Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mr. Darcy's Letter

     Before I get to the point I'm going to take a detour and apologize for that sloppy post yesterday.  I was in a rush the day before and just spat some nonsense out to fill the space.  Today's will be more entertaining and hopefully much more sensible.
     Mr. Darcy's Letter by Abigail Reynolds has got to be one of the worst Pride and Prejudice adaptations I have ever read.  It had promise, but within the first few pages it's potential got less and less.  The story sets off where the climax of Pride and Prejudice begins.  Kent.  Mr. Darcy had just proposed to Miss Elizabeth Bennet and she refused.  This part is mostly typical P&P and then the story line continues traditionally for a few pages until *DUNDUNDUN* Mr. Darcy gives Miss Elizabeth that eye opening letter.
     Unfortunately, Miss Elizabeth thinks the evil Mr. Darcy is trying to ruin her precious reputation and utterly refuses to read the letter.  In the end, she burns the blasted thing up seemingly never to know it's contents.  This was my first flash of irritation with the novel because in the original P&P that letter is the start of everything and a very important part of Miss Elizabeth's character growth.
     The mischievous Mr. Wickham is still unsuspected and becoming more bold with Miss Elizabeth.  He even secures a few private moments with her without permission or chaperones.  Miss Elizabeth of course is upset and worried about her reputation. Which gets tiring pretty immediately considering that her boldness in the original was part of her charm.  Ms. Reynolds took our fierce heroin and turned her into a sniveling brat with no courage or real personality.  In P&P you can tell at least tell Mr. Wickham is a little shady right from the start, but in Ms. Reynolds universe he's a jolly and fantastic as ever.  He even feels bad for speaking so ill of Mr. Darcy in the beginning once he see's how many people have come to dislike the dashing gent.  Which completely goes against Mr. Wickhams conniving character and puts you through a tale spin later in the book.
     Mr. and Mrs. Gardener come to visit the Bennet relations to deposit the still heartbroken Miss Jane Bennet (Miss Bennet) back to her parents and sisters.  As they are guests among the Bennets they invited Miss Elizabeth to come a trip planned to take them to the Peak District which gets postponed and then shortened to travel as far as Derbyshire -Mr. Darcy's homage.
     They arrive at Pemberley to the expectations that the master of the house won't be crossing there path for he is supposedly in London.  They're able to make it through the house and out to the gardens when suddenly- a wild Mr. Darcy appears!  Well, Miss Elizabeth is already in a tiff with herself over the many praises the housekeeper gave Mr. Darcy and the criticism that Mr. Wickham had received.  She seemingly changed her opinion of the man she could never be prevailed upon to marry in a matter of a few sentences spoken from a well paid servant.
     This is getting rather lengthy so I'll skip ahead to Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth engaged and in his study at Netherfield.  THE GALL OF THIS WOMAN.  She honestly thought that it would be appropriate for Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth to fool around!  Honestly, Mr. Darcy has to much restraint that is proven time and time again to commit such a scandalous act.  And Miss Elizabeth!  She was too uptight to read an extremely important letter, but as soon as the man put his hands on her she loses all sight of propriety!  This is where I lost it and started skipping ahead to find Mr. Bingley.  Alas though, Mr. Bingley has turned into jackass who will not return to Miss Bennet for fear of his sisters place in the Ton and has promised another young woman his hand.  He shall be miserable for the rest of his days unless he breaks.  I can't tell you if he does, I gave up before I got to that.
     The Matlocks (Mr. Darcys aunt and uncle) invited Miss Elizabeth to dine with them in London.  Apparently something went down (skipped again) and that blasted Mr. Darcy did what?  BROKE OFF THE ENGAGEMENT THAT HE FOUGHT SO HARD FOR.  This was the last straw.  Mr.  Darcy would never give up the woman he held so dearly to his heart just because some snot-nosed relatives didn't approve of his intended.
     The only thing I have left is this:  I will never read another Abigail Reynolds novel for as long as I have my sanity.


  1. I am a diehard P&P fan and have read many adaptations/sequels. A good one is extremely rare. Which are your favorites? BTW, I am enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work.

    1. I really like Sharon Lathan. I feel like she does a good job with continuing the story, but she has A LOT of sex scenes and I got to the point where I skipped over that point because it's just not necessary to the story. I'm not reading it for the sex, I'm reading it for the characters.
      I also like Pamela Aiden. She is possibly one of the handful of authors who tried to write P&P in Darcy's point of view and did an alright job with it. I was pleases, some parts I felt weren't exactly right but others were good.

  2. I rarely like adaptations of anything! I will steer clear of this author.

    Sometimes I read a book and wonder how on earth it got published.

  3. I’m enjoying your blog. I have yet to read P&P, although a free copy came with my e-reader and there is a fellow book lover at work who has been telling me I must read it. I’ll have to give it a go for your sake.

    But here is a recommendation for you: The Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. The first book in the series, “His Majesty’s Dragon,” was another freebie that I got on my e-reader and it just didn’t sound like anything I could get excited about. The books take place during the Napoleonic wars, but with the added twist that dragons exist, have been domesticated (sort of), and are used in warfare by both sides. The books have been described as kind of a mash up of Master and Commander, Anne MacCaffrey’s Dragon Rider series, and Jane Austen. Dragons and the Napoleonic wars? I just rolled my eyes and shuddered. But then I figured I’d read the first chapter before I wiped it off my e-reader, and much to my surprise it was nothing like what I expected. These books prove my theory that a good writer can transcend any genre. I was hooked within the first few pages, and boy am I glad that the publisher authorized the free download of the first book and that I gave it a try because I have not enjoyed a series as much as this one in years. The books have become wildly popular, and with good reason. They really rock. I had read Master and Commander, and while it was ok it never really did that much for me. Same with the McCaffrey books (although I may give them a second look). And as I say, I have not yet gotten myself to read any Austen. But the Temeraire books are, in my opinion, a spectacular achievement.

    Novik is a superb writer who never seems to miss a step, and she writes masterfully when it comes to the historical context of the stories. There hasn’t been much historical fiction that has worked for me, so I was surprised to find myself so captivated by these. But the real reason I’m hooked is that I’ve fallen in love with the dragon Temeraire. He really is a very loveable character. This series has everything you could wish for: excitement, tenderness, passages that made me weep, and quite a few laugh out loud moments. Set aside your expectations and preconceived notions about what this series should or could be compared to, and just settle down for a thumping good read.