Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: A WIFE FOR MR. DARCY by Mary Lydon Simonsen

A gentleman never insults a lady. But Mr. Darcy does precisely that when he says Elizabeth Bennet isn't handsome enough to dance with at the Meryton assembly. And so begins Mary Lydon Simonsen's A Wife for Mr. Darcy, wherein Darcy's apology sets off a story about the conflict between duty and desire.

Although Elizabeth shrugged off the slight, she boldly calls him to task for his behavior. In Darcy's experience, ladies are retiring, colorless little sheep, always bowing down to men. But not Miss Elizabeth Bennet. And he likes it. So much so, that he falls in love with her.

But there are stumbling blocks. Besides Elizabeth's obvious social inferiority, Darcy has already taken the first steps towards seeking another lady's hand--one of the aforementioned sheep. He cannot, in honor, back away. What to do?

Never underestimate the power of friends, as Georgiana, Col. Fitzwilliam, Anne De Bough and even Col. Fitzwilliam's brother, the earl, unite to save Darcy from making the most colossal mistake of his life.

Rich with the social realities of the era, A Wife for Mr. Darcy is also a cautionary tale of the pitfalls involved in blindly following society's dictates. Duty and position in the world loomed large in Darcy's day, with serious penalties for not conforming to expectations. But should you follow society's precepts in a matter of such importance as matrimony? Should you undertake a disastrous, loveless, life-long marriage with a "suitable" woman as Darcy's cousin, the earl, did, or follow your heart and risk the consequences?

Ms. Simonsen writes the style of Jane Austen well, but with added emotion. The emotion transforms a simple Cinderella story into a tale of real people caught in a bind of life-altering proportions.

Darcy and Elizabeth's love makes them both vulnerable and deeply human, and is a joy to read. I like the rehabilitated Mrs. Bennet, here a sensible woman whose dramatics are only a bid for attention in a crowded female household. Mr. Collins is even sillier than in Pride and Prejudice, and Georgiana shows a definite talent for intrigue as she helps extricate her beloved brother from a tangle not entirely of his making.

A Wife for Mr. Darcy is a happily-ever-after we will all enjoy.

Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks


catslady said...

Wonderful review of what sounds like a wonderful read. I like the idea that they may go against the "rules of society." My mom use to always worry about "what will other people think." I hate that lol.

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, catslady. Our actions always have consequences. But you can't spend your life doing only what other people want, because you'll never please them all. At first, Darcy was ready to sacrifice himself, but he finally realized his error. He also had help in preventing anything bad from happening to the other lady, which makes him even more of a hero.

MarySimonsen said...

Hi Linda. Thank you so much for your wonderful review. I'm so pleased that you enjoyed the book. Good luck on your new release.

Linda Banche said...

You're welcome, Mary. I really liked the book. And thank you for your kind words.

Jakki L. said...

Great review Linda! I like your description of Darcy's experience with women!

Linda Banche said...

Thanks, Jakki. A rich, handsome man like Darcy always had women falling all over him. What a change Elizabeth was! What makes it even better was that his money and position didn't matter to her. She looked only at him.