Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Sequel, Minor Character
TIME FRAME: Around 4 years after the close of Pride and Prejudice
Lady Catherine, who lost her daughter Anne to consumption several years ago, has decided (now that she is out of deep mourning) to rejoin society and take part of the London Season. She has also decided that Georgiana should come with her and be launched into society because “no female in [her] family has married past their twenty-first year.” And since Elizabeth is in the midst of a difficult second pregnancy, Georgiana is sent off to London to make her curtsey and achieve a splendid match. But Georgiana’s feelings about love and marriage are conflicted. Her heart was touched by Wickham and she still cherishes the remembrance of him. Can she find love again? And should she just do her duty and accept any suitor Lady Catherine approves of or should she follow her heart instead?
WHAT I LOVED:
- The Intriguing Premise: I’ve read several stories that focus on Georgiana post-P&P, but this is the first time I’ve seen her paired with (aka at the mercy of) Lady Catherine! Poor Georgiana, indeed! Especially since Lady Catherine is her usual domineering and insensitive self! I loved seeing how Georgiana coped with all the rigors of society and her feelings of love/attraction without her usual confidant, Elizabeth, and supportive brother near by.
- Thoughtful Inclusions: I love when characters from different books encounter each other! How fun! There were several characters from Persuasion and one from Mansfield Park in this story. It makes perfect sense that Lady Catherine would be chummy with Lady Darymple and Sir Walter Elliot, and I loved that Georgiana was drawn to Mrs. Anne Wentworth and Captain William Price. I feel William Price is a character poised for his own tale, and I really enjoyed how Ms. Shearer fleshed out his story and character. William Price is definitely hero material!
- The Lydia Wickham Component: In this story we see how awkward and unhappy Georgiana feels around Lydia Wickham – the woman who she believes won the heart of her very own first love. She is intimidated and insecure by Lydia and cannot help but compare her timidity and lack of courage to Lydia’s boldness and confidence. This felt something new to explore. In most scenarios I’ve read Georgiana isn’t much affected when she encounters Lydia Wickham. But in this story, since Georgiana feels herself to still be in love with Wickham, she is very much tortured by Lydia Wickham.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Some Parts Improbable or Incongruous: There were just some aspects of the story that didn’t seem to agree with what we know of these characters – like Mr. Darcy allowing a doctor who to continuously bleed Mrs. Darcy, the Wickhams and Collinses being able to afford trips to London and attending Lady Darymple’s ball, Lady Catherine inviting the Gardiners and Misses Bennet to her elegant dinner party. In addition, I think spotted an error or two, such as Sir Walter Elliot being addressed as Lord Elliot.
- A New Side of Colonel Fitzwilliam: I’m not one to take arms against authors who alter some aspects of a character’s personality or story. I enjoy some thoughtful and creative tweaks and changes! But I guess the changes we see in Colonel Fitzwilliam didn’t sit too well with me in this occasion. Perhaps it might be because we found out much later what was driving his alteration.
Miss Darcy’s Beaux is an intriguing and delightful sequel that beautifully shows how a timid and quiet character can still be resilient and brave! Readers who enjoy stories about Georgiana Darcy and other about secondary characters will find much to enjoy in this tale! I look forward to seeing which characters Ms. Shearer writes about next!