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Monday, October 6, 2008

Review: Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston

Title: Mr. Darcy's Daughters
Author: Elizabeth Aston
Pages: 368
Genre: Romance, Historical Romance
Edition: Standard

Perfect for : Personal reading, Book Club (does have questions at the back)

In a nutshell: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is a personal favorite - so when I saw that Elizabeth Aston had written about Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's daughters, I HAD to pick it up! My advice - skip the first two chapters (I had trouble following the chatter), then the book became more readable for me, but I REALLY enjoyed the last 100 or so pages. I loved the characters of Camilla, Mr. Wytton, Alethea and Mrs. Rowan, but found Letty and the twins to be annoying (one too negative, the others too wild). Overall, I enjoyed the basic story-line, although I would have loved to see this book center around Letty and Camilla, with another for the twins. . . and Elizabeth and Darcy should have been there to enjoy their girls' first Season!! I read this for a book club, and we had a great time discussing it!! We had a great time discussing how women were viewed during that era.

From Amazon:
Picking up twenty years after Pride and Prejudice left off, Mr. Darcy's Daughters begins in the year 1818. Elizabeth and Darcy have gone to Constantinople, giving us an opportunity to get to know their five daughters, who have left the sheltered surroundings of Pemberley for a few months in London. While the eldest, Letitia, frets and the youngest, Alethea, practices her music, twins Georgina and Belle flirt and frolic their way through parties and balls and Camilla -- levelheaded and independent -- discovers what joys and sorrows the city has to offer an intelligent young woman. Readers will delight in the return of such beloved Austen creations as Elizabeth's old nemesis Caroline Bingley (now Lady Warren), the ever-reliable Gardiners and wayward Aunt Lydia.

Charming, beautifully written and full of societal intrigue and romantic high jinks, Mr. Darcy's Daughters is a tale that would please Austen herself.

First Paragraph (Read excerpt on Amazon by clicking here):
Town and country are different worlds. No matter how rich and self-possessed they are, country-bred young ladies need to keep their wits well about them when they come to London.

My Review:
The book starts with five of the seven Darcy children staying with a relative in London while their parents are traveling abroad. The girls visit with friends and relatives, while meeting new people - including their Aunt Lydia who makes a few appearances. Letty suffers a shock when her previously affianced Tom Busby (believed dead in the war) returns with a foreign wife, Camilla falls in love, or so she thinks, with a man who later flees for Italy. The twins are all the rage in London, and are called Night and Day. The youngest, Alethea, loves music and gets to study under one of the best teachers available in London (and gets into a scrape or two in the process).

Characters: A few were very enjoyable, fun and well-developed. I really could have done without some of the characters, or at least some of their quirks (Letty was too negative, and the twins were too wild - causing sex scandals and a lot of gossip)! Wytton was a favorite - in true Darcy style, the Darcy girls would have been ostracized from the ton had he not intervened to get them out of some of the scrapes they landed in.

Story-Line: The story line was good. Putting five sisters in one house without their parents (they did have adults they were staying with), and they are bound to get into some trouble! I absolutely loved the last 1/3 of the book, when things really developed between Camilla and Wytton, and would have personally preferred to see more of the book about them and their relationship.

Readability: I really struggled through the first two chapters trying to keep everyone straight and follow their conversations. Starting with the third chapter, reading got easier, and by page 250 or so I literally couldn't put it down!

Overall: I loved the last 1/3 or so of the book a lot! Elizabeth Aston must have put a lot of research into her book, because at times I felt I was actually back in that time, seeing and hearing what she wrote on her pages. I enjoyed this book, and had a great time discussing it at one of my book clubs (this was a GREAT book club book, although not everyone finished the book). I can't wait to read her next book!

About the Author:
Elizabeth (named after Elizabeth Bennett) lives in Oxford, England.

The daughter of two Jane Austen fans, she herself is a fan, and has written five books connected to the characters of the Darcy family from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.


Michele said...

I've been looking forward to reading some of the Jane Austen "follow up" novels, or so I call them. They just sound like a treat, if properly done.

A very enjoyable review!

Shana said...

I've had my eye on these books for a while. It's good to see a review and I like the links to the others at the end of your post!

You have a beautiful blog!


Anna said...

Aston's books are on my list. Just wish I had more time to get to every book I'd like to read. LOL

I'm reading "Lydia Bennet's Story" by Joan Odiwe right now. So far, so good. It's interesting to see Lydia's story told from Lydia's POV.


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