Book Review: Dear Mr. Darcy by Amanda Grange
Things to know up front...
Recommended to: Pride & Prejudice fans
Setting: England (I'm too lazy right now to be more specific)
- Three extremely explicit sex scenes, one of which contains BDSM elements
- Intense language--approximately one f-bomb every three sentences
- Several knife fights and one major character death
- Two examples of character drug abuse
- Jaykay. I thought you could all use some excitement in your lives; there's actually nothing inappropriate at all.
Description (not mine): In this imaginative retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Amanda Grange now tells the classic story through the eyes of its compelling romantic hero, Fitzwilliam Darcy—in a series of revealing letters that casts a sparkling new reflection on the manners and morals of the landed gentry in 19th-century England…
Here, for the first time, are the letters written by the exceedingly proud and stubborn Mr. Darcy, covering the life-changing events that defined him—from the death of his father, to his control of his Derbyshire estate of Pemberley to his conflicted courtship with the lively, intelligent, and delightfully willful Elizabeth Bennet. Try as he may, he cannot deny his attraction to this woman with fine eyes, a playful spirit, a mind of her own… and an embarrassing family that is frankly, and utterly, beneath him. But it is Elizabeth who controls both their destinies, and whose surprises will change Darcy’s life yet again.
This book came to me as a gift that I put off for approximately two months before reading because, although I love me some P&P, it's really hard for me to accept when people adapt classics because they're classics for the love of God. Yet I'm actually really happy to say that this book turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.
Not only does Dear Mr. Darcy offer up more insight to the motivations behind the character actions in the original story, but each character representation stays true to Austen's initial representation, and every letter "written" gives off a feeling of authenticity. The author did an especially nice job of this with Darcy, particularly since it would be so easy to try to take away all of that incriminating pride he starts out with in an attempt to make him more sympathetic.
I also really liked that the book was written in epistolary form, especially since it has been suggested that perhaps this was the way that Jane Austen originally intended for the novel to be written in the first place. There were so many things about the original story that Grange got to explore by using this format, such as minor and/or unmentioned characters such as Bingley's parents or the other Bennet sisters.
As for the negatives, I'm not sure that there is any one thing I can say truly bothered me about this book, but I only gave it a 7.5 because it was merely a pleasure read, not something that really has much of an impact.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book for Austen fans, but just make sure you go into it with an open mind!