"With such different personalities, Darcy and Elizabeth surely need to work on their communication skills! Unlike Jane and Bingley, both of whom are easygoing and friendly, the Darcys are definitely a case where opposites attract...Now that they are married,
what will happen when their fundamentally different
personalities reassert themselves? Uncover the true feelings of one of the world's most
famous couples during their first year of marriage."
The back of the book said it was "absorbing" and it was....even if it didn't feel exactly right in places.
Revisit vs. Rehash: A
Nit picky things: B
Wonderful moments: A
Language: The language is lovely. Amelioration, brusque, indefatigable: words that require some digesting but not necessarily a dictionary...(when read in context..at least for me.) When the language is vibrant and Austen-esc, I am completely drawn into the story and only require either good characterization or plot movement to be swept off my feet. Lets just say, good thing the language was there at times.
Characterization: This book really focuses on Darcy. Or "Will" as Elizabeth settles into calling him. Will.** Not Darcy or Fitzwilliam. Will. It is almost right. And that is how I felt about the character of Darcy in this book; he was almost right. At times he felt very much like Colin Firth's Darcy in the A&E/BBC 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice with haughtiness and confidence. At times he felt very much like Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, haunted and with raw emotions. And at times....he wasn't all that recognizable. But what he was....was someone I wanted to keep reading about.
There are several well developed new characters. And Caroline Bingly also gets a lot of story time allotted to her, which is delightful in a kinda "I can't believe she just said that" sort of way.
Pemberley is almost a character itself in Pride and Prejudice. In this book, even more so. However, if there is a huge character change that Mrs. Nelson employs on anyone, it is in the way Pemberley is perceived by Darcy and the reader. That was probably the thing that felt least like Jane Austin's story to me.
Plot: There is a little mystery and an total Jane Eyre vibe that I got from this book that really could have started, "one dark and stormy night..." I think there is a lot of "will they or won't they" in a book that already has them married. I didn't see some of the twists coming - which is very nice.
I think Kathryn Nelson started with the very familiar from Pride and Prejudice and pulled me in with the language. Then she slowly lead me away from the Darcy and Elizabeth that I have known..and the path was darker than I expected. By the end...actually, by the end of chapter 38 (of 62 chapters) everything was very different. But you know what? I'm not mad about it. I felt like she took me down a path and I went willingly.
Rehash or revisit: Anything that is repeated from Pride and Prejudice is done so spread out and in conversation. It was a nice revisit in places and never a rehash of anything.
I was hooked by: Page1. The language and description of the wedding pulled me right in.
Nit picky things: I thought the blurb on the back of the book was poorly written. But as far as inside the book - I wasn't distracted by anything other than Elizabeth calling Fitzwilliam Darcy "Will." Oh, and someone else refers to him affectionately as "Willie." Nuh - huh.
Wonderful little moments: Caroline Bingly has a party. That is all I am saying.
Originality: Even though I was reminded of certain other classics as I read,
it felt like a really fresh and thoughtful
approach to the "happily ever after" we all expected. It is a nice variation on a theme that, heaven forbid, you get tired of reading about. I recommend it for people who have enjoyed several follow up versions.
If this book were a movie - I think it would be rated PG 13 due to implied marital passion & subject matter. If I had a teenage daughter, I'd read it first. There is a certain tumultuousness to their relationship that makes for good reading but isn't a great model.
Overall - I liked the book a great deal. If you have read several follow ups, then you may enjoy it even more because it has that whole "Jane Eyre mystery", "Heathcliff on the mores" kind of vibe to it in places. Dude, it has to feel more familiar than Darcy as vampire or a zombie. It isn't like Darcy was on the bow of a ship shouting "I'm the king of the world" or anything. Although, there was one moment on a horse...
** I will say, every single time she called him Will, I couldn't help be think of the other great romance to span the ages..ok... decades: Troi and Commander Will Riker. But maybe others who do not share these overlapping and clearly related passions of Pride and Prejudice and Star Trek will not have the same difficulty.