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Publisher's Summary

“If the thought of us being destined for one another is what caused you to laugh, then I shall laugh with you. Ours is more a story of mutual desperation than of love.”

Matrimony is the last thing on Elizabeth Bennet’s mind when she arrives at Netherfield Park to tend to her ill sister. When proud Mr. Darcy acts rashly to thwart a compromise and tells her that the entire household believes they are engaged, she dismisses him outright and refuses his offer of marriage. 

But more surprises await her at Longbourn. Mr. Collins is ready with an offer of marriage, and it is not only her mother who thinks it a fine match; Mr. Bennet is willing to press the point until Elizabeth makes clear such a connection is impossible - because she has accepted an offer of marriage from Mr. Darcy. 

It is an inauspicious beginning, an engagement neither desires, driven to by the machinations of others. Yet what begins as a forced alliance soon changes into something quite different. Will it be enough to lead them into love?

©2021 Amy D'Orazio (P)2021 Quills & Quartos Publishing
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

What listeners say about So Material a Change

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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't stop listening

I lost a few nights sleep over this book. I usually use audible to help me go to sleep, but this is one of those books that did the opposite. Great narration and I enjoyed the unique twist. A little angst, but not too much, great character development, and not too raunchy. Although the beginning made me question continuing as I prefer clean books, especially regency era. I want to feel as if I'm reading Jane Austen, not some trashy romance novel.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I think this is her best book yet.

I love everything Amy D'Orazio writes and the fact it is Stevie Zimmerman narrating makes it even better. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BELOW **** BTW Lord Saye is in rare form in this book and the funniest he has ever been.

The story starts off with Caroline sneaking into Darcy's bed chamber and trying to seduce/compromise him. She gets into his bed and starts to touch him. Darcy thinks it is Elizabeth (as he has been dreaming about her) and then jumps up when he realizes it's Caroline. He quickly dresses (in another room with his Valet) and has someone wake up Bingly. Bingly sides with Caroline stating that even though she did it, he has to marry her anyway. Darcy panics and says he cannot because he is engaged to Elizabeth (who is staying at Netherfield tending to a sick Jane). The next day Darcy corners Elizabeth to tell her they have to marry. Elizabeth says no but then changes her mind when she finds out her father is pushing for her to marry Collins. The rest of the book is about the 2 of them learning about each other. There is some angst. This Elizabeth is more stable-minded and not quick to lose her temper and is a refreshing "Lizzy" to read. Darcy was really mean to her in some scenes and kind of an @ss at times. This book also brings back the character of Lord Saye who is in prime humor and is fabulous. The drinking scene with Darcy, him and Bingly and the card bet is beyond hilarious and I actually laughed out loud at sooooo many scenes. I bought the book and the Audible version and as soon as I was done, I started all over again. I have read over 200 P&P variations and this is EASILY one of my absolute favorites.

5 people found this helpful

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Meraviglioso!

I loved it. I really like all her books that I read, and I really enjoy stevie's voice ❤️

3 people found this helpful

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  • HC
  • 04-16-22

Entertaining but hard to suspend one's disbelief

I love Pride and Prejudice variations and this one was generally entertaining to read, but so full of anachronisms and odd changes that don't make sense that it was difficult to listen to at times. There was so much time spent with added original characters that many canon characters were largely ignored. I also feel I must object to the multiple uses of other people's traumas as plot devices that don't really get any true attention but as they serve a greater narrative. They're handled with little to no sensitivity and disregarded the second they've served their purpose. I'll include more info below the spoilers warning for anyone who may be sensitive and want to review some examples before deciding whether or not to read.

For those who are concerned about the purity (or lack thereof) of the characters, I don't think this book will satisfy either side. I felt the author tried to walk a line between a more modern romance reader's desire for sizzle and an Austen fan's appreciation for the restrained passion seen in JA's books and was left in a messy, unsatisfying middle ground. The characters were not so chaste as to feel consistent with an Austen book nor are there any real descriptions (detailed or general) of their romantic activities beyond some kissing.

I took a star off of the narration, which I nearly never do, but unfortunately the narrator used accents from other parts of England (maybe Northern, I think) for a number of characters that made no sense (Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Gardiner being my top examples).

The net result of these complaints is that I honestly don't think it was worth spending a credit and I probably wouldn't recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a variation that still feels like it could've been written by Jane Austen (or at least pretty close).
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SPOILERS BELOW
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For anyone concerned about sexual violence, there's a few instances referenced in this story (I've tried to keep neutral language where possible to minimize spoiling the story):
1. Darcy is assaulted while he sleeps - he's apparently not overly distressed about it, but he's nearly forced to marry the aggressor to "save" her reputation, which may feel triggering for some. The assault is limited to some touching and kissing without his knowledge or consent.
2. An underage main character was raped before the story begins and this is referenced write a few times (though that word isn't specifically used) and the character goes on to experience extreme symptoms of trauma, including deep depression, cutting, and possible suicidal ideation (maybe intent, if the cutting is viewed that way, but it's hard to say from how it's presented). All of this may be upsetting and/or triggering for some. This character does improve in this story, though I would argue it was handled very clumsily and then basically ignored once it had served its purpose toward bringing Darcy and Elizabeth closer.
3. A minor side character apparently experienced a childhood injury making them unable to engage in marital relations and this knowledge is used to punish another character. The actual physical impairment is not known, nor is the injury, but the treatment of this disability was grotesque.
4. A character is in this story is a rapist (to the character referenced above in #2) and there's a very odd way they're portrayed in this story that's worth mentioning. I would honestly call it a failure in the writing and editing process because the character initially seems conniving enough to be capable of such things and then suddenly isn't. When they appear again, only another two times, they're polite, respectful, and helpful to those around them. They even seem somewhat contrite or embarrassed? It makes no sense and feels disrespectful to the readers that we're supposed to believe this character committed such a heinous crime, but is reformed? Punished? I don't know. This is not accurate to real life nor do we see them undergo some character growth intended to justify their change nor do they ever get truly punished for their crime. We're just left with a rapist free to walk about and show up as they please. It's not well done and would be understandably upsetting to some people.

