Friday, October 06, 2006

Book 71: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

NUMBER: 71
TITLE: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife
AUTHOR: Linda Berdoll
STARTED: September 12, 2006
FINISHED: September 19, 2006
PAGES: 465
GENRE: Fiction (trying to be Literature)

FIRST SENTENCE: [From Chapter 1] As plush a coach as it was, recent rains tried even its heavy springs.

SUMMARY: [From barnesandnoble.com] This rollicking sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was originally self-published in 1999 as The Bar Sinister. In Berdoll's wild, bawdy, and utterly enjoyable novel, the Darcys begin their married life as one of the happiest, most in-love couples imaginable. Berdoll picks up the story after their wedding, but flashes back to the days after the courtship, when Elizabeth and Darcy's passion for each other grew stronger. After a spicy wedding night, the couple finds their compatibility extends far beyond their matched wits. As Elizabeth settles into her role as mistress of a large household, her sister Jane grapples with her own, less passionate marriage to Charles Bingley. Thrown in as well are an illegitimate young man who just might be Darcy's son, a vengeful serving man who plagues the Darcys and develops an unhealthy fixation on Elizabeth, and suspicions of infidelity.

REASON FOR READING: Kathleen told me I should - I also love all things P&P.

THOUGHTS: This was fanfiction to the core. But at least it was utterly delightful, romantic, thick and lushly written fanfiction. I have never been, nor will I ever be, an Austen/Pride and Prejudice purist - I loved the Keira Knightly movie. This is probably the only reason why I did not loathe this book. Purists would run screaming, I welcomed this book with open arms and stayed up late many a night savoring its embrace.

Berdoll does a fantastic job of maintaining the core of Austen's masterful work: the characters. The remain as Austen saw them, but Berdoll adds a deeper, more personal layer that Austen merely grazed at. Berdoll took these little hints from Austen and turned them into a whole book. Darcy is still Darcy. Jane is still Jane. Lizzy is still Lizzy. And Lydia, unfortunately for all who come near her, is still Lydia. If Berdoll had failed to retain the personality of the characters, even I would loathe this book.

But she does retain the characters - she just throws them into overly dramatic situations. It was fun to see Austen's characters in situations that only a modern romance novel could create. Help me! My coach is being taken over by a former-coachman-cum-bandit-but-really-was-only-a-bandit-now-he-wants-Lizzy-because-she's-HAWT! And now, oh dear, who is that well dressed man I know holding that infant I don't? No, Darcy, don't leave to traipse after your sister who has left for the war on the continent with our stable boy who may or may not be the son of someone important in the book.

Yea, it was really like that. But it was worth ever soap opera worthy page.

The romance is high. Darcy gets hotter. The writing is magical. I laughed through tears, felt flushed many a time, and wanted to scream and certain idiotic moves by the characters. It was a roller coaster of a read, and I want to get back in line.

MISCELLANEOUS: Mirror you say? Intriguing.

KEEP/SHARE/CRINGE(?): It has to leave me and go back to Kathleen, because she owns it.
RATING: 7/10 [Very Good]

CR: The Very Virile Viking by Sandra Hill
RN: When We Meet Again by Victoria Alexander

1 comment:

Zeek said...

Of course you know I loved this one too!

I've read two recent blogs where they started it but gave up. Made me sad. Glad I found another person who enjoyed it as well!