Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
While out for a walk, Mr. Darcy and his youngest daughter Alice espy a white rabbit crossing their path. Having seen this particular white rabbit (with a pocket watch and waistcoat) before, Alice runs after Mr. Rabbit and follows him down a rather large rabbit hole. What could Mr. Darcy – master of Pemberley, devoted husband, and father of six – do but follow his daughter and ensure her safety?!? Down the rabbit hole they go and what befalls them is a succession of nonsensical and inexplicable events like Fitzwilliam Darcy has never seen. And despite these curious characters and fantastical events, all Mr. Darcy wants to do is find his way home to Pemberley. Sounds like he needs a pair of ruby slippers…oops! Wrong story!
For anyone whose read or seen Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland these encounters with a grinning cat, smoking caterpillar, and singing turtle may sound familiar… And you might even know the order of who Mr. Darcy and Alice come across and what will happen next. But the true delight of this tale is in seeing how the reserved and proud Mr. Darcy reacts to the strange happenings and characters he encounters on this misadventure. Does he eat from the mushroom? Does he drink tea with the Mad Hatter? Does he dance the Lobster-Quadrille? You must venture down the rabbit hole yourself to find out…
First off, I want to say I love this idea of blending Pride and Prejudice with another beloved story! Especially when that story is a diverting and whimsical classic! I am not surprised to discover that Alexa Adams did a marvelous job integrating these two stories together. I love how she gave us glimpses of the happy marriage and lively brood of children the Darcys have together. And I adored Mr. Darcy’s daughter, Alice, who wasn’t exactly the same as the Alice in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This Alice was much more mischievous and playful – and gave her opinion “very decidedly for so young a person” (watch out Lady C!) I especially loved seeing how many members of the Darcy family would indulge Alice’s imaginative games and flights of fancy. (It was so cute when Mr. Darcy did this!)
What I enjoyed most in this story was seeing Mr. Darcy in Wonderland – he was such a delightful blend of contradictions! Should he treat and respond to everything with logic or be fanciful? It seems Mr. Darcy’s natural propensities were at war in Wonderland. I loved seeing this Mr. Darcy torn between being rational and abandoning reason, between using his intellect and using imagination, and between displaying the manners of a proper gentleman and indulging in absurdities.
Other aspects I enjoyed about this story were the abundance of clever and witty dialogue and discovering all the nods to Jane Austen infused into this tale. Whether it be Bennet’s provoking remarks towards his sisters, Alice’s impudent opinions, or Lady Catherine’s tirades over Mrs. Bennet – the banter and quick exchanges in this story were continuously filled with delight and mirth. So many pithy and memorable quotes! In addition, I loved seeing some allusions to Jane Austen’s characters, her writing, and even her amber cross! If anything, I would have loved to have seen a few more Austen influences and references thrown into Wonderland! Since I am more a fan of Jane Austen than Lewis Carroll, this might be a biased opinion!
Delightfully absurd and cleverly crafted Darcy in Wonderland is an enchanting and amusing Pride and Prejudice sequel that allows the reader to escape reality and explore a beloved children’s classic with the illustrious master of Pemberley! A perfect choice for readers looking for something playful, charming, and witty!