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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Review: Darcy’s Story by Janet Alymer

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Darcy’s Story by Janet AlymerDarcy's Diary by Janet Alymer
Published by Harper Collins on 01 August 2006
Genres: Adaptation, Adult, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Historical, Historical Romance, Love & Romance, Social Issues
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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Place(s) Traveled to: London, England (1796, assumption)

First Line(s): It is a consequence of possessing an income of ten thousand pounds a year that a man may order his life to his own liking, and choose his own society.

Almost 200 years ago Jane Austen wrote and published Pride & Prejudice, a novel that would stand the test of time, winning the hearts of new fans with each passing generation. For even though the novel was written so long ago its themes and characters have withstood the test of time. I first fell in love with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy several years ago by chance. Stumbling across the book one day in the bookstore not realizing that it would soon become a most beloved friend. It didn’t take long to read Austen’s novel and it was a book that I have revisited often over the years. Throughout all my readings I have always wondered about Mr. Darcy. What was he thinking? As well as what happened after the story ended. (Which was much to soon in my humble opinion!).

Despite my wanting to know what happened afterwards I have steered away for all the various “sequels” to the story that people have written over the years. I read some of the reviews and they were always mixed from those that loved them and those that thought they were horrible additions to a beloved story. Therefore I stayed away from them all so that P&P wouldn’t be tarnished for me in any way.

That is until this past weekend when a friend of mine recommended a new novel, Darcy’s Story by Janet Alymer. This wasn’t a sequel but a companion novel told from the point of view of the enigmatic Mr. Darcy. Others have tried to recommend books to me based on P&P but I never really paid them much attention since there was always a little criticism mixed in with the praise. This friend was different. She admitted that while, at the time, she hadn’t read much that she thoroughly enjoyed all that she had. That made me curious and so I bought the book soon afterwards.

It was instant love. Alymer uses a lot of the dialogue that Austen herself wrote which adds so much realism to the story for which there has been much criticism. In my opinion, the transcribed dialogue only helps in creating a seamless transition between the original story and the new additions. I don’t think that I would have enjoyed this book half as much if she hadn’t used the original text. After all, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Alymer captures the essence of Mr. Darcy and all the other characters in the story. One can tell that Alymer is a true fan and took time and care with how the events were laid out. I loved all the added scenes that were only alluded to in Austen’s story. They played out as I had pictured them. There has also been criticism about the length of time that Alymer spent on the various scenes between Darcy & Mr. Wickham. However, Austen herself never spent much time on them so why should Alymer do any different. Mr Wickham was only a minor character, the story revolved around Elizabeth and Mr Darcy to dwell on events not involving the two of them only takes away from their story. Reading Darcy’s Story brought me back to the time when I first read Pride & Prejudice I loved every moment of it and as with P&P hated when it was over. So many people have tried over the years to emulate Austen’s style with mixed results based on all the reviews that I have read. However I find that Alymer has succeeded in channeling Austen and created a novel that will stand the test of time as a worthy companion novel to the original. I think that Jane Austen would be very proud of what Janet Alymer has done with her characters. In conclusion, I am very thankful to my friend Chris, because without her heartfelt recommendation I never would have picked up this book.



One Response to “Review: Darcy’s Story by Janet Alymer”

  1. QNPoohBear

    You gave me this book and I read it once but it just didn’t do anything for me. There wasn’t enough detail of Mr Darcy’s life to satisfy me. I much prefer and highly recommend Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman Chronicles. (Which I know I gave you). The second one gets rather too gothic but makes more sense after learning more about the politics of the time.