Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: A couple of days after Jane’s and Elizabeth’s stay at Netherfield
MAIN CHARACTERS: Elizabeth Bennet, Mr. Darcy, Jane Bennet, Mr. Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and all the usual suspects…
THE SYNOPSIS: Mr. Darcy is thrown from his horse by a near-collision with Elizabeth’s errant cat, Cassandra, and breaks his leg. Unable to be transported, Mr. Darcy must spend the next 4-6 weeks convalescing in Longbourn’s parlor. What will the Bennet’s do with such an august and unpleasant guest under their roof?
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Mad-Cap Romp: The first couple chapters of this story are pure comedic genius! Such a hullabaloo! First Darcy is injured, then the Bingleys arrive for dinner and Caroline faints from the sight of blood. Darcy is given brandy and then later laudanum for the pain, and some interesting things happen as a result… Then not more than forty-eight hours later the Bennet household is besieged by Darcy’s concerned relatives, including Mr. Collins’s very esteemed patroness…Lady Catherine de Bourgh! Oh! The havoc! The humor! Very Heyer-like!
- Staying Close to Home: Lately I’ve been loving it when the bulk of the story takes place at Longbourn. I love seeing the bustling and boisterous Bennets about their business! It was a refreshing change to not travel into Kent, London, or Derbyshire and spend some quality time with all the Bennets in Hertfordshire! (I’m such a home-body, even with literature!)
- The Improving of the Bennets: Not only do I love spending more time with the Bennets, I love seeing them lose some of their foibles and flaws! Mr. Darcy and his relations seem to be a good influence on the Bennets. I especially loved witnessing how each sister had their own special relationship with Darcy and how he was able to form a connection with each one (even Lydia!) I also enjoyed seeing the development and improvement of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet.
- Mr. Darcy: I loved Mr. Caldwell’s characterization of Mr. Darcy. It was interesting to see Mr. Darcy as an invalid – immobile and needing attending to. He is so honorable and responsible, such a contrast from the other male characters in this story! I enjoyed seeing him put Mr. Collins in his place (reminded me of the “Drop. Your. Sword.” scene with Westley from The Princess Bride. *swoon*), show concern and care to all the inhabitants of Longbourn, and defend his actions to the quick-to-judge and prejudiced Mr. Bennet and Elizabeth!
- The Epilogue: So clever! Don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just say that a very interesting alliance is formed which left me laughing at how perfect fate can be sometimes!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Not Enough Darcy and Lizzy: I would have loved to have seen more of Darcy and Elizabeth together. Especially near the end, which seemed to progress at a much faster pace. I was disappointed that we didn’t get to witness a proposal scene, declaration, or wedding between Darcy and Elizabeth. I would have loved to see more of Darcy and Lizzy’s courtship and private discourse, and maybe even a stolen kiss or two! (Sorry, the romantic in me just wasn’t fully satisfied!)
Playful, witty, and full of satire – Mr. Darcy Came to Dinner is excellent choice for readers looking for some light-hearted and clever fun! As always, I greatly enjoyed and appreciated Jack Caldwell’s prose, creativity, and humor and found much to love and admire in this story. (Even though it is nearly devoid of soldiers and cowboys!) 😉