3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I wish I could rate this book higher, but I just can't.,
This review is from: Duty and Desire: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman (Paperback)
Every time I sit down to read this entire three book series by Pamela Aidan I hope that I will enjoy this book, "Duty and Desire". So far, I just can't make myself do that.
This part of the Pride and Prejudice variation series just doesn't satisfy me the way the first and third books do. This one takes up immediately after Darcy and Bingley have left Netherfield to return to London. Bingley doesn't realize it but Darcy is purposefully getting him away from Jane Bennet before he can make her an offer of marriage. Darcy sincerely does not believe that Miss Bennet's feelings are as strongly engaged as Bingley's and he wants to prevent his friend from making a terrible mistake.
Once Darcy arrives in London this story is all from the imagination of Ms Aidan since Jane Austen was completely silent on the happenings in Darcy's life over this period. I wish I could understand exactly what Ms Aidan was trying to accomplish with this book. Yes, Darcy did revel in the maturity of his sister, Georgiana. But then he became concerned when he found out what had caused her to overcome her guilt about her mistake with George Wickham. He wanted her to grow up and mature but evidently only by using the methods he chose for her.
I honestly don't know what to think about the house party Darcy went to in order to search for a candidate for a wife. That entire idea just seemed to come out of the blue and didn't make much sense to me. Why should Darcy have expected to find a wife at this particular house party? Was he so desperate that he was going to chose just any woman who fit his requirements? I honestly never could believe that.
The only saving grace for me in this second of the three novels is that Darcy worked through some of his demons concerning the inappropriateness of Elizabeth Bennet as a woman for him to love. He struggled with his feelings for her and those feelings were allowed to grow and change over a long period of time by Ms Aidan. Once again the relationship between Darcy and his valet, Fletcher, was quite well used to indicate the softening and mellowing of Darcy's personality. But all of the things which took place at the house party made me uncomfortable. I didn't like it the first time I ever read it and I continue to dislike it now. I hate to say this, but readers can actually read only books one and three and have a perfectly wonderful variation of Pride and Prejudice. I still continue to read this one because of the revelations I see in the character development of Darcy and Georgiana.