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REVIEW: The Journey Home to Pemberley by Joana Starnes

Updated: Sep 24, 2019

Review by Christina Boyd

I have been a long time fan of Joana Starnes’s Austenesque novels, and it seems only fitting The Quill Ink’s first blog tour to participate in is for her recent release, The Journey Home to Pemberley.

In a field of many ardent and talented Jane Austen-inspired authors, we are blessed to be living in such days as these when self-publishing makes it easier for talented writers to find their niche. Starnes has long established her place at the top of several “Favorites” lists with bestsellers like Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, The Unthinkable Triangle, and Miss Darcy’s Companion. The Journey Home to Pemberley, her latest Pride & Prejudice reimagining, begs the question: How can Elizabeth Bennet find solace after she gives up the only man she will ever love?

In The Journey Home to Pemberley, that holiday to the Lake District with her aunt and uncle Gardiner takes place (remember in canon Mr Gardiner’s business would not allow an extended trip and so they had to content themselves with the celebrated beauties of Derbyshire) and, as Fate would have it, Elizabeth meets with Mr Darcy again. He was thrown from his horse and, when found, he was brought to the same inn where Elizabeth and her relatives have accommodations. While he convalesces, they reconcile their misunderstanding after that unfortunate proposal scene at Hunsford months before when she had strenuously refused him...and now love blooms. Can we dare to hope for a happily-ever-after so soon? Certainly not, as this is only the beginning of their journey. And as Pride & Prejudice-like circumstances arise, Elizabeth selflessly, even foolishly, alters their course:

She could not inflict that curse upon him—have him bear that shame for as long as Lydia lived—for the rest of their natural lives, rather, for such an enormity would not be forgotten. Nor could she live with him day after day and witness the result. See the opprobrium eating away at him. See the love fading from his eyes. Between the surgeon’s knife and the gangrene’s slow poison, the choice was clear: she would take the knife every time. For his sake as much as hers. Cruel to be kind.”

Months after this folly, she learns what we knew all along: she erred in thinking her sacrifice had protected Darcy, creating only misery of the acutest kind. Foolish, headstrong and misguided girl! Should you not have known better than to brave this alone?”

Oh Darcy, I couldn’t agree more!

But is Fate unkind throwing Darcy and Elizabeth together time and time again in this soul searching journey from the wilds of the North to Dorsetshire (and beyond) then full circle back to Pemberley? Of course not! We love that kind of push and pull as the tension builds, leaving us nearly breathless in anticipation for this hard won happily-ever-after:

“Her heart overflowing, Elizabeth ran her thumb in a gentle caress over the bold penmanship that was by now as familiar as her own. Just three words—but sometimes three words were enough. He had not gone as far as to plainly write ‘I love you’ lest the note be read by anyone but she. Yet it was all there—the love, the joy, the promise—in other words: ‘Not a dream.’”

(#swoon) Prose like that keep me coming back for more great Austenesque novels! This is author Joana Starnes at her best. For lovers of Darcy and Elizabeth, The Journey Home to Pemberley is a MUST READ. (Heat Index: rated Moderate for sexual references but not explicit)


Check out the Trailer. Lovely, isn’t it? Truly captures the spirit of the novel and makes me want to pack my bags for the Lake District now!

Don’t forget about the generous International giveaway that includes eight kindle copies, one paperback, and a fabulous bag of Pride & Prejudice and Jane Austen goodies. International raffle runs till 5 October. Good luck! Enter here.

Best selling author, Joana Starnes

About the author:

Joana lives in the south of England with her family. Over the years, she has swapped several hats—physician, lecturer, clinical data analyst—but feels most comfortable in a bonnet. She has been living in Georgian England for decades in her imagination and plans to continue in that vein till she lays hands on a time machine.

She is the author of eight Austen-inspired novels (From This Day Forward ~ The Darcys of Pemberley; The Subsequent Proposal; The Second Chance; The Falmouth Connection; The Unthinkable Triangle; Miss Darcy’s Companion; Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter, and The Darcy Legacy) and one of the contributors to the Quill Ink anthologies (The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know, Rational Creatures, and Yuletide). They are all available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback, and some in Audible too: Joana’s Amazon Page.

You can connect with Joana on:

Austen Variation



Aww, Christina, thank you!!! That's how I feel about your writing ever since the 'Remedy...'. Can't wait for more! Please keep writing!


Thanks, Kasia, I'm so glad you're looking forward to reading the book! I hope you'll like it, despite the anguish galore (or because of it ;) ). I love 'incapacitated D or E' scenarios too. They do away with some of the stuffiness and the reserve and help ODC to focus on the things that really matter. Best of luck in the giveaway and have a fun and relaxing autumn!


Christina Morland
Christina Morland
Sep 24, 2019

Yes, definitely swoon-worthy prose! Joana's book awaits me on my Kindle. I'm so looking forward to visiting the Lake Country with her Darcy and Elizabeth!


Kasia Burlakoff
Kasia Burlakoff
Sep 24, 2019

Great review Christina. I love stories in which either Lizzy or Darcy is incapacitated and it brings them closer. And it's Joana's book after all, so a lot of emotional anguish for both D&E are in order. I'm looking forward to reading it. Congratulations.


Thanks for following the blog tour, Buturot. I'm so glad you're enjoying it and that you're looking forward to reading the book. Best of luck in the giveaway and thanks for taking part!

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