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Mr. Darcy's Fault: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary Novella Paperback – April 17, 2015
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About the Author
Regina Jeffers is an award-winning author of cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, and Regency era romances. A teacher for thirty-nine years, Jeffers often serves as a consultant for Language Arts and Media Literacy programs. With multiple degrees, Regina has been a Time Warner Star Teacher, Columbus (OH) Teacher of the Year, and a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar. With 5 new releases coming out in 2015, Jeffers is considered one of publishing’s most prolific authors. Come check out some of her novels: Darcy’s Passions, Captain Frederick Wentworth’s Persuasion, The Mysterious Death of Mr. Darcy, A Touch of Grace, A Touch of Honor, and The First Wives’ Club.
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The remainder of this review/critique will focus on the last fourth of the book, which is the section I found to be unbelievable in terms of plot or storyline.
Wickham does not elope with Lydia, but rather is able to convince Lizzy to leave with him. There is convoluted reasoning on Lizzy's behalf as to why she would be "willing" to leave with Wickham (ostensibly it is too save Georgianna and Darcy from blackmail) but there were other ways to handle this situation. Lizzy and Darcy do get together, however the series of scenes at the end involving Lizzy and Wickham do not transition well. The last time we see Lizzy and Wickham together, she is escaping from him near Lambton. A few sentences later we find out that she is sleeping at Pemberley and Wickham is in the stables. How did she get there? Darcy arrives as he has been "hot on the trail" trying to follow Wickham and Lizzy's journey from London.
Despite these qualms, I did enjoy the story
At only 192 pages this was not a long read. But it is one of the author's better novellas in my opinion.
We begin this variation in Kent where Darcy had proposed as in canon. Darcy writes his letter and delivers it to Elizabeth in the morning. She continues to harbor anger and resentment but accepts it from him and reads a phrase here and a line there as she is walking...without paying much attention to where she is or her surroundings. Meanwhile Darcy, as he walks away, sees Wickham and does not know what to think about that. Does he have an arrangement to meet Elizabeth? Or does he have some other reason to be there? And then Darcy hears the baying and barking of dogs. His first impulse is to continue to Rosings but he decides to investigate and takes out his pistol.
What he finds is completely unexpected. Elizabeth has stepped into an animal snare and can't free herself. Now comes the compromise. In freeing her Darcy must put his hands on her leg and must tear her dress as it is caught in the trap in such a way that she can't position herself to lift her leg out if/when Darcy opens the trap. He also takes off her cloak so as to allow more freedom to open the trap’s teeth. And then she blacks out and he must carry her to Rosings.
Darcy is more than happy to accept the need to marry Elizabeth and furthers his position when he sits in her bedroom. When Elizabeth awakens she is not so ready to accept the need to marry so she bargains with him: four weeks to get to know each other and then three weeks to post the banns. But she may decide they will not fit. Lady Catherine and, thus, Mr. Collins will not allow the presence of a disgraced woman under their roofs so Darcy has her transported to the Gardiners in London by Richard while he goes to Longbourn to petition Mr. Bennet for his consent to marry Elizabeth.
Much of this tale is concerning Darcy's courting of Elizabeth and one of the first requirements is that he reveal to Bingley his interference in that man’s relationship with Jane.
But meanwhile, back up just a little. Darcy had to take off both his and Elizabeth's cloaks when he was rescuing her and he also laid down his gun plus Elizabeth tells him that the letter dropped from her hands. But when the Colonel goes to look for those items the next morning the only item there is Elizabeth's cloak. A search within a 10-mile radius of Rosings does not turn up the gun or his cloak and where is the letter? The letter could damn Georgiana's future if it falls into the wrong hands. If you will take note Elizabeth never did get to read the entire letter. This lost letter, you must know, turns up later in our story; as does our usual villain. “If only she has told him and if only he had told her.” Trying to shield the other or misinterpreting actions seen in the distance makes for a climatic chase.
But it does all work out in the end and we read as Elizabeth finally tells Darcy what he has been yearning to hear all this time.
So much happens throughout the book. Elizabeth's initial injury is exacerbated when it becomes infected. She recovers, gets to know and become close to Darcy, and just when they come to an understanding, she gets kidnapped and hurt again. You want ODC to come to an accord but you'll love the twists and turns their journey takes to get them there.
I did take one star for the editorial faux pas. The English couch like furniture is called a settee not a settle. Elizabeth should always have her own hand with no need to take it. But all in all, a very nice read.
Enters at Hunsford when Elizabeth received the letter from Darcy. Engrossed in the letter, her foot got caught in a trap. Unable to extract herself she drifted into unconsciousness.
Darcy, who had previously spotted a familiar figure in the woods, was alerted of the accident by dogs and came to Elizabeth's rescue. Carrying her to Rosings left her utterly compromised but the lady had little inclination to accept her fate.
The disappearance of Darcy coat, pistol and the compromising letter from the site of the accident leads to more trouble as Darcy does everything in his power to change Elizabeth's opinion of him.
There are so many wonderful moments throughout this brilliant novella. I was absolutely thrilled to read a very original account of the time Darcy & Elizabeth have together.
Wickham made me hold my breath in anticipation of what havoc he would wreak.
I adore the second proposal. It will rank as one of my favourites.A Highly recommended read!