“How interesting,” I thought, “Pride and Prejudice from Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy’s point of view.” The plot starts out at the Netherfield Ball where Darcy asks Elizabeth Bennet to dance and she rakes him over the coals basing her opinion on his character on Wickham’s lies. Noting the attraction his friend Bingley has for Jane, the two depart for London, Darcy convinced that they have narrowly escaped from a potential entanglement with the deplorable Bennet family. Yet, Elizabeth has intrigued Fitzwilliam and when she turns up at Rosings visiting her cousin the vicar and his new wife, her best friend Charlotte Lucas, Darcy has a difficult time containing his ever growing attraction. Despite the meddling of his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, who is trying to force a match with her obviously uninterested daughter Anne, both Darcy and his cousin Colonel Robert Fitzwillams dawdle around the vicarage, interacting with the captivating, unconventional Elizabeth. Caught between love and duty, Darcy eventually blurts out an offensive proposal which the horrified Lizzie rejects. Those of you who have studied the original story will be familiar with the plot which the authors have faithfully followed to this point .with a few well placed additions.
It is at this juncture where Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Many Lives by Beau North and Brooke West strays from the traditional events. In a Regency version of the movie Groundhog Day, Darcy is forced to relive that horrible day over and over until he can figure out how to escape the never ending loop of rejection. There is no escape, not even death can keep him from reawakening on that fateful Sunday morning. Not sure whether this is a Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Many Lives by Beau North and Brooke Westpunishment or a warning, Darcy tries different tacks for dealing with the interconnections between those who inhabit his world until he can discover the truth about himself and the ones he loves.
Since this paranormal story is a sort of alternative universe, it deviates from the well known plot found in Austin’s work although the majority of characters are the same. The writing style is appropriate for the era and the story moves along, although it gets a little tedious before a resolution is discovered. Without the diversions found in the original Pride and Prejudice, the climax falls a little flat despite the HEA resolution. The epilogue finds the 78 year old Darcy reminiscing over his life and the family he loves, the heartfelt sentiments only marred by the authors treating his character as a doddering old man closer to ninety than his late seventies (a common error when younger authors try to describe the actions of an older generation).
A creative knock off and one of the better Austin Fan Fictions on the market; Four stars and a thank you to Netgalley for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.