Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Variation
TIME FRAME: Begins just after the Netherfield Ball
MAIN CHARACTERS: Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Mr. Collins, Charles Bingley, and Mrs. Bennet
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS NOVEL:
- Had it on my wishlist for years!
- The premise is inspired by Pride and Prejudice and You’ve Got Mail!?! Need I say more?
WHAT I LOVED:
- In Love with the Premise: You’ve Got Mail is one of my most favorite rom-coms and part of that is because it is a modern-day Pride and Prejudice style romance. I loved that the premise of this story was inspired by that movie. (which was inspired by The Shop Around the Corner.) Darcy in an attempt to control his growing feelings for Elizabeth writes himself a stern note and accidentally misplaces it while browsing a bookshop in Meryton. Who should find the anonymous note, but Elizabeth Bennet who cannot resist writing this mysterious man a teasing reply.
- A Sweet Developing Romance: It was lovely to see how both Darcy and Elizabeth grew fond of their mysterious correspondent, thought very highly of their correspondent’s character, and both learned at different times the surprising identity of their correspondent. I greatly enjoyed seeing in detail Darcy’s growth and attempt at addressing his flaws. As well as observing how Elizabeth’s perception of Darcy evolved and she gained more understanding of his character. Their time spent together in Essex was beautiful to witness and I greatly enjoyed the new atmosphere and what new situations it produced.
- Mr. Bennet and Mr. Bingley: Yes! This is a big one! I loved how these two characters were portrayed in this variation! After the Netherfield Ball, Mr. Bingley isn’t so easily persuaded by his sisters to leave and makes Jane an offer almost right away. He also steps into the role of protective brother quite readily when he sees how tenacious Mr. Collins is towards Elizabeth. Go Bingley! I also loved how Mr. Bennet was aware of Lizzy’s mysterious and unconventional correspondence, how he pieced it together before she did, and how he indulged in loads of teasing. But my favorite moment was his set down to Mr. Collins (had me laughing and cheering for a full two minutes!) Well done, Mr. Bennet!
- Bonus Material!: What a pleasant surprise it was to find nine lovely little alternate scenes at the end of this tale, kind of like finding some deleted or extended scenes on the special features menu of a DVD! I loved that the author did something a little extra for the readers. What a clever and inventive idea! The little vignettes and alternate scenes were entertaining and delightful!
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Some Small Quibbles: Nothing that deterred my enjoyment too much, but at some instances the credibility of this premise crossed my mind. How did other storekeepers and patrons in Meryton not notice these two paying almost daily visits to the bookshop? How did rumors not circulate about Elizabeth’s reputation? Surely Mrs. Long and Mrs. Phillips would pass on such queer and speculative tittle tattle. I guess Mr. Bennet’s commissions for Lizzy provided the legitimacy needed, but that only started several weeks in. (There was plenty of time for rumors to begin before that.)
It is always a happy occasion when something you were anticipating for a long time proves to be just as wonderful as expected! I simply adored this charming variation, definitely a fan of the mash-up! To borrow from Kathleen Kelly (You’ve Got Mail) who has confessed to reading Pride and Prejudice two hundred times – “Read it. I know you’ll love it!”