Michelle's Reviews > The Last Man in the World

The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds
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's review
Apr 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: jane-austen-related

This is an interesting take on Mr. Darcy's first proposal in "Pride and Prejudice." Here, Elizabeth is forced, against her better judgment, to accept Mr. Darcy and they end up married, with him besotted and her barely managing to play the dutiful wife. While this booked lacked the sparkle and wit of Ms. Reynold's "Impulse and Initiative" variation, it was still a good read that I devoured in one sitting.

The good points: I think that based on what happened here, and knowing the past not related pulled from P&P, Lizzy and Darcy did act fairly as expected. Another review said that Lizzy was out of character, but her actions are explained by her anger at her situation and her lack of comprehension of Darcy's affection and her place at Pemberly. In order to settle into her position and to keep herself from upsetting her husband and entering into arguments with him, she stays quiet when they are together and loses her livlihood. This causes Darcy distress, of course, but for much of the book the two are too proud and presumptuous to talk to each other, which is true to the original as well. I wish that less of the book had focused on misunderstanding and silent seething, but in this variation (that being the key word), it works. I truly feel that this would be a likely scenario if Elizabeth had married, against her will, a man she did not understand and whose love for her she could not fathom.

The bad: In a word, Georgiana. What possessed Ms. Reynolds to portray her as she does is a great mystery. Georgiana's words and behaviors, even with the explanations given, are so out of character and incomprehensible that I felt it was like reading about a new sister, not the shy, injured one was expect. Her presence and thoughts add little to the story, although the scene where Lizzy sets her right was enjoyable.

All in all, if you love P&P and want to see what might have happened, if ... then give this a try.

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