Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Sequel
Synopsis from Publisher
The first in a series that follows Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from their wedding day into married life, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is inspired by the Keira Knightley/Matthew MacFayden movie. The author vividly imagines this young and energetic couple as they immerse themselves in their profound love and face the challenges of their era.
Elizabeth and Darcy are positively goo-goo eyes for each other and the burgeoning love and closeness between them drives the plot. As the narrative unfolds through the honeymoon and then the challenges of Elizabeth assuming the role of Mistress of Pemberley, Darcy and Elizabeth thoroughly reveal their differing points of view of how their relationship blossomed from misunderstanding to perfect understanding. As the couple grows in maturity and understanding, as they accustom themselves to each other and to married life, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy emerges as a fascinating portrait of a deep and passionate marriage.
I love Jane Austen sequels. I live for them. I devour sequel after sequel. It is a small wonder I do not get confused. I had read about this sequel while perusing Amazon on a Jane Austen sequel buying spree. I initially passed it over because it was based on the 2005 movie not the 1995 series. I couldn't seem to get away from that. The 2005 movie almost seemed to be a more dramatized, high school version of Pride and Prejudice. This was definitely something I had to force myself to look beyond while reading Lathan's book. I also had to essentially forget everything that happened in the 1995 series and force myself to sit and watch the 2005 version again to refresh my memory. I found that I felt better about the book if I imagined Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth instead of Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Once I began reading, I liked it.
Lathan injects drama into the continuing story of Darcy and Elizabeth. Their life is not quiet in Lathan's world as you would assume it to be in Austen's world. I loved that she injected the bad influence of a town scoundrel into the novel and that the conflict between the scoundrel and Darcy resulted in a duel. I have always wanted to see Darcy in a duel. It gives Darcy a bit of an edge.
The relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy is portrayed well. Their relationship is clearly passionate in the early days of their marriage. Maybe a bit too much. The love between them is tangible and Lathan portrays it well. I also love how Elizabeth calls Darcy "William". I found that so sweet.
There were, however, some aspects of Lathan's novel that didn't quite work for me. The language was simply too flowery especially in the love scenes. They are constantly jabbering on about how wonderful the other is. That is great the first few times but if it is repeated a million times, it gets annoying. I did find that the prose was good outside of love scenes. Also there is no remnant of Jane Austen to be found in this novel. Her language, her voice is absent. This could be a creative choice of the author but I found that I missed the essence of Austen that I can usually find in Austen sequels.
The flaws in Lathan's sequel did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. I even bought the two sequels which I am going to read when I am through with the mountain of reading I still have to do.