Maria Grazia's Reviews > Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer

Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Wasylowski
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Feb 09, 11

Read from January 20 to February 08, 2011

What is absolutely new in Karen Wasylowski' s spin-off story based on Pride & Prejudice is its being a modern bromance set in the Regency period. This modern term refers to a close but non-sexual relationship between two (or more) men . It is a story of special , close friends which, in ancient times already, Aristotle described as “ those who desire the good of their friends for the friends' sake that are most truly friends, because each loves the other for what he is, and not for any incidental quality”. This is exactly what happens between Darcy and his cousin Fitzilliam .

Reading this novel gives a new point of view, which is entirely male, on the events. It is like being admitted beyond that close door which separated the ladies from the gentlemen during Regency after-dinner private gatherings. It is like being allowed to share the men’s confidential chatting, which Jane Austen usually neglected making us rather follow her heroines’ share of the events. In her novels we are banished from the men’s room and left in the sitting room with all the ladies.

Being Darcy and Fitzwilliam the protagonists of this novel, we are, instead, allowed to make the acquaintance of the secret aspects, jokes and quirks men usually don’t share with women. This is definitely the novelty in this amusing story based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

The witty style chosen by Karen Wasylowski becomes even hilarious - if not farcical - at times , which reminds me Georgette Heyer more than Austen. Many scenes might well be part of a Feydeau’s theatrical farce : Darcy and Elizabeth vivacious and continuous arguing in their married ménage or Caroline Bingley “ambushing” her dream man, Darcy, alone in her brother’s house in order to seduce him, or the hilarious meeting of Fitzwilliam and Doctor Anthony Milagros.

The character of Lady Catherine is outstanding, rather different from the original, that is ... incredibly human and understanding - even with Elizabeth - and so patient that she accepts being called “old girl” by Colonel Fitzwilliam, decorated hero in the Napoleonic war, but free and easy even with her, his aristocratic stern aunt. Maybe she's becoming old indeed!

The novel is set into three parts; Volume 1 focuses on Darcy and the continuation of what began in Pride and Prejudice, Volume 2 focuses more on Fitzwilliam and where he is heading in life, and Volume 3 is the conclusion of the two and focuses on the family as a whole.

There are old and new characters and among the latter, two ones are rather peculiar or bizarre: Amanda , a charming widow coming from the new world with a very complicated family situation who succeeds in conquering Colonel Fitzwilliam's heart , and Doctor Anthony Milagros, her handsome close friend.

I had fun reading this book and I think it is a remarkable first attempt at fanfiction, being this a debut novel for Karen Wasylowski. Many authors try to write like Jane Austen, in this case instead , the author managed to capture the essence of Pride and Prejudice but creating a work that has her own voice.
To be totally honest , as I ususally try to be, I must admit that there are things in the book that may offend Austen purists. So if you are among them, I must warn you: you'll find sex scenes between the protagonists and a blunt, rather modern language, so you can have the impression of little attention given to the Regency etiquette or you might even find some twists in the plot improbable. However, I'm sure everybody can appreciate the enthusiasm and love with which Karen Wasylowski approaches the task of writing Austen fanfiction.

Personally, I was amused most of the time and never offended. And if a weakest link in the novel must be found, let it be ... its length to me. I would have cut it shorter, avoiding the third volume. The first one was definitely the best, there's greater control over every aspect of the narration.

Read my complete review on my Austen-dedicated blog My Jane Austen Book Club
2 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Darcy and Fitzwilliam.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.