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*****= An all-time favorite
****Duty and Desire
Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Book 2
by Pamela Aidan
Reviewed October 26, 2004.
Wytherngate Press, 2004. 238 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #5, Historical Fiction
As soon as I finished Book 1 of Pamela Aidan’s Fitwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, trilogy, An Assembly Such as This, I got on the computer and ordered the second book. (Alas! The third book isn’t out yet.)
The trilogy tells the story of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of Mr. Darcy. This second book covers the middle of the story, where Mr. Darcy doesn’t appear at all in the original. He had convinced Mr. Bingley to leave Netherfield and stay away. In the meantime, we know that Mr. Darcy can’t stop thinking about Elizabeth Bennet.
Duty and Desire hypothesizes that Mr. Darcy did his best to stop thinking about Elizabeth by trying to find someone more suitable to marry. After Christmas at Pemberley, he goes to a house party with guests from the very best society. What follows is a rather melodramatic story that does convince the reader that Elizabeth would shine all the more brightly afterward.
I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as the first one. The story in this section is all Pamela Aidan’s own invention, and it did seem a bit melodramatic to me. However, I love the way she makes us feel that now we really know Fitzwilliam Darcy and his sister. We feel we’re getting a closer look at the characters Jane Austen invented, and the time spent in their company is delightful.
When I was about halfway through this book, I made the grave mistake of trying to read only one chapter before I went to bed. (I know, I do this so often you’d think I’d have learned by now.) Not only did I go on to finish the book in the wee hours of the morning, but then I couldn’t resist reading the good bits of Pride and Prejudice to see how it all fit together. The lack of sleep messed up my whole week!
Now I’m going to keep my eyes open for the release of Book 3. Of course, the ending of Pride and Prejudice is the best part. Based on her first two books, I think that Pamela Aidan will be able to pull it off with flair.
Reviews of the other books in the trilogy:
An Assembly Such as This
These Three Remain
Copyright © 2006 Sondra Eklund. All