Meg's Reviews > Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World

Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Abigail Reynolds
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Mar 12, 10

bookshelves: read-in-2010, historical-fiction, sent-for-review

In Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man In The World, a variation on Jane Austen's beloved classic Pride & Prejudice, Abigail Reynolds' Darcy is a familiar one: haughty and in control, though his unexpected tenderness and obvious infatuation with Elizabeth -- though she most definitely did not return his sentiments -- was very different. I enjoyed this novel from start to finish, absolutely loving the push-and-pull between our principle characters.

Reynolds does an impeccable job of keeping us firmly rooted at the Pemberley we know and love while still allowing for some change. Familiar characters enter the landscape -- like the devious George Wickham, a man for whom I must admit to have a certain soft spot (I know, I know) -- and Austen's plot points are honored, though Reynolds does take us in some new directions. And some of those steamy scenes would have brought a decided blush to Miss Austen's cheeks.

The discourse between Elizabeth and Darcy was funny and tender -- and, dare I say it, they bantered. Really bantered. So many recent spin-offs or variations of Pride & Prejudice I've read feature our beloved characters as mere shells of who they used to be. Reynolds' Elizabeth is still spirited and independent, afraid of Darcy though she can't quite put her finger on why. The evolution of their relationship was believable and, though I knew that they would have to grow to love each other, there was still a little shadow across my brow when I wondered how the couple would finally set aside their -- ahem -- pride and prejudice to accept one another faults and all.

Fans of Austen and our beloved Darcy and Elizabeth won't find much fault with this novel, though I have to admit to getting a little weary of the fact that they were so often at cross-hairs. But that's just part of the fun, right? If you love Austen fiction and have ever wondered "what if," don't hesitate to pick this one up.
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