Skip to main content

Dear Mr. Darcy by Amanda Grange

I discovered the book Dear Mr. Darcy by Amanda Grange through a patron request (it's one of the pitfalls of working in a library... you see all these interesting books come through and you have to read them).  The author has several books written from the perspective of Jane Austen characters.  This book was readable, but there was something missing.  You know how some books just hit a point and all of a sudden they just suck you in and all you want to do is read and breathe that book until it's over?  Well, this book didn't really do that, and I was disappointed..

The novel is set up as a series of letters written between several characters from Pride and Prejudice, such as Mr. Darcy, a couple of his cousins and aunts, Mr. Bingley and his family, the Bennetts and their aunt Gardiner and (unfortunately) Mr. Wickham (UGH.  Can't stand him.) and his opportunist friends, but we won't talk about the latter two.  Let's forget I even mentioned the 'W' name.

The story begins in 1795, a couple of years prior to the main events of Pride and Prejudice, and so we meet Mr. Darcy just as his father dies and the responsibility for upkeep of the estate and raising his sister, Georgiana, falls to Darcy.  The story continues through the years, elaborating on events occurring prior to Austen's novel and the events of Pride and Prejudice.  This novel also continues a few pages beyond the marriage of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy and hints at the futures of the two remaining Bennet sisters, Mary and Kitty.

Unfortunately the example of this book does not recommend Grange's others.  I was really looking forward to reading this book, but ultimately it didn't live up to my expectations.  Maybe my expectations were too high?  The author's writing is not the strongest, and I couldn't overcome my suspicion that while the author tried her best to hew as close as possible to the language and customs of the time period, in the end there were anachronisms that still slipped through that served to take me out of the story.  There were many letters that skipped greetings altogether, there were some letters in which one character used the word "coz" for "cousin," which really didn't ring true to the time period, and then there was the glaring impropriety of the content of many of the letters in which more than one character details a refused proposal.  This was probably the part that grated most on my nerves--the fact that it seemed almost everyone knew everyone else's business regarding offers of marriage, such as who had one and from whom, even those offers that were refused, especially those that were refused, wouldn't have been aired about as they were in this story.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…