Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. Darcy: Two Become One

mr and mrs darcy cover
Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan

Becky at One Literature Nut recommended this book to me (see her review here), and I'm really glad she did.  It is full of warm fuzzies.  Reading it is like sitting in field with hopping bunnies, stuffing your face with chocolate, and cuddling a puppy. 

I read a quote from one of Jane Austen's contemporaries once about Pride & Prejudice.  Actually, it was a letter where the writer was telling her sister about the book.  It went something along the lines of, "It was a really good book, but the ending sucked.  But then what else can you expect."  I do have to agree with her that the ending of P&P does kind of suck and leaves a lot of open ends.  Fortunately, this leads the field open for other writers to take up where Austen left off and to give us the "ending" they envision for romance's most beloved couple.

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy
starts on Lizzie's and Darcy's wedding day.  Although the language seems a bit pedantic at first, it simply takes some getting used to.  I really loved the beginning of this book because it adds to the characters of Lizzie and Darcy and fills in things from their personal history that I had wondered about from the original book.  Then they get to Pemberly, and pretty much have sex all over the place for the rest of the novel. :D

A reviewer on Goodreads acused this book of being "basically porn."  I doubt that reviewer has ever read porn, or even erotica for that matter, because this isn't it.  The sex isn't pornographic (or even graphic), but is very sweet and an important part of Darcy and Lizzie's relationship. 

One thing this book does suffer from, though, is a lack of conflict.  While I loved the beginning and seeing how everything was working out at Pemberly for Lizzie and Darcy, the middle started to drag a bit.  Lizzie's life is way too perfect, even if this is a total fantasy (and that's what it is), and there are no major conflicts or problems to drive the development of the characters or make us discover anything new about them.  Around page 200, Lizzie and Darcy start fighting again, so that's fun; but Lizzie always comes off looking petty and immature, and Darcy is of course always nobly suffering.  I know this book takes place in Regency England, but Darcy doesn't have to be right all the freaking time.  That's annoying, and a tad anarchonistic--as if the book had been written by a '50s housewife. 

So the novel evened out to a good read for me--the beginning was fantastic, the middle got a bit boring, the ending was a bit better.  I'm still not sure if I'm sold on P&P retellings (do they ever live up to the original?), but I did enjoy reading this one.  Recommended for hopeless romantics.

Everything Austen Challenge button

I read this book as part of the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie.  One Austen thing down, five more to go!

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