Clever, Cute, and a Little Corny
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
In this Pride and Prejudice parody, J. Marie Croft presents a lighthearted and amusing tale of pond scum, puns, and punchlines. Proving herself to be a master of puns and word play, Ms. Croft employs the use of countless homographic puns, homophonic puns, impressive bouts of alliteration, and cleverly named characters. Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge opens with the very famous “lake scene” from the 1995 BBC adaption of Pride and Prejudice, albeit slightly altered. Instead of a refreshing lake, it is an algae-infested pond. Instead of emerging from the lake with wet, clingy clothes, Darcy emerges with wet, clingy clothes covered in smelly green pond scum. Instead of Darcy being alone in this escapade, Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam and good friend Ellis Fleming also felt the urge to take a plunge in Pemberley’s polluted pond.
While Darcy and his companions were cavorting in Pemberley’s pond, his sisters, Georgiana and Anna Darcy, were making the acquaintances of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. The ladies were taking tour of Pemberley’s gardens when they happened upon four disheveled and green-tinged gentlemen. What an inauspicious first meeting! Despite the shock and awkwardness of this situation several of these characters feel an immediate attraction and cannot tear their eyes away from each other. Will these gentlemen be able to atone for their disastrous appearance and win the hearts of the women they love?
Readers can expect many new surprises and alterations in this Pride and Prejudice parody. One being the expanded Darcy family. Both Mr. Darcy Senior and his wife Lady Anne are still alive in this novel and are the proud parents of three children instead of two. In addition, the Bennet family is a tad bit more wealthy, with a townhouse and London and the ablilty to provide dowries of 12,000 pounds for their daughters. Not only are the Bennets more prosperous, they have no fear of an entailment since they have a sweet and precocious son named Robert.
Although I appreciated this humorous and lighthearted rendition of Pride and Prejudice, I did feel that beneath all the puns and jokes there wasn’t much of a story. The series of events in this novel were few and far between and overall there just wasn’t enough substance to grab my attention. Nothing really exciting happens and the plot is drawn out to include more puns. I most definitely laughed, smiled, and groaned while reading Ms. Croft’s assortment of puns, but as the novel progressed I started to find them redundant. Perhaps this type of parody would be better in small doses. Maybe a novella? Lastly, I wasn’t too fond of the fact that many character’s personalities were altered; Darcy bumbles, Georgiana scolds, and Lady Catherine swears like a sailor and is medicated with laudanum laced sherry. These characters didn’t really have much in common with the originals.