Dear Mrs. Lathan, Please do not let this 4th delicious installment be your last. Your Friend, Kelli Crowe
No, I do not know Mrs. Lathan, but I would love to share a cup of tea with her and catch up on our mutual friends, the Darcys. Her enthusiasm for all things Darcy and Regency completely won over this sceptic.
Revisit vs. Rehash: A
Nit Picky Little Things: A
Wonderful Little Moments: A++
The Moment I was Hooked: A
Language: Denuded, meretricious, insensate...I greatly enjoyed the language.
Characterization: There is a listing of the Cast of Characters at the beginning of the novel - which I found helpful. After 4 books, there are quite a few supporting players and family members that my pre-parenting brain might have been able to keep straight....but lets just say that after 3 boys, I appreciate any sort of Cliff notes offered.
I think my favorite element of this book were the conversations between characters. They are intimate, humours and revealing. Darcy and Elizabeth have such great repartee. And so much of the character's personalities and relationships are exposed through these wonderful moments. There is an element of reality and Romanticism in the conversations. A perfect combination.
There was one moment that Darcy seemed to act out of character in his natural, established protectiveness of Georgianna. I didn't really understand the specific plot twist and the character's reaction to it. However...I did see that Sharon Lathan is writing another book, The Trouble with Mr. Darcy. I have no idea if it is book #5 in this series. (I can hope!) Perhaps there are threads I am not meant to understand that will be revealed to me in later novels. And I really want someone to read this book so I can discuss it!! (My husband only has so much patience with hearing me ramble on about these things with the level of seriousness paralleled to a medical breakthrough.)
Plot: Ch. 3 The lush visual of Pemberley at Christmas (in Ch. 3) is like Regency England meets a Norman Rockwell Christmas. The reader also gets to see Pemberley as a playground to visitors. And true to Lathan form, just when I think all is well....well, it is not.
The story lines of Caroline Bingly and Kitty are two of my favorites in the book. (Do not fret, the plot is still mostly about Darcy and Elizabeth.) I adore Caroline in general. (Why I always seem to pull for the villain in these stories is a thread I honestly don't want to pull too hard on, lest I become disappointed with my own unraveled introspection:) But beyond Kitty's ill timed coughing, I never really gave her much thought. Lathan made me care about Kitty (and Mary, in her previous books).
The plot, again, moves quickly and is driven quite a bit by dialogue. The Darcys continue to travel. I found myself actually googling Devil's Arse and Charles Cotton. Mrs. Lathan did her homework in this area. (I even looked back to make sure she really was from California and not England because of seemingly very accurate descriptions of places the Darcys visited.
Revisit vs. Rehash: No rehashing at all. Excellent use of flashbacks to events that we did not previously know about as readers. These flashbacks were very revealing to the character's motivations and actions.
Nit Picky Little Things: Hmmm, none come to mind beyond the previously mentioned plot twist.
Wonderful Little Moments: Mr. Bennet meeting Alexander, "Are you the boss of the road?," the family tree, the backgammon games, Mrs. Smith, Lady Worrow (who's gregariousness reminded me of how my grandmother used to hold the attention of a room), learning Mrs. Gardener's and Mrs. Bennet's first names.
Originality: The farther away from where Jane Austen left off that Lathan takes me, the more I appreciate her creativity. This 4th book takes us through the Darcy's 2nd year of marriage.
The Moment I was Hooked: I was committed before I started reading. I will say, Ch. 3's Christmas celebration made me think of visiting the Biltmore and the lushness of a huge home at Christmas time. I remember emotionally sinking down into the story at that point.
I started out as a sceptic of this series and was won over to be quite a fan.
Book 3: My Dearest Mr. Darcy: An Amazing Journey into Love Everlasting My review of it here.
Book 4: In the Arms of Mr. Darcy (book) My review of it (you just read).
A Darcy Christmas: A Holiday Tribute To Jane Austen (released this month) by Sharon Lathan, Amanda Grange and Carolyn Eberhart
Trouble with Mr. Darcy (due out April 1, 2011) by Sharon Lathan
Sharon Lathan's personal web site: www.sharonlathan.net
If this book were a movie, it would be rated R due to how passionately those two do, indeed, become one.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this last book, In the Arms of Mr. Darcy, and was asked to review it. Truthfully, I want to like all Pride and Prejudice books. And being asked to review one makes me want to like it a tiny bit more. But only a tiny bit. I try to find the entertainment in all that I read. And usually, "my good opinion once lost, it is lost forever." (There have been a few doozies I have reviewed and a few more to come.) However, I try my best to remain as truthful as I can on each review. If for no other reason, so that I can one day come back and re-read my review and say, "Aah, yes, that is what happened in that book!" and choose whether to re-read it again.