Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Authors
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Just before Easter, Darcy’s arrival at Rosings.
MAIN CHARACTERS: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Theo Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Anne de Bourgh, Georgiana Darcy, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Colonel Fitzwilliam, George Wickham
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- It’s a multiple-author-collaboration! Last book I read like this was Pride and Prejudice: The Scenes Jane Austen Never Wrote, and I loved it!
- I was super interested in this premise: What if Mr. Darcy had a younger brother?
- As a big fan of the authors working together on this project…of course I wanted to read it!
WHAT I LOVED:
- THEO!: Oh yes! It should come as no surprise that Theo’s character is one of my favorite elements of this novel! A fun-loving, charming, and presumed ne’er-do-well, who excels at getting under his big brother’s skin! Perfect! He brought a lot of mischief and levity to this novel which was fun to witness. But at the same time he has a lot of depth and dimension. I greatly enjoyed learning more about his life as a barrister and seeing him in action in court, something you don’t often see in an Austenesque novel.
- Family History and Complex Relationships: With Theo comes a different Fitzwilliam Darcy. He is the older brother to more than one sibling and a family tragedy that occurred years ago greatly shapes these siblings and their relationship with each other. Darcy carries much more weight and responsibility, he is even more overly protective and controlling. He is often very harsh with Theo – always misunderstands him and assumes the worst of his carefree sibling. At the same time, Theo doesn’t see his brother’s concern for what it is, and believes Fitzwilliam doesn’t trust or have any faith in him. Theo feels the need to prove himself and painfully craves approval or a kind word from his older brother. Both brothers carry guilt from the past and their contrasting personalities make their relationship very complex and challenging. Wow! I most definitely enjoyed this look at sibling relationships and the emotional effects they can have on a person.
- Harmonious Writing: I really could not tell this book was written by five different authors! The characters were aligned and consistent, and the writing style and voice very much in accord throughout the whole story! What’s even more surprising is, even though I’ve read multiple works by these authors individually, I was often not able to decipher who wrote each chapter. Truly a harmonious and well-blended collaboration! And when you consider that this was written in serial format as a reader’s choice project, it is all the more an impressive and admirable feat!
- Original and Developed Characters: It is always interesting when new players enter the ring! Besides Theo, readers are introduced to Sir Montgomery Preston, Theo’s closest friend. (Would love to see a sequel about the exploits of Theo and Monty together! Full of scrapes and a mad-cap adventures. 🙂) In addition, the character of Anne de Bourgh receives a good amount of attention and development in this variation. The direction these authors took with Anne was very interesting to see, I could definitely understand her having a similar personality to her mother underneath that sickly constitution. 🙂
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Very Eventful: Introducing a new key-player was most effective in changing the course of Pride and Prejudice. But there were many additional elements and alterations that also took place in this variation, such as a shooting accident, a plan to entrap a couple in a compromising situation, and many hastily decided journeys and departures. Sometimes it felt a little too eventful or helter-skelter for my taste. I wouldn’t have minded more time with just Theo and Darcy. (Who wouldn’t, right?) 😉
An inventive and enthralling tale of family, forgiveness, and reformation! Much applause and praise to this talented team of writers who collaborated together so splendidly on The Darcy Brothers! This is a definite must-read for readers who can never get enough Pride and Prejudice variations!
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