First Impressions (The Jane Austen Series): A Contemporary Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, written by Debra White Smith and published by Bethany House, Reprint edition (2018) will entertain you from cover to cover. The characters in the story resemble those in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and they are also performing this play for their community of London, Texas.

Eddi Boswick who resembles Elizabeth Bennet, has recently moved to London to start her new law practice. She is beautiful, smart and practical. In order to bond with the community, she tries out for a local theater production of Pride and Prejudice and is cast as Elizabeth.

The play is being directed by an older woman, Madelynne DeBloom. Madelynne owns the community theater, which operates in her home, Huntington House. She resembles Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice. Her nephew, Dave Davidson, ends up playing Mr. Darcy.

Dave, who has been in town for three years, is handsome and wealthy, owning his own ranch. He lost his parents and considers Madelynne his mother. He has a past as Eddi and her sister Jenny come to discover. Before he was fully surrendered to the Lord, he was known as William F. Davidson, and owned a company called USA Online. He was a celebrity, written up in People Magazine, and he’s been seen with the actress, Laura Schock. Eddi and her sister admire him, but don’t trust him.

Eddi’s youngest sister, Linda, who is twenty, is rebelling against her parents, Edward and Mary Boswick who live in Houston. She is drinking and dating a man named Rick Wallace. Similar to Mr. Wickham of Pride and Prejudice, he is always trying to make himself look better than he is. He is also a foster cousin to Dave. In the middle of the story, Linda finds out she is pregnant, and considers ending the pregnancy. Dave Davidson intervenes, and arranges for Linda and Rick to marry and attend church, helping them both to make a new life for themselves. Eddi is very thankful for his intervention.

During much of the story, sparks fly whenever Eddi and Dave are around each other. Eddi is somewhat attracted to Dave, but she feels he is arrogant and that he is hiding things. As the story progresses, she finds out that as a lawyer, she has misjudged him without hearing his side. At first, Dave is very much attracted to Eddi, but doesn’t see how things could ever work between them. He knows that she feels he is arrogant.

Other characters are introduced, and the entertainment continues. Eventually everything turns out for the best as people grow and change with the Lord’s help. All ends happily and the three daughters end up married within one year!

I really enjoyed First Impressions (The Jane Austen Series). Some of the lines from Pride and Prejudice are included, and it is very funny how the different characters in the novel resemble their roles in the play.

There are also some transformations, some apologies, some confessions and some relationships made right because of the Lord’s presence in the lives of the individuals. For example, Linda gives birth to an adorable baby, and Linda and her husband, Rick, begin following the Lord. I really enjoyed how the author shows how much better a life with Jesus can be.

First Impressions (The Jane Austen Series) would be appropriate for high school-age students and above. I know you and they will enjoy this story as I have.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her children and grandchildren. Her two daughters, two sons, one son-in-law, one daughter-in-law and two granddaughters are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for more than 35 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”