Of all the vagaries of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that I have read, most tend to remind me of a Choose Your Own Adventure story in that they pick a point in the original story from which to deviate. After that point the action and plot alter, but for the most part the characters continue to be the same characters we have come to love. Elizabeth is Elizabeth, Darcy is Darcy, and so on. This does not make them predictable, but they continue to behave in ways according to their established character within Austen society.
In All Hallow’s Eve by Wendi Sortis we deviate from the adventure of Pride and Prejudice is ways that not only alter events, but also alter characters. While we know their place in British society according to Austen, Sortis adds another level of status and responsibilities shifting outside of British society and introducing us to the Tribes where pagan rites are practiced. People are not as they seem, and the Bennet family is at the heart of things. While Elizabeth may be only a gentleman’s daughter in British society, in the Tribes she holds the rank of high priestess, which is far above that recognized by British society.
The story begins as the title indicates on All Hallow’s Eve, which if you are familiar with the timeline of Pride and Prejudice is after the Ball at Meryton. Remember that is when Darcy first appears in the novel and when the first impression of him is formed in Elizabeth’s mind because of his nearly unforgivable comment that “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt [him].” But during the All Hallow’s Eve rites Elizabeth learns that she and Darcy are soul mates. As fate would have it Darcy also learns of this, and that now he must help protect Elizabeth from a great evil. From there the story changes completely from the Pride and Prejudice many of us know and becomes something entirely different making it a fun October read.