Mar 192010
 

A Diverting and Unique Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

When so many authors embark upon telling the same tale – in this instance, Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point-of-view – readers may, unfortunately, have mixed reactions. Some readers may feel “been there, done that,” some may be biased by other authors’ interpretations, some may be a bit more circumspect or critical, and some may be elated by the prospect of another novel (especially when it means more Mr. Darcy). I definitely fall in the last category, (as I love to read anything to do with Jane Austen and her novels), yet I do sometimes find it a bit challenging not to compare one author’s interpretation with another.

There are three unique aspects of this book that separate it from other Darcy interpretations. The first one is the inclusion of Lord Byron as a former classmate and close friend of Charles Bingley and Mr. Darcy! While I am not greatly perturbed with Jane Austen’s characters reveling in all forms of debauchery with the “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” Byron, I did feel that this relationship was a little bland and artificial. I couldn’t really see why they were still friends with Byron.

Another unique aspect of this novel is how Georgiana’s character does not maintain the docile and timid nature we are so very accustomed to seeing. Ms. Slater’s Georgiana can sometimes be insolent, unruly, and a little coquettish. I wasn’t very enamored with this interpretation of Georgiana (who I like to believe is a biddable and reserved girl) and I sometimes felt the portrayal was a little inconsistent.

Lastly, while this is Mr. Darcy’s diary, there was a lot of page time devoted to the relationship between Jane and Mr. Bingley. This aspect I greatly enjoyed! I loved the depiction of Mr. Bingley’s disbelief and eventual acceptance of Jane’s disinterest, followed by his sorrow and despair over his heartbreak, and finally his firm and adamant resolution to return to Netherfield and pursue her once again. I really loved how well-developed and fleshed out Mr. Bingley’s character was in this novel.

One aspect of the novel that I did not greatly enjoy was Ms. Slater’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy. In his earlier diary entries I found no hint or spark of an interest in Elizabeth Bennet, and when he does begin to mention her it seemed as if he was more attracted to her appearance than her mind or personality. I didn’t really feel him falling in love with her, it happened a little abruptly. In addition, I felt that this Mr. Darcy was a little lacking in perception, since it was only at the end of the book that he realized how ill-mannered and domineering Lady Catherine is and how Caroline Bingley has been jealously disparaging Elizabeth because of her own designs of marrying him. Furthermore, his activities while he was away at London for four months were a little on the mundane side and not very enlightening.

While it is not my most favorite retelling of Pride and Prejudice, The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy by Maya Slater is a pleasant and diverting read that I recommend to all Darcy fans. It is always a delight to spend more time with the illustrious and proud Mr. Darcy!

 

Other Pride and Prejudice Retellings:
Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Trilogy by Pamela Aidan
Darcy’s Passions by Regina Jeffers
The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street
The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy by Majorie Fasman
Darcy’s Story by Janet Aylmer

 

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8 Comments on "The Private Diary of Mr. Darcy – Maya Slater"

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Karlinha

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Alexa Adams

I agree – not my favorite Darcy’s diary, that honor being split between Aiden and Jeffers. It’s been a few years since I read this one, but I recall not being happy with either Darcy’s or Georgiana’s portrayals. They seemed to not be Austen’s characters, but some new creations by Slater, endowed with all kinds of disturbing characteristics, as if Austen’s originals were, for some reason, in need of dressing up. I prefer them as they were, perhaps (arguably) a trifle boring but thoroughly respectable.

The Book Mole

Mr. Darcy friends with Lord Byron! I’m afraid I can’t see that either. Also, Jane has drawn such a vivid picture of Georgiana that I have a hard time seeing her as other than what she is in P&P.

My favorite Austenesque books are the ones told from the heroes’ POVs. I like Amanda Grange’s books very much, and was wondering if I should read others. Thanks for the great review – this book may have to sit on my TBR pile a little longer!

Meredith

Alexa: I haven’t read Regina Jeffers’ books yet. I need to and want to though. My favorite so far is Pamela Aidan’s trilogy. I love Fletcher, Darcy’s valet and Darcy’s friend, Lord Dyfed Brougham. I thought they were wonderful additions!

The Book Mole: Thanks for stopping by! I would highly recommend the series by Susan Kaye, Pamela Aidan, and Barbara Cornthwaite to anyone interested in reading from the heroes’ perspective. I greatly enjoyed Amanda Grange’s books too!

Nina

Great review! I wonder if this is worth the try. There are so many great books out there.. I think that it is really weird that there is no spark with him and Elisabeth, that really should be in the book.

Laura Hartness

Just added to my Goodreads TBR list!

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide

I think I have this one.

Bee
I see we are in total agreement in the Bingley aspect. To me that was the best part of this book, how much more the character of Charles Bingley was fleshed out. I felt like I went along for the ride with his denial, heartbreak, and resolution concerning Jane. He seemed to be a much bigger character than even Lizzie. More importantly he was the mirror that Darcy judged himself by, and at the end of the book Darcy seemed to recognize that Charles was the better man, and seemed to be striving to be more like him. To me… Read more »
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