anne discards her laudanum and flees to the London home of her cousin, Colonel John Fitzwilliam, who helps her through her painful recovery. Yet once she returns to health, new challenges await. Shy and utterly inexperienced, the wealthy heiress must forge a new identity for herself, learning to navigate a “season” in society and the complexities of love and passion. The once wan, passive Anne gives way to a braver woman with a keen edge - leading to a powerful reckoning with the domineering mother determined to control Anne’s fortune...and her life.
An extraordinary tale of one woman’s liberation, The Heiress reveals both the darkness and light in Austen’s world, with wit, sensuality, and a deeply compassionate understanding of the human heart.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 44 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||January 05 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #56,238 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#289 in LGBTQ2S+ Literature & Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,867 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,880 in Lesbian Fiction
Top reviews from Canada
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In 'The Heiress', Ms Greeley takes us on an intense sensory journey of Miss Anne de Bourgh's life. Having been prescribed 'a tincture of laudanum' since infancy, you experience the languor, the lethargic weightiness the drug induces, and the poignancy of her childhood. Her life is sustained by the fairy tales her nurse tells her...offering visuals in her mind, hazed by her medication, as the drug takes its inevitable path to sleep.
"Memories of my early life began slow and dreamy as any of my nurse's stories. they meander like dust motes in the shafts of sunlight that came in through the nursery window." (quote from the book)
This is a 'frank', fictionalized autobiography told in Anne's own words that has a gothic twist. Anne has a deep connection to Rosings Park and it is this, and eventually the words of her governess, that slowly give her the impetus to break free of her medication and her mother. And you experience it all...the withdrawal, the fear, finding her courage and love. Love that may be outside societal strictures of the time, but everyone needs someone to love.
"All my life, I had been dormant as a winter tree, waiting for a spring that never came." (quote from the book)
I was mesmerized by this story as if I had been drugged and was floating along with Anne on her journey. The writing is evocative, exquisite and haunting. Again, as in her debut novel 'The Clergyman's Wife', Ms. Greeley's prose pulls forth emotions and makes you 'feel'. It certainly did with me.
I highly recommend this novel that explores the 'sickly' character of Anne de Bourgh who was meant from birth to be the wife of Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Top reviews from other countries
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on January 25, 2022
And I ended up adoring this one. The writing is beautiful and I love how the story grows as Anne grows and manages to escape the haze of the laudanum that drugs her. I loved the relationship, but more how right it seemed that Anne should love who she wished.