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Monday, August 6, 2012

Cerise's Praise: Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan!

Take-offs of classics, whether as sequels to beloved novels like Pride and Prejudice [P&P], or the newer expanded erotica versions of them (see Clandestine Classics from www.total-e-bound.com) seem like such a fine idea to me. And along the lines of my post last week, I am here to say I am all for this kind of elaboration or extrapolation, if the writing is superb and in line with the character of the originals.
Well, I have found one such and wow, was I a tickled reader!
Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is the first in a series, starring said characters, by Sharon Lathan (whom I do not know, BTW, other than she and I share Pinterest pix we like! And she does not know I am writing this either!)
But I bought a few weeks ago, and as you know, Dear Reader, I take a while to get to things, what with writing and editing and friends' birthday parties coming along to consume my time.)
I was very much in the mood for a Regency and I thought, hmm, finally time to indulge myself and see if I can like a work that is a continuation of the original.
Let me say, Dear Reader, I not only can like such a book. I ADORE this one.
Why?
Ah, let me count the ways this author surprised me, satisfied me and made me read in awe.
First, she begins with a bang, hours after the wedding of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy. In his POV, she tells us about his desire for her, his anxiety about the coming evening, his plans and how they have grown so much closer in the ensuing days since he met her on the moors and proposed so eloquently the second time.
Approaching the issue of their wedding night with a charming attitude, Darcy shows the reader how their coming intimacy will only complement their intellectual closeness of the past few weeks.
In these ways, Lathan sets us up for a modern historical romance based on the more, shall we say, prudish one, but with all the tangible sexual tension of the original P&P which we ascribe to it.
Secondly, the author manages to my delight to use the language of Austen. In fact, I was so taken with Lathan's prose, her syntax, all so terribly English Regency, that I could not put down the book.
Thirdly, as Austen does, Lathan slips in and out of hero's and heroine's POV, but then also deftly weaves in an omniscient that is true to Austen, the book and the period.
Fourthly, she introduces new characters, all as believable as the others whom we know so well from P&P.
This Lathan manages while doing one other thing which utterly astonished me: She has written a novel which has no plot other than to show how two people in love marry for good reason, desire each other with all their hearts and then, build the relationship into a union built on honor and trust.
For me, this book was an extraordinary read. I am used to plots. BIG PLOTS with dilemmas and excitement that illustrate and heighten the conflict. Those changing pictures and scenes meant to capture our rapt attention!  Here we have not conflict, but union, some discord but not enough to merit the  term conflict between characters/lovers. We have harmony, lots of sex and a lot of happiness. Extraordinary, don't you think?
I do.
I did.
And so now, you realize, I must read another by Lathan, for she has a series. What does the series appear to do? Allow me to savor the matrimonial bliss, the blending of two people in a marriage who seem incapable, at this point, of tensions.
Intriguing.
If you like Regency, if you really and I mean REALLY like Lizzie and Darcy, this is your big fat cuppa.
Get going!
And BTW, right after this, I ran through what turned out to be the exact opposite of this plot! No planning on this one, just what I was in the mood for, let me assure you. What was it?  The contemporary psychological suspense that rocks the best seller list and Hollywood, GONE GIRL.
Oh, yeah, baby. From ballroom to padded room for me!
Is GONE GIRL good?
Got a few minutes? And if you have a thirty-something in your family?
Be careful what you read there. It might show you things you don't wish to acknowledge.


6 comments:

  1. Thank you Cerise for introducing me to a new to me author that sounds fabulous.
    XXOO Kat

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  2. I find it a true thrill when I read a book which affects me as profoundly as this one has you. Based on your beautiful review, I will be checking out Ms. Lathan's work!

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    1. Terrific. If you like Darcy, you will eat this one up!

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  3. I just showed this blog to my daughter, who is a die-hard fan of Austen, and has read many of the 'continuation' stories. She agrees that Ms. Lathan's book was extremely well written and one of her favorites. She also suggests Darcy & Elizabeth, Nights and Days at Pemberley by Linda Berdoll.

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    1. Yep, I have heard that Berdoll is good too. Let me know!

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