Oct 092017
 

What If, One Year Later, Mr. Darcy Had Moved On?

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Source: Review Copy from Author

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation

TIME FRAME: July 1813 (around one after Elizabeth’s visit to the Peak District)

MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth and Jane Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Georgiana Darcy, Mr. Bingley, Olivia and Viola Bingley, Colonel Fiztwilliam

SYNOPSIS: What if, instead of returning home to Pemberley and running into Elizabeth and the Gardiners at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy traveled to the continent for a year with Georgiana? And if Mr. Darcy doesn’t encounter Elizabeth at Pemberley, that means he doesn’t find out about Wickham’s flight with Lydia and come to the rescue… What becomes of the Bennets when their family name is disgraced and more than tragedy takes place within the year?

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Unique Premise: Such inventive and creative premise! Missing the significant encounter at Pemberely produces quite a different chain of events – Lydia is not saved, the Bennet family is ostracized, Mr. Bingley never returns for Jane, and several others events are triggered by this alteration. It is interesting to see what happens when these changes take place and the effect they have on the Bennet family. And what happens when their paths cross with Mr. Darcy who does not know about any of their past year’s troubles. It is such a unique situation for a Pride and Prejudice variation and it was so much fun to explore this thoughtful and plausible divergent path.
  • Moved On and Hopeless: Here we see what happens when Mr. Darcy believes his affections and wishes for Elizabeth are in the past and that he has moved on… He even has a lady in mind that he believes will suit as a wife and has made some steps towards courting her. In addition, Elizabeth is seeing a different side of Mr. Darcy and it is quite hard for her to admit that she no longer despises him, but in all actuality likes him against her will. She strives to protect her heart because she knows that her situation in life is such that it is even more of a degradation for Mr. Darcy to marry her than it was before. I love seeing Darcy and Elizabeth at such cross purposes…it isn’t simple misunderstandings or pride, they truly are in an awkward and delicate situation where they believe the other has moved on or that such a possibility is hopeless.
  • Original Characters: I adore Ms. Grafton’s original creations in the Bingley twins! They are fourteen year old mischief-makers that love romance, ghost stories, and pranks! Their liveliness was infectious – I loved how much merriment they brought to this tale. It is quite funny to think that they are related to Caroline and Louisa, and to see Mr. Bingley – who is usually caught under his sisters’ thumb – in the position of trying to maintain and discipline such boisterous younger sisters! In addition, I also enjoyed the Latimer family and their drama, Alice, the Bennet’s, fussy housekeeper, and Mr. Wentworth, the kind vicar in Kympton with an interest in one of the Bennet daughters…
  • Leisurely Paced: I loved seeing the Bennets live somewhere else other than Longbourn, and I loved bearing witness to all their daily encounters and interactions with the neighborhood. Especially with Mr. Darcy! There is so much that happens in just a few days – so many significant meetings and surprising exchanges… I love how Cassandra Grafton builds her story with small, everyday experiences. To see it all gradually develop firsthand really immerses the reader into the story.
  • Mysteries and Secrets: The feeling of someone lurking in the woods, Mr. Bennet’s questionable business in a nearby town, petty thefts around Pemberley – some strange and unsettling things are happening! I always love when there is a bit of intrigue involved!

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

*scoffs* not a thing!

CONCLUSION:

A Quest for Mr. Darcy is a truly enchanting and imaginative variation that brings readers on the most delightful sojourn to Derbyshire. I can’t decide what I loved more – the tender and achingly beautiful romance, the tension-building drama and mystery, or the many heartwarming relationships formed throughout! I highly recommend!

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  18 Responses to “A Quest for Mr. Darcy – Cassandra Grafton”

  1.  

    Definitely another book to my TBR pile LOL!. I find really interesting when you say that the story shows the daily encounters between the Bennets and the neighborhood. And I smile when thinking in Mr Bingley trying to bring up the twins 😉
    Thanks for your review…the last part, the mystery, has caught my eye.

    •  

      Yes, good choice, Teresa! I loved the daily life in Derbyshire, I’ happily go live in that neighborhood! The twins are fantastic and Mr. Bingley definitely has his hands full! Hope you get the chance to read it soon!

  2.  

    I loved this book and will enjoy reading it again. Loved the interaction between the characters and Bingley’s young sisters added such a special touch. Thanks for featuring Cass and her new book.

  3.  

    Great review! I can’t wait to read this one!

  4.  

    I loved this novel and enjoyed reading it chapter by chapter as Cass published it on her blog. Reading the next chapter was a highlight of my mornings!!

    Thank you for your lovely review, Meredith!!

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    •  

      That’s lovely! I don’t know if I could do chapter by chapter – I’m too impatient! And I have very little willpower, so when I want to keep reading I forget all that I’m supposed to do and keep reading! 😉 LOL!
      That’s great that it was the highlight of your morning!

  5.  

    Love your review… I can’t wait to read this. It sounds most excellent. I love a good variation.

  6.  

    Wonderful review that really captures the essence of this book! I absolutely loved it myself…the delicious details, all the interactions between Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane, the Colonel etc. Fabulous!

  7.  

    Meredith! I love, love, love your review! Thank you for such a fabulous ‘capture’ of the essence of the story without giving away any of the mystery. It makes my heart smile to know you enjoyed it so much ❤️

    •  

      Thank you, Cassandra, for checking out my review and for writing such a wonderful story! I knew I would love it! I was surprised by all the mysteries, it was such fun! Definitely didn’t want to spoil any of the surprises in my review! 😉

  8.  

    Sounds fascinating. No pemberley encounter. one of my favorite parts but I’d love to see he changes.

  9.  

    Fantastic review of a fantastic book, Meredith. I was one of Cass’s many followers when she started posting a year ago today – has it really been a whole year? Then I got to read the edited version in beta form earlier this year. Now I have “The Beast” sitting on my bookshelf in all its weighty glory and it even came with me on my own quest in Hampshire six weeks ago.

    Like many others, I loved the twins and all of their antics, but won’t say more ‘cos – spoilers! The second proposal scene (not a spoiler, because everyone knows there’s going to be one, right?) is one of those “melting into a puddle” moments when you read it. Despite its length, it simply doesn’t read like a long book at all.

    Definitely one for everyone’s TBR list.

    •  

      Thank you, Anji! I do so appreciate you reading it and sharing your thoughts! And I love that you brought this book along in your travels! What a fun thing to do!

      You are so right about the length. I honestly do feel like it is too long, because even though it is slow paced, there are so many interesting things taking place! I agree with you completely about the second proposal, *swoon*!

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