Review of ‘The Heiress: The Revelations of Anne de Bourgh’ by Molly Greeley
This wlw retelling of classics was a nice book to start 2021 off with. I’m a big Austen fan so when I heard about this book I was really excited to read it. This is a bit of a spin-off but also a companion book to ‘Pride and Prejudice’. While I’m not the biggest historical fiction reader, I love this gothic style and I thought this book fit well into Austen’s world. This book is by HarperCollins, so it’s nice to start the year reading a mainstream book that had a sapphic romance. I love seeing that and I hope I will see a lot more of it in 2021.
This book was an interesting mix of some darkness but also hope. This time period was rough on women so while it’s a little bit hard to read at times, it’s also so rewarding to read about women being strong and taking their agency back. This book also has very interesting family dynamics including a mother who is so sure she is right, that she is so horribly wrong. You can’t help but feel awful for the main character, especially when she is trapped in a drugged state, but this is a story of the journey of her growth and you want to follow Anne on that journey.
This is a slower-paced book. The beginning especially feels slow as Anne narrates in her own drugged-out state. Anne’s drugged induced physical and mental slowness ends up decelerating the pace of the book for us readers too. It’s interesting to be in a first-person story like that and I was surprised that the pace didn’t bother me much. It does pick up as the book goes on, and that shift helps you feel, as an observer, that you truly understand the changes that Anne is going through. I think it was pretty cleverly written in this way. This is a book to be patient with, but I found it to be rewarding.
As I mentioned already, there is a WLW romance. Anne is a very sheltered woman so finding out that she was a lesbian could have been this huge deal for her. I liked that Greeley played this fact down. Anne loved who she loved, and wanted to love who she loved. It was nice to see Anne just be Anne and I liked the sweet romance in the story. This is a relationship of friends to lovers and both the friendship, and later when you could tell it was turning into something more, were enjoyable and sweet to read about.
This is a book I would absolutely recommend to ‘Pride and Prejudice’ fans. I thought this was a well-done companion piece and I’m hopeful Austen fans will agree. It is a slower book that is more about the little things, but I was quite taken with it and enjoyed it from start to finish. 4 stars.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.