Novels by Jack Caldwell

Reviews for Pemberely Ranch


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from Sharon Lathan, bellselling author of In the Arms of Mr. Darcy -

It's Pride and Prejudice meets Gone With the Wind -- with that kind of romance and excitement.

from Publishers Weekly (10/11/2010) -

Caldwell's debut reimagines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice as a heart-pounding western romance. ... Unlike many of the Austen homages crowding the shelves, Pemberley Ranch is both fresh and a great history primer.

from Booklist [American Library Association] (11/01/2010) -

In Caldwell's reincarnation of Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Caldwell successfully transplants the themes of the original to post-Civil War Texas, where the consequences and the villains are far more dangerous. Both fans of westerns and Pride and Prejudice will enjoy this latest entry in the Austen craze.

End of the year awards from:


The Calico Critic

The Literary Gothamite

write meg!

from The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (11/14/2010) -

Caldwell reimagines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice in his lavishly written debut. When the Bennet family loses its only son in the Civil War, they decide to start over by moving from Ohio to the small town of Rosings, Texas. While daughter Jane accepts the move and soon falls in love with the town's doctor, her sister, Beth, resents everything about their new hometown. She takes a special dislike to Confederate officer and wealthy landowner Will Darcy. Will his pride and her prejudice doom their growing attraction to each other? A sweeping romance, and a pure delight for Austen fans.

from Reflections of a Book Addict (11/22/2010) -

Pemberley Ranch, a contemporary westernized version of Pride and Prejudice, is Jack Caldwell's debut novel. I saw this in Barnes and Noble with the comment "It's Pride and Prejudice meets Gone with the Wind - with that kind of romance and excitement" and was instantly struck that I had to try the novel out. Glad I did! ... Pemberley Ranch is filled with murder, mayhem, gunfights, love, deceit, and all the things you'd expect from a Pride and Prejudice sequel with western influences. ... All in all the book was a lot of fun to read and as I said previously a refreshingly different point of view. For those women who are trying to get the men in their lives to read a Pride and Prejudice sequel, I would definitely suggest trying this one. It's written with enough action to keep their attention. 4 out or 5 Stars.

from Jane Austen Sequel Examiner (11/22/2010) -

I highly recommend this book merely for the fact that, as an Austen sequel / adaptation fan; this is a wonderful change of pace. It also holds an interesting amount of information about the Antebellum Period after the Civil War. You don't have to be a history buff to appreciate the rich detail it brings to the story.

4 out of 5 stars! Not for purists due to some graphic sexy stuff.

from Austenesque Reviews (11/24/2010) -

Don your best gingham dress, dungarees, or Stetson and saddle up for a rip roarin' adventure with the gang from Pride and Prejudice!

I was enthralled by this remarkable and adventurous variation of Pride and Prejudice! I found it to be a spectacular integration of romance, war, history, adventure, and conflict. Not to mention a brilliant blend of Civil War prejudices and Jane Austen's moral guidance. Mr. Caldwell is a skilled story-teller and his debut novel, Pemberley Ranch, is sure to entrance and excite lovers of history and the Old West. I eagerly anticipate reading more from Jack Caldwell, and look forward to his next release, The Three Colonels, due out in 2012!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

from Austenprose (11/28/2010) -

Christina Boyd - This sure-fire page-turner with Jack Caldwell's heart pounding standoffs and heart racing romantic moments is bested only by his real gift in the clever nuances and subtle references, ie. Lizzy's horse, a "paint," named Turner (more than a nod to the famous Regency Era painter, J.M.W. Turner). As an unabashed reader of this Louisiana native since his early Cajun ramblings at various fan-fiction sites, I must humbly admit to being "a partial, prejudiced, & ignorant historian." His masterful handling of the historical action and colloquialisms authenticates this fictitious musing and the footnotes are quite helpful to one such as myself, who is rather uniformed regarding the particulars of this Reconstruction Period. To pinch a line or two from Daniel Decatur Emmett's rallying song, "Dixie", Caldwell takes his stand and triumphs in his debut novel retelling "old times there are not forgotten… Hooray! Hooray!" The slated Spring 2012 release of his next offering, The Three Colonels, really is too long a wait. *sigh* 5 out of 5 Regency Stars.

