Guest Post – Reader’s Perspective by Dave McKee — 43 Comments

  1. As always, Dave, very insightful. Maria Grace is up next week followed by Abigail so you can just imagine the excitement to come. I, too, am going to be very interested in getting to know Monty. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

    • Hi Susan! You did throw me big curves this week. 😎 I like the emotional scenes between Elizabeth and William – nice that we can call them that now! Wondering if there will be a poll on what they call each other in private? Will and Beth would be my first choice – I think.. Surely not ‘my silly willy’ and ‘bodacious bethy baby’ – surely not! Really all the chapters are well written and so well balanced – not a great deal of personal style bouncing the reader around. We all get emotionally attached to characters and with Theo new, his growth is under scrutiny!

  2. Good questions, Dave and very perceptive ones too. I always struggle over the opinion pole thinking a few of the answers would go well together so I struggle to pick just one.

    Personally, I want to finally meet Sir Monty. I am very curious about his role in Theo’s life and yes, I had a fleeting thought about why Theo was looking up into the gallery. I love the idea of an adventuresome Anne and Georgie. I think Darcy and Theo have a bit to go yet, but as long as Darcy continues to stay open with Theo and let go of his blame for the past I think it will improve. Good point about Theo having him at his mercy at that point. That was a raw and vulnerable Darcy.

    Great analysis!

    Oh and on a side note, I love Anne Perry’s books too. Oliver’s courtroom scenes are as intense as Monk and Hester tracking down their murderers.

    • Hello Sophia! The writers have so many threads to work with in this story! Now I am wondering about that storm cloud boiling up on the horizon – could it be Lady C? No doubt it takes her a bit of time to pack, but it probably won’t be long now! After all, she must have her part of the conversation.

      Since the poll went to Monty talking about Wickham, that sounds like angst bubbling up. So to offset that, am hoping the women go off sightseeing and shopping. Mrs. Gardiner should have the insider information on new lace not yet available to the public! It would be funny if Darcy took them to see the Elgin Marbles – he would steer them away from the statues of men only wearing helmets! Can picture Georgiana and Anne scurrying away from Darcy for their own tour. Sometimes an older brother is simply in the way of good fun! Once these women get their bearings, London, watch out!

  3. Very entertaining commentary! I am also very curious about this ‘Monty’ person we know almost nothing about. I was wondering about his age. If he is Theo’s friend, I think he might be a little young for Anne, but what if he is willing to change his rakish ways once he catches a glimpse of the lovely Georgianna. She may not be out yet, but a man truely in love will wait, and pine, and perhaps mend his own character, until she is presented!!
    Well, I suppose we will just have to wait and see where the authors take us!

    • Hi Terri! Sometimes these men seem to have not found their direction yet. Sowing their oats – a lot! Maybe if they have responsibilities dumped on them, a personal focus may happen. Seeing Theo change with his responsible legal job, and improving appreciation of his older brother, some of that may rub off on Monty to the good. Lots of time for Monty to improve his character. Wondering if the writers will have to show some of his current life to show what he is giving up!

  4. I to would finaly meet Monty, I don’t think that he a RAKE but somebody who is having fun, is carefull to do no damage. So he flirts not whit debutantes or other young innocent young women who still have change at marriage but whit the Ton’s bronzed widows. Both parties knows what to expect. He is a “civilised” version of Wickham. He likes to have fun but caress about the effects of his fun for other people.

    • Hello Duckie! Yes, I agree with you that he probably only has relationships with the more experienced widows. I think that ‘honorable’ rakes would behave as you described! Would he simply have too much money, no responsibilities, and is bored? It will be interesting to see how the writers describe his character – we should know in a few weeks! Thank you for commenting!

  5. LOL – this really was Christmas come early for Theo, wasn’t it!

    I really loved the comment about Darcy being at his brother’s mercy like never before, and that he could have gutted him at that point, if he was a vengeful person, and I’m so glad that it didn’t happen!

    I did wonder too about who was Theo expecting to find in the gallery, and I can’t wait to find out!

    Thanks, Dave, for another fun read!

