What if Darcy Didn’t Insult Elizabeth at the Meryton Assembly?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Have you ever noticed that not everyone finds a happy ending at the close of Pride and Prejudice?
Did you ever feel that poor Charlotte Lucas deserved a better fate than Mr. Collins?
Or that Lydia didn’t deserve to suffer life married to Mr. Wickham?
If so, then you will be delighted with First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride or Prejudice by Alexa Adams, a Pride and Prejudice variation where all characters, even the detestable and ridiculous ones, are treated to a happier fate.
So how did Alexa Adams accomplish the amazing feat of improving the fates of nearly all the Pride and Prejudice characters? With one simple change. Before Mr. Darcy utters his ill-fated insult about Elizabeth not being handsome enough to tempt him, he turns her way and observes a look in challenge in her eyes. Seeing that look and being the gentleman he is, Darcy cannot bare to insult her. He instead requests that Bingley secure him an introduction to this intriguing young lady so he can ask her for a dance…
It is truly astounding to see how this one simple change can alter the path of not only Elizabeth’s and Darcy’s lives, but the lives of all the people around them: Since Elizabeth doesn’t think Mr. Darcy is a proud and disagreeable man, it causes the Bennet family to respect and admire him rather than despise him. Mr. Darcy, discovering how Elizabeth is an intelligent and genuine young woman not out to marry him, becomes more at ease and loses some of his haughtiness and reserve. In addition, because of Mr. Darcy’s presence and influence many of the other male characters such as Mr. Bingley and Mr. Bennet assume more responsibility for their families and work towards keeping them in line. (I love how Mr. Bingley puts Caroline in her place!) Moreover, it is delightful to see how Kitty is motivated to reform her behavior since she realizes how her over-exuberance and immaturity is not very becoming and not earning her Mr. Darcy’s good opinion.
What a delightful and enchanting debut novel from Alexa Adams! I have read quite a handful of Pride and Prejudice variations and I found First Impressions to be a praiseworthy addition to the collection. I took pleasure in Ms. Adams’ rich and witty dialogue as well as her reverence and respect towards Jane Austen’s original characters. Furthermore, Ms. Adams has a beautiful command of language and successfully captures Jane Austen’s satirical tone in her writing. I compliment Ms. Adams’ on her talent for emulating Austen’s voice, it is not every day that I come across an Austenesque novel so thoroughly in the style of tone of Jane Austen! My one small criticism for this novel is that perhaps there wasn’t enough conflict. I guess I am so used to Darcy and Elizabeth having such a turbulent and difficult relationship that a romance without any obstacles felt a little bereft.
First Impressions: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice by Alexa Adams is a charming Pride and Prejudice variation that I heartily recommend to everyone, even to Austen purists. Ms. Adams, please keep writing, I am all eagerness to see another work of yours in print!