Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mr. Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds

Mr. Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds
2010 Sourcebooks Landmark, 348 pgs.

Let's start the ball rolling with an acknowledgment: Santa was good to Jane and I at Christmastime.  I reaped in JaneRewards and I am now swimming in all good things Jane.  (Ok, so I might have one book from last Christmas that I just started...Please no judgments.) 

Mr. Darcy's Obsession is another of Abigail Reynolds Pride and Prejudice Variations books.  They take the P&P storyline and answer the 'what if' question.  Examples: What if after Elizabeth's refusal at Hunsford, Darcy wouldn't take no for an answer (To Conquer Mr. Darcy/Impulse and Initiative)?  What if Darcy proposed, Elizabeth wasn't listening as they walked and he kissed her, someone saw and she's forced to marry him even though he is the last person she wants to marry (The Last Man in the World)?

In Mr. Darcy's Obsession:  Before Darcy has a chance to propose Elizabeth is called home because her father is sick.  Mr. Bennet passes away Jane is forces to marry a local milliner and Elizabeth goes to live with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner.  Fast forward about 2 years.  Darcy can't get Elizabeth out of his mind--he's obsessed.  He hears from Bingley, who has news that Elizabeth lives in London.  Darcy's sunk.  He goes through some covert efforts to be able to catch a glimpse of her, including hiring a local street urchin, a spitfire of a lad named Charlie.  Darcy discovers Elizabeth takes daily walks in Moorsfield park and 'accidentally' runs into her one day.  They walk together and renew their acquaintance and begin to fall in love with one another, each believing the other couldn't possibly feel the same way.

Mr. Darcy's Obsession was a light, quick read.  What I enjoy about Ms. Reynolds' work is that she is able to capture Jane Austen's style with ease.  As a reader, I am drawn in quite quickly and it feels as if the characters are just picking up right where they left off (in whatever part of the P&P story Reynolds starts her own story).  Darcy feels like, well, Darcy.  Elizabeth, feels like, well, Elizabeth.  (Ok, for Elizabeth it's most of the time, sometimes she is a little clueless and at various points in the P&P variations I've wanted to give her a whap on the back of her head, but otherwise...)  Overall, a delightful read that offers another path to falling in love for Darcy and Elizabeth.

5 Bonnets out of 5.

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