Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
(Note: Potential readers should be made aware that this is the second volume in the Darcy’s Tale series, and that it will be necessary to read Volume I prior to reading this one.
For those of you who are not yet familiar with this series, Darcy’s Tale is a trilogy that retells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s perspective. Volume II picks up with Darcy arriving in London and undertaking the difficult tasks of persuading Mr. Bingley of Jane Bennet’s disinterest, as well as commanding his own heart and mind to dwell on other things than Elizabeth Bennet! Similar to his first novel in this series, Stanley Hurd takes us into Darcy’s head, exposes his reflections, and shares his inner thoughts.
As with Darcy’s Tale, Volume I: Into Hertfordshire, what I loved most about reading this novel was the sense of truly being inside Darcy’s head! So much is explained, so much is understood… The scenes where Stanley Hurd truly shines in this novel are where he illustrates how Darcy misinterprets Elizabeth. I’ve always wondered how Darcy could be so convinced that Elizabeth was anticipating and welcoming his proposal when she is barely civil to him. Was it arrogance and conceit? Mr. Hurd does a remarkable job of showing how Darcy misunderstood all Elizabeth’s smiles and blushes, how he thought their discussions had subtextual implications, how he read too much into her open conversation and candor. (Yes, Darcy dear, it does seem that Elizabeth reserves her playful teasing for you alone…but it’s not what you think!)
I cannot help but find Mr. Hurd’s Darcy to be everything that is admirable and adorable! He is essentially the honorable and loyal hero we know and love at the end of Pride and Prejudice, but instead of being arrogant and officious, he is portrayed as reserved and a little lacking in social graces. When it comes to women, especially, we see how Darcy is inexperienced and awkward. Why does he not engage Elizabeth more in conversation? Does he see through Caroline’s machinations? Why did he propose so badly? Even though Darcy has spent nine seasons in London society, he hasn’t learned enough to keep him out of trouble…
I greatly enjoyed the continuation of Darcy’s intensive retrospection in this novel. He is in pursuit of logic and truth, and steadfastly tries to align the desires of his heart with his sense of duty and obligation. I loved seeing Darcy question society’s rules and practices, and I enjoyed watching him go to Georgiana, Colonel Fitzwilliam, his uncle, and even a former tutor to debate and question matters of the heart, matrimony, and society. He is a man desperately seeking some enlightenment!
Before I close, I must add how exquisitely poignant it was to see the proposal, letter, and aftermath from Darcy’s perspective! What a powerful and palpable impression of heartache and anguish! Beautifully and evocatively rendered, Mr. Hurd! Well done! I’m all anticipation for Darcy’s Tale, Volume III: The Way Home!
Stanley Hurd has decided to do a repeat of the generous giveaway he did last December! He has kindly provided me with 5 BRAND NEW paperback copies of Darcy’s Tale, Volume II: Into Kent for me to giveaway in conjunction with my review! Can I get a woot woot?!?
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment about my review!
- This giveaway is open worldwide. Thank you, Stanley!
- This giveaway ends April 8th!