Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
In J. Marie Croft’s latest charming effusion of fancy she presents a short, novella-length Pride and Prejudice variation told solely from Mr. Darcy’s point-of-view as he attends his second Meryton Assembly (taking place just one year after he made his oh-so-memorable first encounter with Meryton society). Both Mr. Darcy and his lovelorn friend, Mr. Bingley, attend this assembly in the hopes of reacquainting themselves with the Bennet sisters and securing their hearts’ desires. Mr. Darcy does not know how Elizabeth will react towards him but has given himself the task of: asking her to dance, showing her he can be civil, and determining if there is any hope for a future together.
And while Darcy makes every effort to be sociable, scowl less, and dance with slighted ladies, on the inside his mind is a place of anxiety, doubt, and turmoil! LOL! And readers are privy to every deprecating, castigating, and disparaging thought!
I was excessively delighted with this whimsical tale! I love things that are corny and “punny” and I knew going in Ms. Croft would deliver some witty wordplay, clever turns of phrase, and puns in abundance. (Yep, she definitely did this. Tenfold.) All in Mr. Darcy’s head too! It was uproariously funny to witness all that he was thinking:
“Arse that I am, I will indubitably hie off to Longbourn, ostensibly to determine her state of health, and burst forth with some asinine avowal. God save me from myself.”
“Nice? Did I truly say she looks nice? By God, I am a ninny-hammer. For clarity’s sake, why not just reiterate that ghastly utterance about being tolerable but not handsome enough for temptation?”
“Ever mindful that my mammering mouth is capable, at times, of operation independently of my beef-witted brain, I compress my lips so improper thoughts cannot haphazardly escape.”
And this is just a small sampling of comedic prowess and eloquent language skills displayed by J. Marie Croft in this story. You should see her Shakespearean insults! I was so impressed with the variety and diversity of adjectives and expressions used. In addition to Mr. Darcy’s self-deprecation and biting insults, I loved how his thoughts revealed how irrevocably and fervently in love he was with Elizabeth Bennet:
“Will you forsake me, Elizabeth? Will you not, at least, raise those beloved eyes, beneath lashes so remarkably fine, and look upon me?”
“Save me, please, dear Elizabeth, from such a dismal destiny…I wish to spend a lifetime providing for you, protecting you, loving you, and, hopefully, earning your affection in return.”
A Little Whimsical in His Civilities is an exceptionally diverting tale! It is the perfect choice for readers who are looking for something light-hearted and frothy, readers needing a break from drama and stress, and readers who are like Elizabeth Bennet and “dearly love a laugh!” Brava to J. Marie Croft for skillfully supplying us with this satisfying, spirited, and side-splitting satire!