This Can't Be MY Mr. Darcy!!,
This review is from: The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy (Paperback)
I certainly give Marjorie Fasman 5 stars for trying, but her "Diary Of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy" is a stilted attempt at portraying the heart of the hero. I am most definitely not a Jane Austen purist, although Ms. Austen is one of my favorite authors. By all means, Be Creative...and if it works, Bravo! As someone who loves "Pride and Prejudice" and the novel's rich characters, I say bring on sequel after sequel, if they will enable me to read more about Mr. Darcy, his Elizabeth, et. al.. But I have to be able to believe that these characters live & breathe, as they do in Ms. Austen's book. This novel/diary doesn't quite make the grade. Ms. Fasman's Darcy has not a breath of life in him. Perhaps the journal format, with its relatively brief entries, overly simplifies his all too complex character. I need more meat on the bones and a heart that beats - not fluff. Am I too demanding? I don't expect another "Pride and Prejudice." But if I am going to read a book about H.F. Darcy, I want to find his character in the book and not just a caricature.
There are superficial attempts to demonstrate that Darcy had a life before meeting The Bennett family. The reader learns that he was raised by a cold, undemonstrative mother, a father who was rarely home, and a series of nannies, tutors, etc. We get a few entries on school experiences at Harrow and Cambridge. But the characters are cardboard, the relationships hollow, and the life experience of this man, which is what he supposedly is when he meets Elizabeth Bennett, is very limited. I believe most of Mr. Darcy's peers, men of station, character, potential and wealth are usually more worldly. Certainly Ms. Austen's Darcy would have taken the Grand Tour. Though he would have been exempt from military service, as the oldest son & heir, I cannot imagine Darcy not writing about the Napoleonic Wars, & perhaps his feelings about not participating in the military adventure of his time. Certainly he would have done some minor carousing or rebelling, (he Is human & did experience an adolescence). Where is his first love interest or infatuation? Is Darcy interested in politics, societal reform...something besides Pemberly? He comes to his meeting with Lizzy, almost her equal in life experience, in many ways, almost as innocent, but much more prideful. I do not see this man as a match for our Elizabeth. I expect the REAL Mr. Darcy is a more worldly, though a restrained & perhaps a repressed man. Ms. Austen's protagonist is a man who has a bit more of a handle on the world he lives in, a more experienced & knowledgeable man than this one.
I also want to comment on the stilted language that so negatively impacts the believability of the storyline. An example: "I stole a glance at the maiden expecting to find her undone and sobbing..." Did people speak like this in Mr. Darcy's 19th century society? Ms. Austen's never gave her readers reason to think so. Ms. Bennett may be a maiden, although she would probably be called a young woman. However she is too strong a figure, too intelligent & active, to be a mate for the Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy portrayed in this diary.