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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart: A Novel Publisher: GuidepostsBooks
ISBN: 0824947932
Pages: 272 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Sequel/Pride and Prejudice
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Publisher’s Description:
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.

My Review:
I was really excited to read this book. I had read other reviews of both this and Pattillo’s other book, Jane Austen Ruined My Life,  and couldn’t wait to start. I was not disappointed. I finished this book in one sitting and I really liked it. I have also been in the middle of a Jane Austen draught lately and really missed her.
First of all, I think all Austen fans are a bit curious about First Impressions, Jane Austen’s first draft of Pride and Prejudice. I liked Pattillo’s version of First Impressions as much as I have liked some P&P sequels I have read. The characters were the same yet their circumstances were so different that it almost became a novel on its own. I found myself scanning the novel for excerpts from First Impressions was just as interested in Lizzy, Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam as I was in Claire, James, and Neil. I also loved how this was very much a book about how the “everyman” can be a Darcy too. There is always something about them that is completely insufferable but beyond that can be a really amazing and genuine man. It sounds very smushy and romantic  and I am not usually prone to that but I can’t help it.

I loved the characters almost as much as I loved Lizzy and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. Claire was every bit the heroine that Lizzy was. I very rarely find a contemporary heroine that I really like. Usually they are forgettable, one dimensional and vapid. Claire was none of those. She was extremely likeable, normal and intelligent. I also thought it was great to have a heroine in an Austenesque novel that didn’t like Austen’s novels. Usually they are as much of a fangirl for the novels as you are. I mean I thought Mr. Darcy was a staple. But then again, my sister HATES him (capitals intended). I don’t understand it but whatever.
The men in the novel were also great. I started out really frustrated with Neil, Claire’s absentee, sports fanatic boyfriend. I mean I can understand being obsessed with sports. I would miss my wedding for a Devils’ game but to not even acknowledge that his girlfriend left the country was a bit extreme. I would have at least said “Bye”.  But from the very beginning, I could sense there was something about him. Something that wasn’t quite as “dude” as I thought. James was every bit the Darcy we always expect but, from the beginning, there was something that I just did not like about him. I was cheering for Neil most of the way and was hoping he would show up and be all grown up and manly.

This book was the perfect read for a lazy afternoon. It was entertaining, engrossing and, most of all, surprising. The ending caught me completely off guard. I don’t want to spoil but it was the ending I was hoping for. I was so happy that it was not the safe ending. It also gave me a bit of hope that a Mr. Darcy will be found for me someday in the not to distant future.
*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.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I've seen this around and will probably read it at some point :)



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