2 people found this helpful

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A unique twist on Elizabeth and Darcy's story...

A unique twist on Elizabeth and Darcy's story...and I loved it!
As others have noted, the development of the other characters is well done, and I found the story line surprising....but it just continued to get better as the story went along. I don't want to give it away, but definitely worth the money and the listen. Stevie Zimmerman is a good reader, and I am sure I will listen again!

2 people found this helpful

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Loved it.

Such a great author. Such a lovely story. I could not stop listening. Great narrator as well. Great Jaff.

2 people found this helpful

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Compromise trope? Check. Stevie Zimmerman? 5000 stars please

I am obsessed with this trope. Love it when Lizzie fights against the marriage a little bit and when it pays off in the end. More spice please though if possible for future endeavors. Steve Zimmerman should be the only an official voice for all pride and prejudice variations. I honestly have tried to hear other people and I cannot and will not anymore. If you are a addict of P and P variations, use your credit for this one 👌🏽

1 person found this helpful

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Delightful Variation

This is a delightful P&P variation. I loved everything about this story including the Audible reading. I highly recommend this book to any and everyone!

1 person found this helpful

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  • JD
  • 07-19-22

Great for Austen fans

I read Pride & Prejudice every year or so due to my love of the canon. However, I adore the variations and this one is no different. We're there when I thought, "I'm no sure that character would act like that"? Sure, but not many. It's well-done and I thorough enjoyed the character, Viscount Says. He was a highly unexpected and wonderfully sardonic. I'd highly recommend it.

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Loved it!!!

I listened to this, lured by Stevie Zimmerman narrating, and fell in love with Lord Saye and subsequently Amy D’Orazio’s wit and humor.

Don’t get me wrong, my first attraction to JAFF is still Darcy and Lizzy, but Lord Saye is a bonus.

Ms Zimmerman had no trouble adding the droll, dry wit of Lord Saye to her vast character voice talents. He has his own style of speaking and she captures him, as with her other voices, perfectly!

I’m looking for more by Ms D’Drazio as well! Excellent writing !

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  • Gill M
  • 10-13-21

Wonderful

When Caroline Bingley’s desperation for the money and status of Mr Darcy, leads her to attempt a compromise, he is equally desperate to avoid marrying her.

So desperate, that he lies to his friend, Charles Bingley, claiming he is betrothed to Elizabeth Bennet, who happens to be visiting the house.

She has never liked Mr Darcy and refuses his officious proposal – “I find it necessary that we should marry!”

However, on returning to her home, she discovers that both of her parents are determined that she marry her cousin, Mr Collins.
He is the heir to her family’s estate, stupid and physically repellent. Elizabeth's only escape is to tell her father that she has accepted Mr Darcy.

From this beginning of an engagement to the least, worst option, Elizabeth and Darcy must try to carve out a happy future.

This is wonderful book with angst, passion, misunderstandings, love and acceptance.
Stevie Zimmerman does a wonderful job narrating.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mo Bass
  • 10-31-21

Delightful

I'm not usually a fan of Pride and Prejudice spin offs but this was well done. The sex in the pond at the end was a bit superfluous to the story though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Book addict
  • 01-19-22

3.5 stars

I listened to another book by this author (A Lady’s Reputation) and enjoyed it which is why I got this one. Unfortunately, this one was lacking something and was a little dull at times and I got distracted easily. Also, Darcy was like a toddler in his behaviour and the miscommunications got a little repetitive. It was still ok, and I’ll get more by this author, but this one didn’t work for me.

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  • Jenee
  • 11-04-21

Excellent!

Loved this version and thought it was very amusing. Amy does a great job of changing the story while keeping the core of each character and the premise of Pride & Prejudice the same. Well done!

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  • elisabeth jackson
  • 10-17-21

Excellent story

The plot had a few of different subplots which were well written. The elder brother of Col Fitzwilliam was a brilliant addition and interesting character.

The conclusion was not rushed which was satisfying. You have a insight into married life for the Darcys for a couple of chapters at least.

The narrator voice was pleasant. However, the speed between key paragraphs where you moved through at time were treated as if you had just begun a new sentence and this was confusing when you had to adjust to a week ahead or an important event began to be described. Maybe this could reflect a fault with the author too but it is split into chapters. The last paragraph of the book did not need a new chapter but it again it needed a slight space to indicate a new paragraph from the previous paragraph. I would not let this prevent you from purchasing this book though. Do enjoy.

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  • Julia
  • 09-24-21

Stevie Zimmerman always narrates so well.

Lots of angst and drama as usual in these retellings or variations and it’s a lovely story. A few new characters like Cy or Si and all of the usual characters too.
Amy D’Orazio does these stories so well. Haven’t had a bad one yet.

1 person found this helpful