Humility and Tolerance by Noni Valentine

Posted June 24, 2024 by brokengeekdesigns in blogtour, Bookreview / 0 Comments

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Author: Noni Valentine
Title: Humility and Tolerance
Publisher: Quaternary Publishing Ltd
Publication Date: 19 April 2024
Genre: Regency
Page Count: 338 Pages
Comment: I received a review copy from the author and Rachels Random Resources in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced by chance meetings with ineligible gentlemen.


A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Seven years after Elizabeth Bennett married Fitzwilliam Darcy, they are still deeply in love, with two small children. But paradise is showing cracks now that Darcy’s aged housekeeper has died and Elizabeth must take up her duties. It’s more than one woman, even one as capable as Elizabeth, can manage.

Her sister Kitty, with Elizabeth and Jane’s help and a heroic effort on Kitty’s part, has outgrown her silly youth and matured into a sensible young woman—who, being sensible, spends as much time away from her parents and visiting her sisters as possible. Darcy’s sister Georgiana, with perhaps more influence from Elizabeth than is good for her, has become a confident, independent woman who is nevertheless ripe for romance. Charlotte Collins, newly widowed, is searching for a way out of the household of her husband’s crabbed patron, Lady Catherine, that doesn’t involve returning to her parents’ house.

Elizabeth sees a way to restore order to Pemberley and give herself a chance to to breathe: she offers Kitty a job as housekeeper of the estate, and Charlotte a job as governess of her adored children.

With these four women under one roof, chaos and the unexpected are inevitable. Both Kitty and Georgiana meet and begin falling in love with honorable, interesting men, neither of whom are gentlemen and therefore not considered eligible matches for them. Charlotte has the opposite problem: a childhood acquaintance who is now a Lord has become fixated on her and begins diligently wooing her, when all she wants is a quiet life and a chance to recover from eight years of marriage to a man she never loved.

When Elizabeth and Darcy learn of their sisters’ budding romances, each has the same reaction: delight at their sister-in-law’s choice and outrage at that of their sister. Now throw a ball into the mix, with Elizabeth’s mother bringing up forbidden topics from the past and her father hiding from the noise, Jane and Bingley attempting to calm the waters, Elizabeth trying to set up all three of the younger women, and Charlotte’s Lord pursuing her all over the dance floor—and an explosion is sure to happen.

Humility - Humility and Tolerance by Noni Valentine


Anyone who has read any of my blog knows that my favourite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice. I have read prequels and sequels, retellings and alternate realities, gender swaps, modern au’s and fanfiction.

When Rachels Random Resources offered a chance to read a sequel I was eager to get my hands on it. However, I don’t think the synopsis accurately portrays the novel.

The above synopsis makes the book sound like a madcap adventure or farce with a powerful ending, which just isn’t the case. In fact, most of the plot devices mentioned towards the end of the blurb- the ball, Mrs Bennett’s thoughtless words and Elizabeth playing matchmaker- all happen relatively early on in the novel. Nor was the ending particularly explosive. The events are not chaotic and are handled in much the same way Jane Austen herself would have done; with humour and a light hand.

This is a gentle book, written in the style of Georgette Heyer and Jane Austen. So, if you are looking for the steamy vibes of Stephanie Laurens or the witty banter of Julia Quinn, then you will be disappointed.

As much as I enjoyed the general vibes and atmosphere of the book, there was just something that didn’t sit right with me.

The characters felt removed from their originals in such a way to make me slightly uncomfortable. Obviously, every one is entitled to their own interpretation and we all see our favourites in different ways but, sadly, I didn’t share this author’s view of the ladies.

Plain-speaking Charlotte was rarely biting or darkly sarcastic. Admittedly, a marriage to Mr Collins for seven years, in addition to dealing daily with Lady Catherine, would test even the most placid of people. But her cutting remarks and deprecating humour didn’t ring true. Even her curt correspondence seemed out of character to me.

I gave Kitty more leeway as we didn’t know much about her character in Pride and Prejudice other than she was easily led by Lydia. In any case, I enjoyed seeing her as more competent and willing to step up to manage a household. I was also quite happy to accept that Kitty would be very forward in her attentions to gentlemen considering who she had as a best-friend growing up.

Georgiana, however, had not only come out of her shell, she stomped on it and used the pieces as weapons. Her acerbic and, sometimes thoughtless, words didn’t remind you of the sweet biddable girl who loved her brother and was incredibly shy. Again, it has been seven years, but the Georgiana from P&P would not have risked her brother’s wrath- again- by venturing to spend time, unchaperoned, with a man. Nor would she have outspokenly insisted he pursue her. She tried to confuse and embarrass the man she was attracted to, which I really didn’t feel set her in a good light. She came across as quite patronizing.

Yet, the great thing about ancillary characters in Pride and Prejudice, or any novel, is that their personalities have not been deeply established, nor have they been fleshed out. This gives you licence to take liberties with them and interpret them how you wish, manipulating them for your own narrative.

That is what this author has done, and done well. Her version of Charlotte is darkly funny and slightly barbed, Kitty is capable and courageous and Georgiana is self-confident and autocratic. The women have come into their own and taken hold of their own story, just not in a way that I, personally, saw from their original characters.


An interesting and elegant interpretation with faithful reproduction of Austen’s style. Enjoyable.

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