Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Gift from Mom
Why do we read novels about Fitzwilliam Darcy? Are we trying, like Elizabeth Bennet, to make out the illustration of his character? Or are we suffering from “Darcy Fever,” and the only prescription is more… Darcy?
Perhaps a bit of both. Since the events of Pride and Prejudice are not told through his eyes, Darcy is an enigma, and even though he’s arrogant and haughty, Darcy has some very desirable qualities. Let’s face it… we want him! In Darcy’s Passions, author Regina Jeffers tells the story of Pride and Prejudice through the eyes of Mr. Darcy, focusing on his emotional struggle, internal thoughts, and his roles as brother and master.
In the Preface, Ms. Jeffers explains how when writing this novel, she focused on Darcy’s three passions: Elizabeth, Georgiana, and Pemberley, and how Darcy finds a balance between all three passions. I greatly enjoyed Ms. Jeffers portrayal of Mr. Darcy in his various roles. I especially loved witnessing how and when Darcy fell in love with Elizabeth. Being privy to all his thoughts and emotions, I was able to observe and understand Darcy’s first stirrings of love. Followed by his periods of denial, determination, turmoil, and hope. In addition, I liked how Ms. Jeffers combined Colin Firth’s “haughty reserve” with Matthew McFayden’s “vulnerability” in her Darcy. Her representation of Mr. Darcy was one of my favorite aspects about this novel.
While Ms. Jeffers devotes much page time to fleshing out Darcy’s character and internal musings while in the presence of Elizabeth Bennet, she doesn’t give a lot of detail about the periods where Darcy is away from Elizabeth. Some readers may be disappointed to discover that what Darcy does in between the ball at Netherfield and encountering Elizabeth at Rosings was summarized in several paragraphs. Furthermore, the period between Darcy’s first proposal and return to Pemberley is surprisingly brief. I would have loved for more page time to be devoted to the stretches of time when Darcy was alone and away from Elizabeth.
Not only isDarcy’s Passions a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, but it is a little bit of a sequel too. In her novel, Ms. Jeffers follows Darcy and Elizabeth into their first month or two of marriage. We see Darcy and Elizabeth during their first holiday season at Pemeberley, and witness their blissfully happy union. While I enjoyed spending eighty pages more with Ms. Jeffers’ lovely characters, it felt like this material would have been better suited in a sequel or a novel of its own.