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The Ladies of Rosings Park – Chapter 1 — 19 Comments

  1. I always wondered about Anne, why she is so withdrawn. What is her age? What are her health problems?
    So I look forward to reading about her!

    • Hi, Liz! Glad you’re intrigued about Anne. Jane Austen tells us so very little that it really was a blank slate for me. I have her as 20 at this point and reaching her majority during the course of the book. As for her health, since the state of the medical arts was still pretty primitive, I decided it wasn’t necessary (or even period correct) that I come up with a specific diagnosis that we would be familiar with today, just that she finally get some help.

  2. Although well written, I feel no empathy for your protagonist Anne. At this point she seems only to say, “pitty poor me.” I will be interested in seeing how you develop her character to be one I can admire, but so far I see little to admire and no charm whatsoever in Anne.

    • I’m glad you’re interested to read on, Meg. I’m starting with what Jane Austen gives us. All we really know about Anne in the beginning is that she is sickly and under her domineering mother’s thumb. That doesn’t make her admirable, I agree, but I have always felt empathy for her. That was part of my motivation for writing this book – to show that there’s a lot more going on inside and that, given half a chance, she can become someone we admire and respect. I hope you’ll stick around to see it.

  3. I see the basis of something wonderful in Anne if she can overcome these obstacles! She knows how she would like to be, it’s all about putting these wishes into action! I hope she can do it. I always had sympathy for her character. So downtrodden by an overbearing mother. Yes, she starts with no charm, wit or even much dialogue. But I’ve read your work before, I know how well you can turn a character into someone we will love or hate. I’m all anticipation!!

    • Yay! Thanks so much for your vote of confidence, Angie! I agree that what makes someone heroic is how they persevere and overcome obstacles, whether physical limitations, psychological trauma, or both, as in this case. That makes for a satisfying story. 😀

  4. Well, I am definitely engaged in finding out more about Anne. She lives her life through books and in her imagination. Losing her father was definitely a severe blow to her. She does a lot of self-reflection here and envy for Elizabeth’s health and nature. Looking forward to reading more..

    • Good to hear you’re liking it so far, Carole! Yes, losing her father ended up taking an important role in the book. As for the self-reflection, I love telling stories in first person. (I wrote a blog post about that a couple of years ago: https://shannonwinslow.com/?s=Me%2C+Myself%2C+and+I ) You really do get into the character’s head and are privy to all her thoughts and feelings. The only difference here is I’ll be switching back and forth between the ladies. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I really enjoyed this glimpse into Anne’s mind. It doesn’t surprise me that her and Elizabeth’s minds are quite similar although Anne has been squashed by her mother for so long that she has lost all confidence in herself. If only she made that occasional cutting comment! And her making up stories while she sits there, so still and silent! I love that her mind is so agreeably engaged while sitting (quite literally) in her mother’s shadow.

    I’m so intrigued by this story and am waiting with great excitement for next Monday’s installment! Thank you for sharing this lovely novel with us!

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    • Thank you for your lovely comments, Susanne! So glad you’re intrigued by Anne’s story. Although she may look dull on the outside at this point, there’s a lot going on just below the surface. Eventually some of that pent-up energy has got to bust out. Don’t you think so? Then watch out, Lady Catherine!

  6. Hmm, I kind of feel sorry/not sorry for Anne at this point. She’s had tough times in her life with the death of her father, her ongoing health problems and her domineering mother but has none of her underlying personality ever shown itself? Not even once?

    I’m not worried about this in the slightest though, Shannon, as you always come good with your characters and plotlines. Nest Monday can’t come soon enough! Looking forward to reading about Anne’s reaction to Darcy’s reaction to Elizabeth.

    • I know Anne doesn’t look very promising at this point, Anji, but I swear all will turn out well in the end! Next Monday, you get to hear from Lady Catherine – her reaction to Elizabeth and her conniving to get Anne and Darcy married. What fun!

  7. It is hard for a sapling to grow in the shade of a larger tree. Lady Catherine has overshadowed her daughter since the death of her husband. I am sure he was Anne’s refuge and safe harbor. Bless her heart. I feel for her and wonder what will happen when she sees Elizabeth in the company of her cousins and their attentions to her. Thanks for sharing this chapter with us.

  8. I always felt bad for Anne. She gives the first impression of being a miserable person, not worth knowing (much like her cousin). Perhaps, like Darcy, she will improve upon acquaintance!

    • I Found that to be true, Suzanne. Just as you can’t always judge a book by the cover, you can’t always judge a person by what you see on the outside. And look what you would have missed if you hadn’t taken the trouble of getting to know Mr. Darcy!

  9. After reading about Anne’s warm and congenial relationship with her father -who helped her grow more into the life she expected to have- I wonder how different she would be if it was her mother, not her dad, who died and left her so stranded. We are not always a product of our beginning in life but also of subsequent influences that overwhelm the positive. Her reserved personality is a natural result of being constantly ‘squashed’ in thought and deed by the looming suppression of her mother. Once the expected future with Darcy is dissolved -in her own mind- what happens next depends on her own instigations. Thus, now knowing her mother cannot control everyone’s future, new possibilities for her own life must be stirring …if she can seize the courage to rebel.

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