7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Impulse & Initiative: A Pride & Prejudice Variation (Paperback)
Impulse and Initiative explores what might have happened in P&P if Darcy had pursued Elizabeth to Hertfordshire after she refused his first proposal. It is an interesting and enjoyable read, and on the whole I found the story believable. Although Reynolds portrays Darcy in a much softer light than the original, this falls in with Austen's conclusion that when they were finally united Elizabeth taught him to cast aside his reserve and join in her teasing. In parts some of the dialogue could easily be Austen's, and the areas where Reynolds works in passages from the original text are skilful.
Where it fails to be a true variation on P&P is the content- much of the book is given over to explicit physical attraction and some sexual relations, which would obviously never appear in an Austen novel. Although I would never have bought the book had I realised before that this would be such a key part of the story, I actually found it acceptable in the context of the book. It does stretch credibility in places- it is hard to imagine Mr. Darcy could have found so many opportunities to be alone with Elizabeth, or that she would allow his advances to such an extent, but the psychology of Mr. Darcy pursuing Elizabeth single-mindedly, of her being attracted to him but then pulling away, of her independence preventing her from committing to an engagement, is realistic when set against the relationship Austen establishes between them. It merely translates their relationship into a setting which would not have been discussed (and probably would not have occurred) in Austen's period.
The book as a whole is very well written. I would say there was too much sexual content, and it is certainly not for purists, but it is a very enjoyable read. On finishing it I immediately ordered the other books in the series.