Darcy’s Story – Janet Aylmer – 8/10

“His feelings of anxiety as he slipped out of the house that afternoon were not based on any apprehensions that his application to Miss Bennet might be rejected.”

This is exactly what it says on the tin – Darcy’s perspective during the timeline of Pride & Prejudice. Despite my misgivings about fan fiction on Monday, and my apathetic remarks about P. D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley on Tuesday, I am forced to recant – I really enjoyed this. Aylmer does very well to keep an Austen-like tone while telling a different story, and she has clearly done painstaking work to make her novel fit with the original seamlessly.

Aylmer makes a valid point – it is hard to see how Darcy turns from the proud, “she is tolerable, I suppose” prig at the Meryton assembly to the man who bribes Wickham to marry Lydia in order to save the Bennet family name, and then marries Lizzy – independent, headstrong Lizzy, who will marry for both love and money, and nothing less. By following Darcy for a much longer period of time (although this novel is not overly long, at 224 pages), we get a much fuller picture of his character – headstrong, independent, very fixed in his own convictions (of course the proposal scene is quite amusing).

I wanted to loathe this book. I wanted it to be poor writing, overly romantic (it was a little), poor characterisation, but I can’t lay any of those charges at its door. I was engrossed and read it straight through (admittedly while on a train without internet…).

Somehow it feels like a travesty to give an author I’ve never heard of before more points out of 10 than P. D. James, but that is what I’m going to do. This is my blog and I make the rules.

(TRC also read this and for once we agree. It’s not a literary masterpiece, but it achieves exactly what it sets out to do.)

And now I am DESPERATE to re-watch the BBC 1995 Pride & Prejudice. Ghastly Mrs. Bennet and all.

Read for Advent with Austen.

 Additional info:
This was a present for my birthday.
Publisher: Copperfield Books, 224 pages (paperback)
Order Darcy’s Story from Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards giveaways.
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7 thoughts on “Darcy’s Story – Janet Aylmer – 8/10

  1. Anna (Diary of an Eccentric) 21 December 2011 at 5:35 pm Reply

    Glad to see you enjoyed this one! I found it at a used book store recently and can’t wait to read it.

  2. Iris 21 December 2011 at 5:59 pm Reply

    I remember enjoying this one, but not being blown away by it like I was when I first read P&P (I read it right at the time when my Pride and Prejudice obsession was at its height, so basically nothing was good enough compared to it). I wonder how I’ll like it if I go back to it now, knowing what to expect from follow-ups/rewrites in general.

  3. Alex 22 December 2011 at 7:04 pm Reply

    This is considered by a lot of people are the best Austen spin-off, and this confirms it. So, who told him about Lady Catherine and Lizzy’s conversation?

  4. […] books (Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen Made Me Do It, Death Comes to Pemberley and Darcy’s Story) plus 2 movies (Sense & Sensibility and Clueless – come on, Clueless definitely counts as […]

  5. janetaylmer 26 January 2015 at 6:45 am Reply

    Thanks to everyone for these comments.

    Please see my updated web site at http://www.janetaylmer.com

    for news of all my books, and particularly about the Illustrated edition which has been out of print since 2006 (currently only available “new” at high prices in the UK).

    Best wishes

    Janet

  6. […] since, I have got into some of the Austen fan-writing (Lizzy and Jane, Death Comes To Pemberley, Darcy’s Story, Jane Austen Made Me Do It), but none of it has really stuck with […]

    • Janet Aylmer 29 July 2015 at 6:17 am Reply

      I hope that you would enjoy my new Regency novel “Sophie’s Salvation” published earlier this year. It is certainly my own favourite of the books that I have written.

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