18 July 2011

Review: Darcy's Passions

Darcy's PassionsDarcy's Passions by Regina Jeffers

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Revisit this most classic of love stories, in which a strong-willed, intelligent young woman rejects a haughy suitor, only to come to recognize his worth and regret her ill-informed choice. But this time, experience what is missing from the heroine's story: the thoughts and inner workings of the dashing and elusive hero.

Darcy's Passions presents the real Fitzwilliam Darcy in his own words, from the time he first lays eyes on Elizabeth Bennet...through the many misunderstandings that define their relationship...to their wedding vows and first trials as newlyweds. Finally, readers can examine the reasoning behind his actions and unearth the true roots of his pride, all from Darcy's own point of view. Experience the couple's mutual disdain and attraction, their tumultuous courtship, the early days of their marriage—indeed, all of their troubles and triumphs—through Darcy's eyes, in the familiar settings, with the wise insights and clever dialogue familiar to readers of Jane Austen's original work.

A must for Jane Austen fan’s, this novel captures much of the magic presented by Pride and Prejudice, giving it that familiar appeal that the world’s most beloved love story always had.

It is a perfect premise; the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy told through the eyes of the man. We’ve read Lizzy’s version in Austen’s work, but Jeffers introduces the story anew through the eyes of the enigmatic Mr. Darcy. What follows is the story all Austen fans love, but which we’re still not well acquainted with.

I had always wanted to read some Austen fiction that wasn’t written by her hand. I am a dedicated fan, and I love Pride and Prejudice. I was very apprehensive about reading anything of the sort, however, and with good reason. I was putting my love and trust of Austen into another author’s hands. Imagine taking one of your favorite classics, giving the plot and characters to another author, and hoping they’d give it the justice it deserved.

Jeffers, thankfully, did a very impressive job. She stayed true to the original plot and characters, and even her own additional elements were hard to misplace in the classic love story. Her style was similar to the original work, but not exactly perfect. (She had moments where the 21st century reared its head in her style and dialogue.)

Getting to read the love story from Darcy’s view was a lot of fun, especially since you were allowed inside his mind. Honestly, what self-respecting Jane Austen fan does not want to be in Darcy’s head? You say the way he interacted with the characters, how he went about his life during the plot of misjudgments, how he doted on his sister, how his love for Elizabeth grew, and so on. All was well from his perspective. (Although I was quite annoyed with those intimate with him constantly calling him Fitz as a nickname. That is such an awful name!)

One thing that I enjoyed about Jeffer’s novel was how it was carried on past Darcy’s proposal and into Elizabeth’s first few months as mistress of Pemberley estate. It’s wraps up a lot of feelings, lose ends, and strangling characters that we all sort of wondered about.

Darcy's Passions is that book for any of us who thought. “Okay, Elizabeth is here, Darcy is… where?” It’s that second half to the timeless classic. And, like I said before, a definite must for Austen fans.

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