Laurel Ann - I have been patiently awaiting a Wild West rendition of Pride and Prejudice for some time, so when Pemberley Ranch rode into town, I was all anticipation. The blending of the two genres seemed like a natural to me; especially concerning two romantic archetypes - the Regency gentleman and the American cowboy. *swoon*

It's really not surprising that so many elements from the Regency-era have transitioned neatly into Caldwell's new adaption of Jane Austen classic story set in post-Civil War Texas. Lizzy and Darcy are as spirited and arrogant as ever in any century, transformed into Beth Bennet, a poor Yankee farmer's daughter from Ohio relocated to Rosings, Texas where rich Johnny Reb William Darcy has a large cattle spread, Pemberley Ranch, and the local Darcy Bank. Caldwell does a great job of melding the plot to fit a western theme, changing enough of the story to make it original, yet harkening to all of the plot points that readers will recollect from the original narrative. There are some important exceptions. Given that this is a tall tale from the Wild, Wild West, Cate Burroughs (Lady Catherine de Bourgh), George Whitehead (George Wickham) and Lily Bennet (Lydia Bennet) can be "really" officious, dastardly and loose! Well maybe they were already, but in this setting the writer does not have to be as proprietous as Austen was obliged to be in the early nineteenth-century.

Pemberley Ranch had some surprises. The Team Tilney fan-girls will be happy to know that Henry himself makes an appearance as a very "likable" high plains rector in a supporting role. Even pedantic Mary Bennet is under his charms. The dialogue is lacking Austen's wit and snappy retorts, but shucks, this is the Wild West where outlaws and lawmen talk with their guns. The story builds beautifully in the western theme of shoot-outs over the land as opposed to Austen's conflict of social decorum with witty words. However, some things never change as both plots have money struggles in common, and, the eventual humbling of Darcy's pride and dissolution of Beth's prejudice - culminating in a great romance as they ride off into the sunset. Yippy ki-aye. 4 out of 5 Regency Stars

from The Burton Review (11/29/2010) -

Pemberley Ranch is not your ordinary Pride & Prejudice sequel. It mirrors Jane Austen's famous literary characters somewhat, and borrows from some of the themes, and then author Jack Caldwell spins us a yarn of Wild West fun. The author has been an avid fan of Jane Austen and his debut novel would probably make Austen proud (and perhaps a bit scandalized, but in a good way!).

Although not something that is Austen-like, I still enjoyed the western spin on the story. It was completely original and not just another rehashing of how Darcy wins the girl, as this author had no qualms to make the original story disappear in the dust of the wild horses' hooves. The writing was styled succinctly and not in the melodramatic female tones, as it dealt more with the shady George Whitehead and the aftermaths of the Civil War. I loved connecting some of these new characters with the old P&P characters, but was surprised at how much I enjoyed the way the author intrigued me with this western story. A great read for those readers who like a bit of gunfighting and romance rolled into one. The Burton Review Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 stars

Living Read Girl blog (11/29/2010) -

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is not only her most popular novel amongst readers, it's also a favorite choice of writers looking to make their own imaginative mark on her time honored material. Instead of the usual zombies and vampires that have been the current remix lit fashion of late, however, Elizabeth Bennet and her Mr. Darcy are now residents of the Old West, courtesy of debut author Jack Caldwell.

(Pemberley Ranch) is not so much a retelling as it is a re-imagined take on Austen's classic characters and Jack Caldwell nimbly transplants them into a time and place in American history that suits them rather well. Many of the changes to some of the plot points regarding a few of the supporting players are positive ones while the basic essentials are kept to both cleverly and logically within the narrative. Pride and Prejudice is no stranger to remodeling yet fans can rest assured that Pemberley Ranch is worthy of being included in any Austen lover's library.

from New York Journal of Books (12/01/2010) -

Mr. Darcy as a Wild West cowboy? A dungaree-clad Elizabeth Bennett flying over the range on her painted pony? Pride and Prejudice is done Texas-style in Jack Caldwell's debut novel, Pemberley Ranch. Whether or not a devotee of the esteemed classic novel will want to mosey on over to the antebellum cattle town of Rosings, depends upon one's taste for shifting the time and place of Austen's beloved characters. If one's taste is for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and the numerous sequels, prequels, and spin-offs, then Caldwell's take will be heartily enjoyed. ... Where Caldwell excels is in fleshing out the masculinity of the buttoned-up Regency Era Darcy. Here the sense of his authority and command over outlaws and swindlers is impressive to behold. He's as fast with his gun as he is in spying on a skinny-dipping "Beth." He is a man that other men can't help admiring, and one who causes many a woman to swoon.

Another tidbit that Caldwell gives to fans is introducing characters from other Jane Austen novels into the story. Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey is the town clergyman and devoted suitor of pious Mary. Emma's Mr. Knightley and his brother are the entrepreneurs that Darcy invests in to bring the railroad to Rosings. While bit players like Anne de Bourgh and Georgiana Darcy are given more of a voice.

Overall, if you're willing to hop in the saddle, you'll enjoy the ride.

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