Rating: 4.5 out 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice was originally published as Pemberley by the Sea (a more fitting and becoming title, in my humble opinion) in 2008. This is a reissue of that same book in a Mass Market Paperback Edition but with a different title, no changes were made to story. Its now being available at a lower price and in a smaller size makes it perfect if you are looking for a book to take with you on the beach or to the pool this summer!
If you have read any of Abigail Reynold’s Pemberley Variations you are aware that she is a very talented and creative author that has a great understanding and love for Pride and Prejudice and Jane Austen. Her variations display her wonderful story-telling skills and her penchant for implementing a lot of angst and emotional development in her plots. If you haven’t read a novel by Abigail Reynolds I would advise being prepared for romantic love-scenes between the characters and recommend this book for mature eyes only.
In The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice Abigail Reynolds leaves the Regency Era behind and brings her favorite couple to the twenty-first century where Elizabeth (Cassie) is a marine biologist and Darcy (Calder) comes from an illustrious yet dysfunctional politician family. Cassie Boulton is as admirable and intelligent a heroine as Elizabeth Bennet. Growing up in an impoverished and uneducated family has molded Cassie into a tough, independent, and stubborn woman who can take care of herself without the help of others. Calder Westing grew up in a family where having a good public image and earning votes was more important than familial happiness. This silent and brooding Mr. Darcy has a few hidden secrets though, and proves that first impressions aren’t always accurate.
The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice is a wonderfully entertaining and sensual modern adaption of Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed looking for the parallels between this book and Pride and Prejudice, I wish there were more of them! Furthermore, “Darcy’s Letter” was uniquely and satisfyingly depicted and one of my favorite parts of the book. In addition, Ms. Reynolds includes such vivid and detailed accounts of the scenery and marine life that the reader learns a lot about marine biology and the coastal marshlands without it seeming like a science class. Abigail Reynolds’s setting of Woods Hole, Massachusetts is full of small-town charm and appeal. How I would love to visit there some day!
However, I have to confess to liking the first half of the book more than the second half though. I feel this is because there were perhaps too many obstacles for Cassie and Calder to overcome in the second half. Yes, “the course of true love never did run smooth,” but what Cassie and Calder went through seemed to incur too much drama and made their relationship feel a little hectic and problematic. The second half the of the book included a lot about Calder’s domineering, manipulative father and his passive, repressed mother. While I thought these two characters excellently drawn and their story interesting, I felt it would have been better in a sequel or book of its own.
Overall, The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice is an excellent modern adaption of a Jane Austen novel and remains one of my favorites! Great work, Ms. Reynolds, I look forward to reading more of your novels as you seem to understand Elizabeth and Darcy intimately and pen such beautiful stories about them! It is my dear wish that you take us back to Woods Hole again one day!