A Pride and Prejudice Variation with a Large Dose of Affection and Romance!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
The Truth About Mr. Darcy is a beautifully romantic variation of Pride and Prejudicethat was originally self-published as Affinity and Affection (a more fitting and attractive title, in my humble opinion) in 2008. In this variation Ms. Adriani alters the scene where Darcy and Wickham first encounter each other in Meryton. Instead of letting Wickham insinuate himself in Elizabeth’s good graces and tell vicious lies, Darcy shares his side of the story first. Instead of maintaining a healthy dislike for Darcy for many months, Elizabeth, after hearing Darcy’s disclosure about George Wickham, experiences a change in her perception. Instead of being happily engaged to Charlotte Lucas, a recently rejected Mr. Collins notices Darcy and Elizabeth’s attraction for each other and takes it upon himself to exact some revenge.
As an ardent admirer of Pride and Prejudice variations, I was most eager to read Susan Adriani’s debut novel. I greatly enjoyed the unique premise of this variation; having Darcy share his past dealings with Wickham so early in the novel changed the course of several characters’ lives. In addition, as a romantic, I was deeply gratified with the exquisite love and tender devotion Ms. Adriani illustrated between Darcy and Elizabeth. Although he was sometimes a little saccharine, I enjoyed seeing Darcy so violently in love.
While I enjoyed the intimate and romantic scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth, I did not like how Darcy lost all self-control. I understand him loosing some of his pride and prejudice, just like he did in Jane Austen’s novel, but for him to exhibit such a want of propriety is a little perplexing. I don’t mind Darcy acting like a rake behind closed doors, but in front of family and friends? It seemed like he was consumed with sexual desires all the time and never satiated! I would have liked more love and less lust for this Darcy. (Warning: this book is suitable for Mature Audiences only).
Another aspect I wasn’t too fond of was the absence of conflict. Darcy and Elizabeth resolve their issues fairly early in this variation, and thus this novel is missing the dramatic tension, obstacles, and angst that usually surrounds their relationship. While there are some outside sources that create a few conflicts, Darcy and Elizabeth’s intimate rendezvouses seem to take up a bit more page time.
Despite my quibbles, I found The Truth About Mr. Darcy by Susan Adriani to be a splendidly romantic and enjoyable tale. This variation would most appeal to readers who are interested in seeing an affectionate and devoted Darcy and Elizabeth, not bothered by scenes of intimacy, and are incurably romantic!! I look forward to reading more of Susan Adriani’s work in the future!
Coming Soon: Interview with Author Susan Adriani on May 10th!