Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Georgiana Darcy, reserved, affable, and well-bred, is preparing for her big debut into society, which is a very momentous occasion in a young girl’s life. Georgiana hopes to have a successful season but with her naturally shy disposition and the remembrance of her past misjudgments, she views her coming out with a bit of trepidation. Fortunately for Georgiana, her American cousin, Clarissa Darcy, is journeying from Boston, Massachusetts to make her own debut into society as well. Clarissa is beautiful, exuberant, fearless, and a little impetuous. Will Georgiana be left in the shadow of her engaging and charming American cousin? Or will our shy and reserved Georgiana be influenced by her forward and flirtatious cousin?
Georgiana isn’t the only person to benefit from Clarissa’s presence; Anne de Bourgh at the age of twenty-nine has become a prisoner in her own house. Because she is regarded as weak and sickly, Anne is never without her companion, Mrs. Jenkinson, or her formidable mother, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, by her side. Clarissa, bewildered by Anne’s lack of freedom and reticence to participate in conversations, conceives it is her mission to draw the quiet and forgotten Anne de Bourgh out of her shell. Clarissa and Georgiana discover that Anne de Bourgh isn’t as weak and complacent as everyone believes her to be, and that she is capable of doing something very uncharacteristic and dramatic.
I am quite enchanted with these delightful sequels by Monica Fairview! (The Darcy Cousins is actually a sequel to her Pride and Prejudice sequel The Other Mr. Darcy, which was released October 2009). I love that Ms. Fairview has branched out the Darcy family tree to include some American cousins, they make a very suitable and lively addition to the Pride and Prejudice community. In addition, I like how the focus of this sequel was Georgiana and her coming of age. I was endeared by Georgiana’s feelings of insecurity, awkwardness and inadequacy; and I was reminded that, whether it be the nineteenth century or twenty-first century, transitioning into adulthood has never been smooth and easy. Lastly, I greatly enjoyed Ms. Fairview’s new hero, Mr. Gately, who, with his honorable behavior, quick perception, and penchant for lecturing Georgiana, reminded me a lot of Mr. Knightley from Emma. Ms. Fairview is very proficient in creating romantic, attractive, and Austen-worthy heroes!
The only very small issues I had with this book were that Mr. Darcy sometimes seemed a little too harsh on everyone, and that the ending was left a little unsettled for Clarissa, but that might be because there is another book to follow this one?
Monica Fairview is a talented and skilled author with a keen understanding of Austen’s world and I dearly hope she continues to pen many more brilliant and charming Austenesque sequels! The Darcy Cousins by Monica Fairview is a tender coming of age story that is sure to delight Pride and Prejudice fans who want more of Georgiana Darcy. I highly recommend it!
COMING SOON: Interview with Monica Fairview on April 8th!