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Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart: A Novel Paperback – February 1, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The follow up to Jane Austen Ruined My Life (2009) finds recently unemployed Claire Prescott heading to England to give a paper for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar. Not an Austen scholar by any means, Claire feels out of place at Oxford among the learned Austenites until she’s approached by elderly Harriet Dalrymple, who claims to be in possession of a partial manuscript of First Impressions, an early version of Pride and Prejudice. When she shows Claire the manuscript bit by bit, Claire is surprised to find a very different love story for Elizabeth Bennet unfolding on the page. Claire is questioning her own relationship with her stable but sports-obsessed boyfriend, Neil, while engaging in a serious flirtation with James, a handsome, inscrutable publisher. When Claire presents her sister’s paper and finds some startling parallels to her own life in it, she realizes she has some serious reevaluating to do. Readers who enjoyed Pattillo’s debut will find many similarities (and one familiar character) here, while Claire’s journey of self-discovery is undeniably enjoyable. --Kristine Huntley


“Smart chick lit that’s an absolute pleasure to read.” —BookPage

“Filled with whimsy and romantic literary fun... Pattillo’s novel is a rewarding read.”


“Fun for Anglophiles and Austenites alike.”

—Library Journal

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: GuidepostsBooks (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824947932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824947934
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Beth Pattillo's love for Jane Austen was born when she studied at the University of London, Westfield College, for one glorious semester. Her passion quickly became an obsession, necessitating regular trips to England over the past twenty years. When not dreaming of life 'across the pond,' Beth lives in Nashville with her husband and two children.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Debbie's World of Books on January 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved Pride and Prejudice and the previous book from Pattillo, Jane Austen Ruined My Life, has been on my radar for ages so I jumped at the chance to read this book. I felt like it had a lot of potential but it just needed to be more fully developed. When I first started reading I did not understand why Claire immediately fell for her classmate and felt like he was a potential love interest. Yes he was good looking but they didn't exchange more than a few words and already she's off in a tizzy about possibly falling for him. It seems really out of the blue.

She also has these revelations through out the book about her relationship with her boyfriend, Neil, and her baby sister whom she has spent most of her life looking after. However, we don't get to find out much about these relationships except for a tidbit here and there so it's hard to figure out if her revelations are true or just a result of her emotional turmoil at the time. Due to this lack of back story the ending came as a total surprise to me and I'm not sure how satisfied I am with it.

The part I enjoyed the most was as Claire gets to read from this lost manuscript from Austen's first draft of Pride and Prejudice. I loved the changes and it made you wonder what would have the book been like if this version were published. All in all I would have preferred this to be the focus of the book rather than the convoluted relationships in Claire's life.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tina on January 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
First of all, I have to say that I really thought this book had a beautiful cover!

Having said that, this is not my usual type of book. I prefer my books to be alot more chick lit type, but I found the theme interesting and I like the whole concept of perhaps "finding the right guy" when you least expect it - especially if you are reading Jane Austen at the time you meet him.

This contemporay fiction novel features a very likeable main character in Claire Prescott. She finds herself having to go to a Jane Austen seminar in England and frankly, she would prefer not to be there.

As it usually the case (at least in books) as soon as you are somewhere you don't want to be, something major happens - and in this case, two "something major" happens. She meets her potential "Mr. Darcy" and she ends up with the original of Pride of Prejudice.

While I enjoy romance as much as the next person, I have to say that what gripped me was the whole original manuscript theme. As a booklover, I have spent many a moments daydreaming about what it would be like to discover an unpublished work from a deceased author or even what it would feel like to have the original document they actually held in their own hands!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that the author mixes a bit of everything in her storyline. Love, humour and alot of unanswered questions.

This was a good read, even if it wasn't chick lit :)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CoffeeGurl HALL OF FAME on August 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Claire travels to England for a Jane Austen seminar. She goes in place of her sister, who is a big Austen fan, especially of Mr. Darcy and Pride and Prejudice. What is it about Mr. Darcy that is so appealing to women? Claire doesn't get it. He's nothing but a big snob to her. That is until she meets James, a handsome but standoffish New York publisher. She is drawn to him, but deep down feels she is not good enough for him. She has spent her whole life looking after her sister, sacrificing her own wishes, and is in a stale relationship with her boyfriend Neil. In the academic world of Oxford, she can be anything she wants to be, so she pretends to be a doctor. But when she meets Harriet Dalrymple, an eccentric elderly woman who claims to have in her possession the first drafts of Austen's Pride and Prejudice (back then titled First Impressions), a journey of self-discovery begins.

The storyline had a lot of potential. The plot seemed interesting, which is why I picked up this book. However, it turned out to be nothing more than an outline. The plot is so thin you can barely see it. We get no background on the characters -- we're simply told that Claire's relationships with her sister and boyfriend aren't very stable. James seems appealing, but very underdeveloped. And so is Neil. The novel reaches a stage in which we're supposed to guess which one of the two men she would choose. At first, I leaned toward James, but then I simply didn't care. How could I when I hardly knew either of them? Neil doesn't show up until about 3/4 of the book. Before that, he is nothing more than some guy who ignores Claire, then suddenly he's this great boyfriend. Whatever. There is no conflict, no tension. You can't get emotionally invested on characters you hardly know.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Library Girl Reads VINE VOICE on January 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is a short novel but not entirely light reading. Claire faces some hard truths about her own life while caught in an unexpected romance and a bit of a mystery. The mystery bit of the novel captured most of my attention, although I'm not sure it is supposed to be the focus. Are the pages Claire is given to read really a lost first draft of Jane Austen's novel?

I found the novel to be a bit choppy, with transitions between story lines taking large jumps. While this mirrors the way Claire reads the Austen manuscript, it was frustrating because it made it hard to follow Claire's thought process through the novel. So much of what we learn of Claire comes from her realizations about her past but since the reader has seen nothing of that past there is no way to know if Claire's interpretations of events are clear. All of the characters could have used additional development as they seemed flat.

Although, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart did make me want to pull out my copy of Pride and Prejudice to see how the stories compare, the novel just didn't work for me on some levels.
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