    • Hi Joana – good to hear from you! Oh, the writers would have heard howls of anguish if Theo had behaved badly. Susan did a good job making our eyes get big just with Elizabeth mentioning his name when she was sick. Do hope she mends quickly – otherwise she will miss out on the bonnet shopping! LOL

      Have the gallery person down to three possibilities – it is a minor point, but these writers can be subtle in the dribbling of clues like cookie crumbs. Someday we may revisit the court for Wickham’s trial!

  6. Yes, I wanted to vote for all three options this week. They would work together well!

    I wonder if next week’s author(s) will take on the challenge of Monty’s character, showing us the difference between a rake and a cad — and why people like Theo and his mentor like him. Was Monty in the audience at Old Bailey? And how does Theo make money if he has clients as poor as this woman?

    Lizzy still needs to hear the truth about Wickhead, but is there some different way for that to happen? Not the usual ways — not Darcy or Georgiana or the Colonel. What do you think, Dave?

    • Hi June! The previous week the vote was easy for me. Read the chapter and Darcy was an instant choice. This past week, I had not decided after two readings!

      Yes, Monty is a top choice to be in the gallery, Garrow probably is too busy to be a regular attendee – plus his status would get him a better seat in the court. If Garrow is throwing clients to Theo, most are probably well off. I would like it if Theo was taking cases like Darcy saw pro bono simply because it is the right thing to do. Watching the Garrow’s Law video, that is the type of thing Theo’s mentor would do.

      Anne would be my pick for telling Lizzy about Wicky. Since Lizzy knows her to be blunt, straightforward, and truthful – if Anne speaks of his wickedness with examples, Lizzy would believe her. A third party’s opinion would have extra validity without the emotional bias she knows the others would have.

      We sure are having fun with this story! Thanks for commenting!

  7. Dave, lots of inssights and fun ideas as usual. I agree that the next chapter has lots of possibilites for Grace to work on — with lots of opportunities for characters to grow and develop. I, too, am eager to see if Sir Montgomery Preston is going to put in an appearance, although of course at this point he isn’t a major player.

    • Hello Monica!
      Yesterday there was a lot of posted interest in Sir Monty or is it more properly Sir Preston – some guidance would be appreciated. Any new character will be intensely scrutinized – until we have taken his measure!

      Terri posted above thinking about matching up Monty with Anne or Georgiana – some day. Darcy will be thrilled to have Sir Monty chatting up his younger sister in Theo’s presence. Suspect another row in the making!

      Elizabeth, Darcy, and Theo – hope they can have some uninterrupted, heart-to-heart discussions. Soon.
      Of course Elizabeth has to get well, Anne has her old addiction to deal with, Theo is hobbling, and where is the Colonel? Jane and Bingley casting moon eyes at each other. Who is watching Georgiana? Need a score card to keep track of everyone!

  8. LOL, Dave!
    Your Regency shopping descriptions had me laughing this early morning!! This line in particular: “The pictures I have seen of reticules are strange! What could they possibly carry in there? The word is obviously a shortening of the French ‘ridiculement minuscule’.”
    Ha! 😀
    Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts with us!

    • Hi Marilyn! Is 8am now – was answering the earlier comments blearily with one eye open and typing with one hand – coffee cup in the other. How you writers answer so many comments on different posts – well, it is beyond me! Yesterday Abigail was doing her WIP and Theo posts at the same time and making sense with each post! Being a novice, I am in awe of how much the AVA group has accomplished is a ridiculously short time! Bravo!

      The reticule idea came up from standing in line at Walmart (ASDA in Europe I guess) behind my inspirations.

      Now every time a gentleman tips his hat… BWAAHAHA! You will always be expecting his coin purse to drop out. 🙂

  9. Your questions are very interesting. This is definitely not as straight forward as last week and has my head spinning. As for Theo, I’m glad he had compassion on his brother and didn’t rip into him which he very easily could have done. Darcy was emotional from not knowing if Elizabeth would survive the fever and staying up the entire night from his bedside vigil. He was definitely emotional and to top it off exhausted from being up al night. The combination would leave him exceptionally vulnerable and open to attack and unable to keep his mask on. I think Theo really wants a relationship with his brother and does want to reconcile with him, so here is the opportunity to take the olive branch but Theo is suspicious as to what is bringing this about. Is it Darcy’s doing or is Elizabeth forcing it? I do also wonder who Theo thought he’d see in the gallery..Monty or maybe even…Wickham? I think Anne should be the one to tell Elizabeth about Wickham….she doesn’t have the emotional involvement or as much a stake as Darcy or Georgiana. And now where are Darcy & Theo heading to….maybe check in Elizabeth…after all Monty is fond of her too. Hmmmm…..even more questions.

    I found your description of the reticule and shopping amusing…it had me chuckling….I hate shopping and could see myself shuffling through the books I carry for my purse…..If I was fourth in line I might leave….or pull out a book and start reading….nowadays I pull out my NOOK when I’m waiting my turn in the grocery store…

    • Hello Deborah! The choices left me in a quandary – Eventually chose Georgiana since I wanted Elizabeth to hear more reassuring words about William. Plus she may spill the beans to Elizabeth about her being engaged not courting. Let Georgiana defuse Elizabeth’s rant and make her see reality. That would help give Georgiana a growing experience – then maybe they can go bonnet shopping! I also see Anne in the Gardiner house peering around taking in the house, opening drawers and closets ( to see if there are shelves), turning over the plate to notice the Gardiners have better china than Rosings! Anne has so much time to make up. In living experiences, isn’t she somewhat at Georgiana’s level?

      On Darcy, wasn’t that a tough experience confessing to Theo? I am thinking Darcy knew he had to open himself up to a possible attack and did intentionally make himself vulnerable. That took courage from my way of thinking.

      With Theo looking at the gallery, I think you hit the two possibles beyond Garrow. Sir Monty is the most probable – i think. Maria Grace may decide to tell us next Wednesday – but what if it is a red herring tossed out for us to follow? It is fun to chase down the trail of cookie crumbs the writers leave behind. I would like Anne to have a few encounters with men before the Colonel sweeps her off her feet. Maybe Sir Monty – but he better treat her properly! With Theo as his friend, she should be fine.

      At the store, I have never been brave enough to read my kindle in line. I do not multitask well and would become lost in the story. The other folks in line would either nudge me into reality or walk around me. That would be embarrassing – “Sir, we would like to close the store, would you like to check out now?” LOL

      • They are battling a lot of history – unlikely to be a smooth change. Especially if we readers have a say! Amazed me when we shot Elizabeth – without knowing for sure if it would be a serious wound! 😎
        This story voting is fun!

  10. I’m not sure who Theo was hoping to see up in the gallery but it definitely was not Darcy! So I’m inclined to think it was Monty. He’s been elusive in this story so far and Theo has only written to him offering advice and news. Therefore, I don’t think he is an out-and-out rake like Wickham and would agree with Duckie. However, I don’t think it would be in Theo to gut Darcy. He is so like is mother that hurting someone so deliberately, even if he is angry and hurt, would go against the grain. No, in my mind, it’s going to be a slow process of healing helped along by Elizabeth and Darcy’s need to heal the rift between him and all his family.

    • Hi Carole! These two men have been poking each other with sharp sticks all their adult lives. I agree with you that it will be a slow process – it could be years before they have a bonfire and burn the sticks they have been carrying – just in case. Trust does not always come quickly when wounds are old and deep. That sounds ponderous, doesn’t it? 🙂

      Your comment that Elizabeth will be instrumental to healing the breach sounds right – as soon as Elizabeth and Darcy stop antagonizing each other. Three very prideful people!

      Thanks for commenting – astute as always!

  11. I like your idea of Anne turning over the plates and seeing better Chine…imagine Lady C’s horror if she was there doing that? I’ m laughing now just thinking about it. Yes, the colonel would be perfect for Anne or as others have said…maybe Monty-he might calm down for her, but also would help her have some fun. Her life would never be boring.

    as for reading on a line…I have been nudged because I get too caught up in a story…but due to working 50 hours a week and the commute and a family to take care of not to mention the house…I read every chance I get…even if it is on line. (Not at work today due to the snow falling in New York so have time to play on line–8 inches so far)

    • I am hoping the writers have Mr Gardiner as an import broker so Mrs. Gardiner actually dresses with style and quality that would be noted by the society matrons when the inevitable meetings occur – that may be next year with the twists and turns this story takes!

