This is not the first book I have read that is a spin-off of an Austen work. Though this type of novel is glorified fan fiction, many of them are good. Even the novels that are not great are entertaining at worst. The best of this genre strives to be true to both the dialog and characters while expanding the story in a credible fashion. I think Grange has managed to do both.
This book opens, not as I expected with Mr. Darcy meeting the fine eyes of Elizabeth Bennett, but the season before when George Wickham seeks to steal Georgiana and her fortune. In the original Pride and Prejudice, we see hints of the brotherly affection that Darcy has for his sister, but in this novel it is this strong emotion which keeps Darcy from simply being an egotistical snob. The reader knows he can not be as harsh as he appears when he also harbors such tender feelings for Georgiana.
For me, I enjoyed what Grange revealed of Darcy’s inner thoughts, but what I loved was seeing other characters in the novel through the lens of Mr. Darcy. All the characters you love, like Bingly and Elizabeth, plus all the characters that are hilarious, like Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Collins, and Mrs. Bennett. There were some exchanges that made me laugh aloud. Ms. Grange has managed to capture the essence of what Austen strove to reveal as the ridiculous and diverting.
While at its root, this is a romance. However, this book will appeal to almost any Austen fan. Even seeing one of the theatrical versions of the story would be sufficient to enjoy this romp through Fitzwilliam Darcy’s mind.
Recommended – highly diverting