Mr. Darcy Gets By With A Little Help From His Friends
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
There seems to be no limit to the creative imaginings of Mary Lydon Simonsen! This is the fourth novel I have read and enjoyed by Ms. Simonsen and I’m just amazed at how wholly unique and original each of her novels are! In this Pride and Prejudice retelling, Ms. Simonsen steers the Pride and Prejudice gang off course very early in the novel, creating a new and considerably divergent path for these beloved characters to traverse. How does she do this? By making a very remorseful and uncomfortable Mr. Darcy come and apologize to Elizabeth Bennet the day after the Meryton Assembly.
Even though Darcy finds himself delighting in Elizabeth’s company and reveling in her fresh and frank conversation, Darcy knows he can not pursue her. One reason is because he feels it is his duty to Pemberley and to his sister, Georgiana to marry a woman from an old aristocratic family that is his social equal. The other reason is because he’s already started courting another woman in town! What a predicament! What can Darcy do when the woman he doesn’t love is expecting his proposal, and the woman he does love has resigned herself to the fact that he is unavailable?
Enter: Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam, Lord Fitzwilliam, and Anne de Bourgh!
Similar to The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, Darcy and Elizabeth receive some much needed assistance from the schemes and manipulations of Darcy’s meddling and well-meaning relatives. Through these characters and their clever machinations, Ms. Simonsen’s penchant for humor and satire really shine! Especially when it comes to characters such as Lord Fitzwilliam and the Crenshaw children, pure comedic genius! These character additions aren’t the only changes readers will find. In this retelling Georgiana is eighteen and not sixteen years old and not very shy at all. In addition, Ms. Simonsen’s Darcy is a lot less haughty and a little bit dense when it comes to dealing with women. (He needs all the help he can get!) My one quibble for this novel is that with Darcy being so clueless it sometimes made him seem more like Mr. Bingley and less like the illustrious and self-possessed Fitzwilliam Darcy we all know and love.