The Style of Jane Austen in the Realm of Georgette Heyer
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Georgiana Darcy, at the tender young age of sixteen, is preparing for a very momentous time in her life as her debut into society and first London Season are only a few months away. This would be a daunting enough experience for any young lady, but for the nervous, motherless, and shy Georgiana it is an insurmountable ordeal. Due to the stress and anxiety she is experiencing, Georgiana occasionally looses her equanimity and lashes out with a sharp tongue. The victim of Georgiana’s snippety remarks is usually her affable and lighthearted cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, especially when he has the misfortune to quiz her about her admirers!
Alas, do not fear that Georgiana has departed from Jane Austen’s sweet and amiable mold, she is merely suffering from growing pains. Georgiana is worried about being liked, wanting to be treated as an adult, and despising anyone who still treats her as a child. Sounds like any typical teenager, doesn’t it? To help Georgiana prepare for the rigors of her first London season is her aunt, Lady Whitwell, and her new sister-in-law Elizabeth Darcy. Lady Whitwell is kind, efficient, and most elegant; she helps Georgiana practice her court curtsy and prepare her wardrobe. Elizabeth Darcy, while not so experienced in the customs of London society, assists Georgiana by practicing small talk and polite conversation. In addition, she serves as Georgiana’s confidante and helps her capture a certain gentleman’s heart. The relationship between Georgiana and Elizabeth is affectionate, endearing, and exactly what Jane Austen intended, in my humble opinion.
I greatly enjoyed many aspects of this beautiful novel from debut author C. Allyn Pierson. My favorite part was how Georgiana was illustrated; she truly was the heroine of this novel. We got to learn her insecurities and imperfections, witness her terrifying adventures, and see her esteem and regard for a certain gentleman blossom into love and admiration. In addition, I greatly enjoyed the focus Ms. Pierson placed on the Darcy side of the family. I love Colonel Fitzwilliam and was delighted to “meet” his older brother and parents. Of course this did mean we saw less of the Bennet clan, but I didn’t mind much as I found Lord and Lady Whitwell exceedingly charming! However, their eldest son, Lord St. George, a dissipated and self-seeking man, made a most detestable villain!
While reading Mr. Darcy’ Little Sister I was delighted to discover that Ms. Pierson’s writing is reminiscent of both Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. I loved seeing Jane Austen’s original characters respectfully portrayed and the new characters Ms. Pierson created are congruous to what one would expect when reading a Jane Austen novel. Furthermore, I took pleasure in observing how – with her vivid descriptions of London society and inclusion of actual historical people such as the Prince Regent and Lord Byron – Ms. Pierson depicted life in the Regency Era as distinctly and meticulously as Georgette Heyer. Perhaps Ms. Pierson is an admirer???
One element of this novel that I thought could have been improved was the treatment of the antagonists. The two antagonists in this tale, Lord St. George and a Mr. Jonathan Walker, commit heinous and evil acts yet don’t seem to get their just desserts. I would have liked for these blackguards to receive more page time and development as well as a more severe punishment! In addition, in a very exciting part of this story Mr. Darcy is asked to depart on a secret mission to Paris, France for the Prince Regent. I wish we could have followed Darcy to France and witness him accomplish this risky mission rather than hear him retell his escapades there.
Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister is a delightful debut novel from C. Allyn Pierson; it was such a pleasure to see Georgiana receive a beautiful and satisfying happy ending that is comparable with Darcy’s and Elizabeth’s! I highly recommend this novel to readers who would like to see a graceful and adventurous tale about our demure yet resilient Georgiana Darcy.
(Note: While this novel was previously self-published as And This Our Life, I understand that much of the story has been revised and altered since it’s first release.)
This is my ninth completed item for the “Everything Austen Challenge II” hosted by Stephanie’s Written Word.
COMING SOON: Interview with Author C. Allyn Pierson September 29th!!!