Author: Pamela Aidan
Genre(s): romance, some historical fiction
Part of a Series: Yes, first book
Why I read it: Because I am an Austenite
Summary: Ever read Pride and Prejudice and wondered what Mr. Darcy was thinking? Pamela Aidan provides her take on literature’s most enduring leading man. This book deals with Darcy arriving with Bingley at Netherfield and meeting Elizabeth Bennett. He grows fonder of her but still has his own prejudices to overcome.
Review: I love Pride and Prejudice. And I love Mr. Darcy. So this was a great series for me to read.
Pride and Prejudice is told from Elizabeth’s point of view. So an important arc is not seen by the readers—how Darcy stops being so arrogant. Aidan fills in the blanks. And she does it well. Her writing style evokes Austen with every stroke.
Aidan captures Darcy well but adds more layers to him. The reader understands why Darcy is the way he is at the start of the book. He is more a product of society than upbringing. His parents taught him the values which ended up winning Elizabeth over but societal norms have pushed it deep down inside him.
But there are still sweet scenes which show his growing attraction to Elizabeth. One that stays with me is in Bingley’s library during Jane’s illness. Both Darcy and Elizabeth spend an afternoon reading. When she returns her book to the shelf, Darcy retrieves it after she leaves the room. Elizabeth has left a bookmark made of strings in it and he takes it. The bookmark plays a recurring role in the series, always a nice callback.
Bottom line: A must read for any Austenite!
Is there a story which you would like to read from another character’s point of view?