What if Darcy’s Ill-Fated Proposal at Hunsford Never Happened?
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
What if Mr. Darcy, even though he was completely enamored and entranced with Elizabeth Bennet, hesitated to declare his love? What if Elizabeth left Hunsford without receiving Mr. Darcy’s proposal? What if Mr. Bennet passed away and Elizabeth’s place in society became even more inferior to Mr. Darcy’s?
Fast-forward two years from Elizabeth’s visit to Hunsford Parsonage, we encounter the Bennet women destitute and homeless. Jane, being the dutiful daughter she is, marries a local shopkeeper to help support her family; Elizabeth goes to London to assist with rearing her Aunt Gardiner’s children; and Mrs. Bennet and the youngest Bennet girls reside with their Aunt Phillips in Meryton. When Mr. Darcy discovers that Elizabeth is living in London he is tempted to seek her out to determine if she safe and happy. Yet, after ascertaining Elizabeth’s comfortable albeit dependent living situation, Darcy finds he cannot resist the temptation of renewing their acquaintance.
Darcy starts accompanying Elizabeth on her early morning walks and a mutual regard between them starts to develop. Although there is more amiability and less animosity between Darcy and Elizabeth this time around, other negative factors arise. Such as Darcy’s profligate and domineering uncle, a matchmaking Uncle Gardiner, and of course, Lydia… doing what she does best! Darcy struggles between his growing love and affection for Elizabeth and her family’s increasing degradation, and he must decide, once and for all, which will he regret most: infuriating his family or ignoring the yearnings of his heart…
Ever since Abigail Reynolds first self-published her five Pemberley Variation novels three years ago, her devoted admirers have been fervently waiting for her next new novel. (Myself included!) It was a delight to once again experience Ms. Reynolds’s enthralling prose, faithful yet emotive characterization, and tension-filled plots. Similar to From Lambton to Longbourn, there are no mature and intimate scenes between the characters; this will please many readers who prefer to stay out of the Darcy’s bedroom. However, do expect to find several tender, chaste, and beautifully romantic scenes between our infatuated Darcy and his beguiling Elizabeth. As always, Ms. Reynolds’s distinctive and ardent portrayal of Mr. Darcy makes me go weak in the knees and fall in love with him all over again!
While I did greatly enjoy Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, I couldn’t help but feel that the premise wasn’t as plausible as Ms. Reynolds’s other novels. Since Darcy never received a rejection from Elizabeth, how were his arrogant and prideful ways reformed? How could Elizabeth, who previously held Mr. Darcy in contempt, all of sudden welcome his company? Perhaps the lapse of two years has subdued their prides and prejudices…
Mr. Darcy’s Obsession is an adventurous variation that explores a different route with our beloved
Pride and Prejudice. In my opinion, it is one of Ms. Reynolds’s more exciting novels complete with a street urchin spy, libertine uncle, eccentric aunt, many damsels in distress, and an honorable and praiseworthy hero! I most emphatically recommend!
Coming Soon: Interview with Abigail Reynolds on October 20th!