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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different take on Darcy, 18 Sep 2012
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This book diverges very early on from Pride and Prejudice. The events happen as in P&P up until the departure of the Bingley party to London after the Netherfield Ball and Lizzy turning down Collins' proposal but she never goes to Kent, meaning that Darcy never makes the proposal at Hunsford. Also, Lydia elopes with Wickham much earlier, leading to her and Mr Bennet's death, and ultimately Wickham's too. All this happens right at the beginning of the book, so don't worry that I'm spoiling it for you. So, Lizzy is staying with the Gardiners and looking for a post as a governess, to help support her family.

Darcy has heard of the family's change in circumstances from Lady C at his easter visit to her, and he comes to find her, to offer her the role of companion to Georgiana (who is a couple of years older, and much less shy in this version). His motive is to make sure she's alright, as much as anything, but it's poorly thought through. Almost immediately he finds it difficult to have her living in his house because she's way below the status he'd need in a wife but his feelings for her are getting stronger all the time. I thought Darcy was portrayed interestingly in this version. He's very much a rake, known for flirting and playing with women's affections in town, and also he is a frequenter of brothels. He is very self-absorbed, pretty selfish and likes to be in control, which Lizzy finds frustrating to deal with. He says in P&P that he's been a selfish being all his life and he proves it time and again in his behaviour in this, for example, he dissuades her from having suitors even though he has decided not to pursue Lizzy himself and being married would secure her future. It's not hard to forgive his selfishness though, as it mostly stems from his feelings for her, even though he is putting his feelings before her happiness. Rather than change his ways as a result of the failed proposal in Kent as in P&P instead Darcy gradually changes over time to become more gentlemanly, and I felt it was a different take on Darcy, and it was interesting to see another route to the same outcome (i.e. him changing his views and behaviour for her). There are a number of things said by characters that are in P&P but said by different people there, which I felt was a nice touch.

On the downside, I felt that Elizabeth didn't really fight very hard to keep him at a physical distance, I thought she might have been more cautious in her circumstances. Also, there were a few words which I think were either too modern or Americanisms (e.g. finagled, acclimated, smidgen, etc) but these were odd instances and didn't detract from the story too much, I enjoyed this book and I'd read it again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 16 Feb 2013
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I'm not sure where this come on the timeline of published works from this author, but if this was the the first book, then I would say this was a good first effort then she ran out of juice and wen out to write some very average variants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 2 Aug 2014
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A well known story but some clever twists. Very enjoyable. Author very cleverly uses her knowledge to create a twist to the original book.
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To Have His Cake (and Eat It Too): Mr. Darcy's Tale
To Have His Cake (and Eat It Too): Mr. Darcy's Tale by P O Dixon (Paperback - 9 Oct 2010)
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