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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One by Sharon Lathan

imagePublisher:Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402215231
Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Sequel
Challenges-
Rating: 



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.

My Review:

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.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
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6 comments:

  1. [...] Austen 3. A Fortunate Age-Joanna Smith Rakoff 4.Houston, We Have A Problema-Gwendolyn Zepeda 5.Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One-Sharon [...]

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  2. Thank you for reviewing my novel Grace. I always appreciate people taking the time to give me a shot, and naturally it is a terrific delight when they like my story. I just stumbled across your review as Danielle has not yet informed me of it. 4 Stars is terrific! Sure, 5 would be better, but I'll not be too greedy. LOL!

    Seriously, I will be sharing this with my readers/fans on my website, with a link to you of course.

    And since you asked, I was not trying to be Jane Austen. I do not think anyone can be Jane Austen, and it would be an insult to claim it. This is humbly and honestly my story, my vision of the life for Lizzy and Darcy. However, it is always rather humorous to me that I receive far more accolades for capturing her essence and language than not! Opinions do vary widely in the literary world.

    I am a flowery person, my husband of 23 years never relents on the endearments and expressions of love, so I have blatantly incorporated that ideal into the marriage of the Darcys. I have from the beginning maintained and boldly declared that this is a story of life and love and marriage as I would hope it could be for everyone.

    Again, thanks. God bless, Sharon Lathan

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  3. Hi Sharon,

    Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. Makes a blogger like me feel so much more proud and enthused about my little blog.

    I always appreciate it when the author of a Jane Austen sequel can create their own voice in the midst of Jane Austen's world. I did find that I missed Austen's voice but, in reality, not many authors who have attempted to capture it have succeeded.

    I did not necessarily dislike the constant adoration between Lizzy and Darcy but that it was so constant. I am not married but hopefully will be someday and I hope my husband will treat me as your Darcy treats Lizzy. I generally prefer Lizzy and Darcy to clash a little because they seem like the type of people who would clash periodically.

    I really liked your book. I could not help myself and bought the two sequels. I can't wait to read them.

    Thanks for commenting,
    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  4. this sounds very good, great review!
    I am going to be reading ' Pemberley Manor: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice continues... by Kathryn L. Nelson' soon.

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  5. I just finished that one. The review should be up soon. It is excellent.

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  6. [...] Austen 3. A Fortunate Age-Joanna Smith Rakoff 4.Houston, We Have A Problema-Gwendolyn Zepeda 5.Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One-Sharon Lathan 6.Galway Bay-Mary Pat Kelly 7Playing With Grown-Ups-Sophie Dahl 8.Pemberley [...]

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