Sunday, January 16, 2011
Review: A PERFECT BRIDE FOR MR. DARCY by Mary Lydon Simonsen
We read Price and Prejudice and sigh in happiness at this enduring tale of a romance that was always fated to be.
Or was it?
No seemingly random events drive the action in A Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, Mary Lydon Simonsen's retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Everything is arranged by none other than that unlikeliest of characters, the little-seen Anne De Bourgh.
Anne may be sickly, but her frail body houses a rapier-sharp mind. The story begins as Darcy confesses to Anne his monumentally bungled marriage proposal to Elizabeth. With the skill of a master strategist, Anne, along with some help from Darcy's sister, Georgiana, orchestrates the events that at last being them together.
In A Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, Ms. Simonsen writes Pride and Prejudice as Jane Austen would have if she were alive today. She fleshes out the supporting characters, giving their motivations in their own words, as well as providing rationales for some of the coincidences in the original. Did the whim of the gods bring Darcy and Elizabeth together at Pemberley? Nothing of the sort. Anne directs the action, never leaving us in doubt that our characters find their happy endings not because of the mercy of the universe, but because of her deliberate, watchful care.
With a fast-reading, engaging style, along with a touch of humor--Darcy is so excited about Elizabeth that he must now wear trousers instead of breeches--A Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy brings a new and enjoyable immediacy to Jane Austen's most popular novel.
Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks.