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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Review: The Plight of the Darcy Brothers

Author: Marsha Altman
Publisher: Source Books, August 1, 2009
Genre: Fiction, historical
Paperback 368 pages

In this lively second installment, the Darcys and Bingleys are plunged into married life and its many accompanying challenges presented by family and friends.

With Jane and Elizabeth away, Darcy and Bingley take on the daunting task of managing their two-year- old children. Mary Bennet returns from the Continent pregnant by an Italian student promised to the church; Darcy and Elizabeth travel to find the father, and discover previously unknown—and shocking—Darcy relations. By the time Darcy discovers that there's more than one sibling of questionable birth in the family, the ever-dastardly Wickham arrives on the scene to try to seize the Darcy fortune once and for all.

My Thoughts:

This is Altman's second book in her Pride and Predjudice Continues series. It does pick up from her first book, The Darcy's and the Bingleys. You can read my review of that one here.

I really enjoyed this entertaining story. The storyline is inventive and expands upon Austen's beloved characters. The book begins with a loss in the famil whihc the Darcy's are having a difficult time dealing with. Therefore, when a situation arises with Mary Bennett it creates the ideal distraction for the Darcy's, and the perfect story for the rest of the book.

The Darcy's make some interesting discoveries on their trip to the Continent, that I think tie in nicely with Austen's original story. Some P&P purisits may find the premise scandalous, but the Darcy family couldn't have been completely perfect. Humans are flawed after all, and thinking back on their described behaviors, it makes sense. What better way to hide your mistakes than being holier than thou? (Dying of curiosity, aren't you?)

The characters are less rigid and formal than Austen's originals and that is what makes these books so great in my opinion. Austen wrote these characters true to her own time and social conventions and Altman modernizes them a bit, yet keeping the original intent. I love picturing Mr. Darcy chasing his son around, like real parents do. Darcy and Elizabeth speak openly and honestly to each other, like most married couples do or at least try to. When I read Altman's books I feel as though I am sitting down chatting with old friends. It's fun and comforting.

Isn't that what good stories are supposed to do?

As far as the secondary charaters go, the Bingleys and the Maddoxes had their own little adventures in this story. Altman has made Caroline Maddox (nee Bingley) a very likable character. So much so, that one can see a little past her treatment of the Bennetts in the original. You could say that Caroline has been humbled by her own experience with love and marriage. She gets it now.

My Rating: 95/100. Overall this was a delightful book. I totally enjoyed it. I can see myself reading these books again in the future. Probably after I re-read Austen :)

Challenges Met: The Everything Austen Challenge


Don't forget! Next Monday, August 3rd, I will have a guest post/interview with author Marsha Altman. Make sure you stop back because there is an awesome giveaway involved.

EDIT: 7/29 Sorry but I forgot to mention a big thank you to Danielle from Sourcebooks for providing me the review copy and the future giveaway.


Nise' said...

Definitely putting this one on my TBR list! Great review.

Staci said...

I would like to liven up my Austen reading and this one is going on my TBR list!! Excellent review Jenny Girl!

Lucy said...

Hi Jenny:) I'll be here for sure on MOnday...I want to hear all about it! soo curious about the giveaway:)

I love your review, and so true that good books do leave you with a sensse of comfort, and if they're fun...all the better. Thanks:)

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Those of you participating in the EVERYTHING AUSTEN Challenge have a wealth of material to choose from, don't you!?

Blodeuedd said...

Oh no! I need to know all the dirty little secrets.
Great review, must read

Anonymous said...

I am loving the books I am discovering through this challenge. This one sounds great!

Jenny Girl said...

Thank you Ladies!
Dawn: Yes, there are a ton of books to choose from. Makes one a little dizzy sometimes :)

Darlene said...

I've been seeing this book out and about lately. It does sound good. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I have seen this one around and it looks good... actually a lot of the new Austen looks good and I am still sitting on the side lines.... working my way through the original Pride and Prejudice.... wanting to be one of the cool kids that reads Austen too! :)

wisteria said...

Jenny Girl...Thanks for the great review. I will pick up these two books for my Austen challenge. I look forward to your interview with Marsha Altman. Have fun.

The Bookworm said...

this does sound like a good series.
great review!

Jenny Girl said...

Thanks Gals!

Cialis said...

I like it when people come together and share many thoughts. Great website, continue the Excellent work!

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