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Mr. Darcy's Refuge: A Pride & Prejudice Variation Kindle Edition
|Length: 241 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Though there are passages pulled from P&P, Reynolds doesn't just drop them into her story as authors often do, as if they feel compelled to pay homage to Austen's language without fully understanding how to weave them into their own works. This book doesn't just talk about what the characters are and feel (as some modern versions do)--it demonstrates all that--so the characters have more depth and earned more of my sympathy.
I do wish, though, that there was a little more to the ending...a few paragraphs mentioning the family they have. We all know that Darcy and Elizabeth will go on to have a wonderful life with wonderful children and do wonderful things, but I would have liked Reynolds to say that a little more than she did. Still, the conclusion wasn't really abrupt and clearly didn't prevent me from giving five stars. Certainly in comparison to some other modern P&Ps, this one deserves the ranking.
Darcy disappears for a good while partway through the book, and since so many have claimed that as a flaw in P & P itself, why would the author use the same device here??? We need to see Lizzy and Darcy together most of the way, if not all the way, through!
Mr. Bennett acting like an arse because he doesn't want Lizzy to marry Darcy because of Darcy's uncle, who appears in the last third of the book?? For real? We can't come up with a better, less convoluted plot device than that? I found this totally unbelievable, even though the back story was well done (Bennett and Matlock knew each other in school....yada yada). I could not see Mr. Bennett behaving so uncharacteristically. And it was VERY uncharacteristic.
Continuing along the uncharacteristic vein...what was up with Colonel Fitzwilliam proposing to Lizzy, presumably to spite Darcy (sort of)? This particular turn was also mystifying to me. We know he needs to marry up, right? So why propose to Lizzy, no matter how honorable, or even in like with her as he may have been? I felt like there was some character development trying to happen there, but it didn't for me. And then he ends up with Jane? Wha...wha...what??? Just crazy.
Plus, maybe this is just me being really dense, and not reading carefully because I'm trying to escape other thoughts, but did I miss where Lizzy fell in love with Darcy???? I knew why they needed to marry, and could see she was starting to sort of develop feelings for him, but I really could not pinpoint a moment where she was like "I love him" except after her father drags her off, which then makes it seem more like teenage rebellion versus actually love and care on her part for him.
Overall, I've really enjoyed SOME of Reynold's previous P & P Variations - Mr. Darcy's Noble Connections is a good one, as is The Last Man in the World. But Mr. Darcy's Refuge will have to go into my "not to read again" pile, along with By Force of Instinct.