Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What if instead of delivering his infamous insult, Darcy requests a dance with Elizabeth Bennet at the Meryton Assembly…
What if instead of sketching Mr. Darcy’s character as arrogant and proud, Elizabeth astutely detects his discomfort in new company and attempts to put him at ease…
What if instead of a barely-civil relationship filled with provoking verbal sparring matches, Darcy and Elizabeth decide early on in their acquaintance to be friends…
Even with an amicable relationship between our dear couple, Darcy still struggles a bit with his growing feelings of admiration and affection for Elizabeth Bennet. And just when he decides he could overcome his sense of duty and her inferior connections a member of his family does something terribly scandalous! Darcy has no choice but to help diminish the scandal and restore his family’s tarnished reputation. To further risk damaging his sister’s prospects by making an imprudent marriage at this time is unthinkable. Darcy just hopes that it is only his heart he is breaking by staying away and not Elizabeth’s as well…
Oh what a poignant and heart-wrenching tale our dear beloved Darcy and Elizabeth! There are many variations that create a torturous situation for Mr. Darcy, and there are several that give Elizabeth a healthy dose of suffering and yearning. But this scenario put both of them in despairing states as they are both in love and both understand the impossibility of a future together. Poor Darcy and Lizzy! My heart went out to them and I felt my emotions engaged from the very first chapter! I loved seeing the cute moments where they were friends and playful with each other. And I thought the author did a remarkable job of depicting the wretched of their heartache and emotional pain. It was so tangible and sensitive, I was brought to tears several times.
In addition to a wonderfully ardent and emotive Darcy and Elizabeth, I greatly enjoyed Ms. Childers portrayal of Mr. Bingley and Jane. This Mr. Bingley is definitely one to earn everyones’ respect because he thinks for himself and isn’t easily persuaded. I especially love seeing him in the role of protective brother and I love to see him take Mr. Darcy to task! Jane is wonderful with her compassionate care and sisterly devotion towards Elizabeth, but I also love how she became Elizabeth’s defender and wasn’t quick to forgive or like Mr. Darcy.
Some may feel that this portrayal of a despondent and heart-broken Elizabeth is a little too out-of-character for Jane Austen’s spirited and independent Elizabeth Bennet. But I thought her change in behavior and character to be believable. Like Marianne Dashwood, I think Elizabeth feels things deeply. Sure she may laugh and make jokes instead of being open about her feelings, but I think it plausible that Elizabeth would find intense heart-ache and disappointment difficult to overcome. I enjoyed such a passionate and expressive portrayal of dear Elizabeth.
While I adored the tension and emotional journey this variation took me on, I must admit I thought the conflict dispelled a little too quickly and easily. After such an emotional struggle, I thought I would see a little more of climatic high-point. And therefore felt the falling action and resolution were a little weaker and less satisfying compared to the first half of the story.
Written with beautiful poignancy and expressive prose, Twilight of the Abyss is a wonderful choice for readers who love emotional turbulence and hard-won happily-ever-afters. If you loved Jan Hahn’s A Peculiar Connection and Joana Starnes’s The Subsequent Proposal, you may definitely want to give this Pride and Prejudice variation a try!
Note: The print in this book is rather large. And even though the paperback is 290 pages, this story almost feels as short as a long novella. I think the amazon price of $19 for this paperback way too high!
**Are you subscribed via email to AR but haven’t received any email updates lately?
I’m afraid that’s because I’ve switched email subscription services and couldn’t transfer over any wordpress.com followers. If you’d like to stay subscribed to AR you can resubscribe using email (just fill out one of the subscription boxes on my blog!) I’m so sorry for any inconvenience!**