Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
In this updated version of Pride and Prejudice Fitzwilliam Darcy is the billionaire CEO of The Darcy Company, who many years ago made the mistake of giving his heart to the wrong person. Now seven years later, his mistake still haunts him and he lives his life unattached, taking part in meaningless sex with models (only to satisfy his baser needs), and vowing to never love again. His younger sister, Georgiana, is soon to be attending the prestigious Longbourn School for the Arts in New York City. Darcy and his cousin, Geoffrey Fitzwilliam, travel to the university, not only to help Georgiana settle in there, but to meet with a Professor Bennet and discuss the possibility of collaborating on a project that will expand music education opportunities for underprivileged children. When he meets Professor Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy finds he is immediately attracted to her, but unfortunately in typical Darcy fashion he has already insulted her.
Professor Elizabeth Bennet, was a child prodigy in the field of music and now has achieved outstanding accomplishments in several academic areas. Being a gifted and talented child has prevented her from having a normal childhood, and because she has been too busy with a performing career she does not have a lot of experience in the relationship department. Even though Elizabeth feels an intense attraction for Fitzwilliam Darcy, she’s seen his picture in the tabloids with his arms draped around scantily-clad models to know that he is not the type of person she has been saving herself for.
Darcy and Elizabeth acknowledge their passionate attraction for each other but because of their past experiences and lack of trust for others, they decide that the best thing for them to do is to be friends with each other, nothing more… (This reminds me of the movie When Harry Met Sally, Billy Crystal’s character believes that men and women can’t ever be friends “because the sex part always gets in the way”). Despite Billy Crystal’s sage advice, Elizabeth and Darcy become the closest and most connected of friends. They are closer to each other than they are to their friends and family, the tabloids think they are engaged, and their friends are bewildered by their resistance of a more romantic relationship. How long will it be before one of them breaks down the walls around their heart and let the other in???
I was “excessively diverted” with this Pride and Prejudice adaption and read it with a perpetual smile upon my face. Ruth Phillips Oakland’s tale of Elizabeth and Darcy finding friendship and fighting falling in love was filled with clever and entertaining twist. I laughed out-loud at the witty dialogue, ironic situations, and her use of tabloids’ headlines at the beginning of each chapter. The supporting characters in this novel were delightfully and amusingly portrayed, I enjoyed seeing Charlotte Lucas as a clothing designer and characters like Lydia Bennet, Caroline Bingley, and Lady Catherine were very true to their personalities. In this novel, Ms. Oakland incorporated the names of characters from other Jane Austen works, such as: Mr. Harville was the name of one of Darcy’s bodyguard, Dr. George Knightley was the name of one of Darcy’s friends, and Lucy Steele was the name of a porn star mentioned. However, I would have loved this aspect of the book more if the author used more than just the characters’ name, and made these characters more distinguished and developed.
My one small quibble, and the reason I am giving this book 4.5 stars and not 5, is the depiction of a morally bankrupt Mrs. Bennet. In this adaption, Frannie Bennet was Elizabeth’s overtaxing and greedy “momager,” but because of a car accident a few years ago, she has lost the ability to tell right from wrong. Now she behaves immorally, unscrupulously, and wantonly; Elizabeth has not seen or spoken with her mother in over six years. I enjoyed the part with Mrs. Bennet being a pushy parent (that is very real in today’s society), but sometimes she was a little too vulgar and obscene for my tastes.
I recommend My BFF to anyone who enjoys reading modern adaptions of Pride and Prejudice, and doesn’t mind alterations in the plots and characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In addition, I would recommend this book for mature audiences only and for readers who don’t mind reading a few love scenes. I greatly enjoyed this fun and new spin on Pride and Prejudice and I savored each minute I spent reading it.