      The Colonel will need a fairly rich wife and since he was making moon eyes at Anne at Rosings… we will see. Sir Monty has his fortune – provided he does not waste it. Mrs. Bennet would be glad to come to London with her daughters and help him pick a wife! Sir Monty would suddenly have business far, far away. 🙂

      Deborah, enjoy your day off!

  12. Hi, Dave! Thanks for the mention of my new release, Another Place in Time. In the novel, Georgiana and time-traveler Chris O’Malley DO go shopping, but it’s at the Temple of the Muses, one of the greatest bookstores of all time!

  13. Yes, Sir Monty will be making his debut appearance in the next instalment. I can’t imagine him as a rake. My idea is he’s somewhere between Darcy and Theo – fun and witty but at times serious because of his responsibilities as a baronet.

    I hope from now on the brothers will learn to be more open to each other and talk it out if there are any disagreements rather than keep it to themselves. As you can see, disagreements can fester into hatred for one another if the other party doesn’t understand what the other is going through.

    • Hello Lúthien! There is much interest and speculation about Sir Monty. Any new character is inspected with curiosity! Maria Grace is surely writing at a feverish pace – everyone is glad Darcy and Theo are beginning their reconciling and I believe the voting will bring Sir Monty into the mix. I have no idea what the information about Wickham could be. Wednesday is a long way away. 🙂

  14. I think that based on Theo’s correspondence, he was looking for his mentor, Garrow when he looked up into the gallery. I wonder if Garrow is the approving father figure that Theo wishes he had in his older brother? It seems like Theo is having more confidence in himself as well, as he gains some success in his career — but while he wants to be free of looking for Darcy’s approval, he probably still wants his brother to be proud of him. Now that Darcy is predisposed to reconciling with Theo, hopefully Theo can take the higher road and let his brother make amends — at heart, they are all pulling for each other, so hopefully as Theo realizes more clearly that Darcy suffered when their family suffered so many losses, he will be able to help them mend the breach.

    I found your musings on shopping to be strangely compelling. It made me think that although I like to shop, i might hate it if I were suddenly forced to shop in regency England. Some of the wares would be disappointing to shop for (ribbons, bonnets, or gloves?), and probably other clothing items were ill-fitting.

    • Hi Kathy! These are very good observations! It seems Theo is seeing his brother as a different person – one with feelings and heart. Seeing Darcy so vulnerable must pull at Theo’s heart – now if they can just keep moving down this path. Garrow as his mentor was a champion of the defense in court – they had virtually no protection or counsel and he fought injustices in they system. The writers may model Theo in that same direction so he would be taking on cases that are hard to win. The good fight for the underdog. I think. 🙂

      On the clothes, did the society women buy off the rack or was everything handmade? I remember stories where the customer had to be measured to have shoes and gloves made to size – but that may have been the exception, not sure. And not be seen wearing the same outfit for how long – a month? The closets must have been huge! Beeswax dripping from chandeliers while people are packed in like sardines… Think you are right – the Regency Period? Happy right here, thank you!

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Garrow is a pretty fascinating fellow, isn’t he? I’m rarely moved to put historical characters in my story, but he’s extraordinary. I’d love to see Theo follow in his footsteps.

        In the Regency dresses and shoes were made to order, but I’m not sure about gloves.

        • Actually I had a pair of shoes custom-made once – really not much better than ready made, but was an extravagant experience. Custom made gloves could be used as a story point about the wealth of the recipient where she had to have everything unique from everyone else..

          It would be interesting if circumstances required Theo to defend Wickham in court.
          A little brotherly angst in the making!

    • Hello Chanpreet! Yes, they have such a history of distrust. Tthe writers have hinted in their posts that there is more brotherly angst yet to come. Possibly Lizzie can prod Darcy into being more open with strangers – she has a long way to go! Practice! Practice! 😎

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