For those of you who are eagerly awaiting the October 1 release of Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, I have a couple of early reviews of Mr. Darcy’s Obsession to share! First, from Booklist:
Mr. Darcy’s Obsession.
Reynolds, Abigail (Author)
Oct 2010. 368 p. Sourcebooks/Landmark, paperback, $14.99. (9781402240928).
In her sixth Pride and Prejudice variation, Reynolds imagines what obstacles might have stood in the way of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy’s love had Elizabeth’s father died, driving the Bennet family out of their estate at Longbourn. Elizabeth’s older sister Jane is forced to marry a much older shopkeeper, and Elizabeth moves in with her uncle and aunt Gardiner. Despite Elizabeth’s diminished circumstances, Darcy tracks her down, but when he finally gets around to proposing, she misinterprets his awkward bid for her hand as a request to become his mistress. As soon as that miscommunication is cleared up, Elizabeth’s younger sister Lydia shows up, pregnant and abandoned by a feckless military officer. Lydia’s situation necessitates Elizabeth return to her family, leaving Elizabeth to wonder if this latest disgrace will deter Darcy’s determination to marry her. Austen purists won’t seek out Reynolds’ takeoffs, but readers who can’t get enough of Darcy and Elizabeth will find that Reynolds does an admirable job of capturing the feel of the period in this entertaining diversion.
– Kristine Huntley
And second, from Susan Mason-Milks:
Mr. Darcy’s Obsession is Abigail Reynolds first new book in what seems like way too long. Her other Pride and Prejudice alternate stories are excellent and this one’s no exception. After the wait, I was definitely not disappointed.
In Obsession, Darcy never has a chance to propose to Elizabeth and leaves Rosings with an aching heart. Nearly a year later he learns that Mr. Bennet has died leaving the family in dire financial straits. Circumstances have forced Jane to marry a local shopkeeper, and Elizabeth is living in London as nanny for her aunt and uncle’s children. Now her situation is even more beneath Darcy’s than before.
Although he knows he should stay away, Darcy can’t help himself. At first he tells himself he’ll just check on her, but when the opportunity presents itself, he “accidentally” runs into her in the park. Although Elizabeth begins to see another side to Darcy, many misunderstandings ensue which threaten to separate them forever. In spite of the many opportunities Darcy has to walk away, he looks into those fine eyes and he’s lost again.
What I love most about Abigail Reynolds is the way she brings Darcy and Elizabeth to life. After reading one of her books I feel as if I’ve just stepped back into the world they inhabit and we’ve had a good chat. The dialogue between them is a delight to read. Elizabeth continues to be witty and down to earth while Darcy is becoming more human as he learns to put the needs of his heart ahead of the approval of parts of his family and society. Ms. Reynolds has also added some interesting, lively new characters to the mix as well as breathing life into some who are mentioned in P&P but never developed. They seem so real that they fit right in.
Clearly, this author has great affection for her characters. In fact, I’d say she’s somewhat obsessed with Darcy and Elizabeth – and I’m glad of it. I’ll be anxiously awaiting my next opportunity for a visit to Pemberley, and in the meantime, I’ll have to satisfy myself with rereading some of Ms. Reynolds’ earlier books.
(A fan of P&P fan fiction)
Only 12 days left!