on 5 August 2015
If I should describe one of Abigail Reynolds’ books, namely Mr Darcy’s Letter in one word, it would be: Shocking. Shocking but in a good way, I’m not complaining! :D There is one particular part of the plot which was shocking to me, but that event was so powerful that I need to use that word for the whole book.
The plot starts in Hunsford the morning after Elizabeth refused Darcy. She meets Darcy who wants to give her the famous letter but she decides not to accept it. Later, he gave it to her with a help of a friend but she burns it without reading it. Elizabeth goes to Pemberley as in Pride and Prejudice but I constantly had to remind myself that Wickham’s character is not known for Lizzy, as she hasn’t read the letter.
The characters are wonderfully written and very close to Jane Austen’s original characters. From Pride an Prejudice my favourite character is Mrs Gardiner. In this variation she is as amazing as in the original. The Gardiner’s connection with Elizabeth and later with Darcy is remarkable.
The language is perfect (I’m not native but I believe the writer. As I see it, the words, the sentences, the expressions could be Jane Austen’s) Very clever from Ms Reynolds that she does put fun, kind, caring words into E and D’s mouth when the scene requires it. They are talking very when they need to and they don’t talk to each other when the plot requires that, what leads to missunderstandings. I also like that the narrator makes it clear that Elizabeth sees more than in the original PP. (For e.g. “He gave her a warm smile that set her heart beating a little harder. Even she could recognize that look indicated something beyond platonic friendship.”) As always in novels they could have been together after 50 pages, but with twists and turns they are parted again.
It is quiet funny because I hate Wickham and I have no idea why does everyone include Wickham in their variations. I’ve read a book from Susan Mason-Milks, called Mr Darcy’s Proposal. It’s 500 or more pages and he doesn’t appear until the 300th. I thought she could have missed the whole Wickham story and the book could be still perfect. It could have worked without Wickham. In Abigail’s book I did miss Wickham in the end and instead of the event happened to Bingley I would have explain Darcy’s dealings with Wickham. I found the Bingley twist in the plot heartbreaking and unnecessary.
Darcy’s second proposal was okay, but thanks God (or Abigail) Elizabeth didn’t missinterpret and she was very honest to Darcy. At some point I was afraid the author doesn’t let them to be happy so soon, not even for a few days.
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Why I said it is shocking (to me) is because they made love before they were married. As much as you wouldn’t expect Elizabeth and Darcy to do so, it was absolutely right and you can see why did they do it. There were so much tension, emotion between them that you don’t want them to stop. It does sound wierd when I say that I wouldn’t expect it from Lizzy and Darcy because they are more than 200 years old FICTIONAL characters , but after all they are a regency gentleman and gentleman’s daughter… and we (or I) absolutley idealize them.
on 28 December 2011
This story looks at the possibility of what if Elizabeth refuses to take Darcy's letter. I was a bit skeptic at the beginning because I did not like the idea of her still thinking the worst of Darcy. But, the story actually becomes very interesting; it is a good read. The angst is not too bad, and once they meet at Pemberly things quickly resolve themselves between them. Although the happy ending still has some obstacles of misunderstanding - on both sides - to overcome. There is a very sexy scene in Netherfield library as well...let's just say, both Elizabeth and Darcy forget to be a lady/gentleman. Reynold's what if stories are all worth reading. This did not disappoint either.
on 7 September 2013
So what if Elizabeth never read the letter? I thought that the story would divert quite a bit from the original after she refused to read Darcy's letter but it seemed to stay pretty much on track with the original, just a couple of minor diversions. I do think that the author could have made a bit more of it though rather than wrap up the information from the letter within the early chapters.
There was a nice conclusion for Lydia, although it took an interesting turn beforehand. I don't want to say too much and give spoilers away, but for me the story really heated up towards the end and I couldn't put the book down, even though I knew from P & P experience what the conclusion would be!
I did think that Mr Bingley was quite wet in this version. It would be really nice to see a much stronger Bingley as I think he is a really nice character normally.
On the whole I really enjoyed this story. It was quite detailed for the time period and came with all the usual angst that we get from reading about Darcy and Elizabeth. I will be checking out some of the other variations from this author.