Read this book if: you love Jane’s novels and are looking for a spinoff that won’t make her roll in her grave OR if you love the Jane Austen movies but have a hard time getting into her books.
I love Jane Austen: I love her wit and humor, I love the way she continually pokes fun at her characters, and of course I love her plots, full of missteps and sorrow and finally the happy endings. Frankly, she just didn’t give us enough books, so I’m always on the lookout for good sequels or retellings. “Good” is the operative word here. Austen’s stories have become so popular recently that many sequels and retellings are published every year, and a lot of them aren’t worth the time it takes to read them. In some of these books the language, in an attempt to sound “Regency-era” is so convoluted it’s just silly. Other books are so concerned with making the romance steamy that I worry I’ll lose all respect for myself if I read them through to the end.
So the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentlemen trilogy was a refreshing find for me. The trilogy tells the story of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s persective. The main events in the story are the same as those in P&P, but having the focus on Darcy instead of Elizabeth changes things enough that you almost find yourself wondering how it will end. Aidan’s prose certainly sounds Regency, but isn’t as over-the-top as others. In fact, if you love the movie adaptations but have a hard time getting into the books, this series may feel more accessible than the originals.
The three books are: An Assembly Such as This (which covers up until the ball at Netherfield), Duty and Desire (which covers the time when Darcy and Elizabeth are separated), and These Three Remain (the conclusion). Not surprisingly, I found Duty and Desire to be the weakest of the three, probably because this is where Aidan had the chance to deviate the most from what we know and love in P&P. But all in all, I found the entire series rather enjoyable. I hope you do too.