Cannonball Read #8: Darcy's Story

It's official: I'm a Pride and Prejudice slut. I've seen countless adaptations of the story in film and literature (latest travesty: Lifetime's 12 Men of Christmas), but today I admit that I stooped to reading novelized fan fiction. Something about it being $5 and on an end display spoke to me, and I knew I had to read Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer.

Granted, the book isn't as bad as it could have been. As far as having a writer use a dead author's work as a starting off point, it could be worse. Take Scarlett, for example. It's hundreds upon hundreds of pages of some writer I'm too lazy to look up trying to get Scarlett and Rhett back together, never capturing the fully fleshed-out and beautifully written characters of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Instead, you have bizarre plot choices, a trip to Ireland, and PG-13 love scenes only fit for reading late at night at sleepovers of bookish girls.

Although Darcy's Story has an advantage of being the story of Pride and Prejudice only from Mr. Darcy's perspective, so no bizarro shark jumping moves are made. In fact, it's a fairly tasteful book give it's sole purpose is to answer "OMG, what was Mr. Darcy was THINKING and FEELING and DOING the whole time!!?" more or less. It takes a view that seems to conducive to his character, showing him justifying his sometimes snobby behavior logically. It also fills in what he was up to during the moments in Pride and Prejudice that he was gone. Darcy's sister Georgiana benefits in this version, showing up in some sweet, if rather expository, sibling scenes.

Unfortunately the answer to what he was doing (as shared in this novel) is mostly thinking about Elizabeth Bennet. Certainly, that makes sense, but it's got to the point where the short chapters seemed to list the number of weeks he was at a certain place before Darcy met up with Elizabeth again and played out scenes that closely resemble the original work itself. And while there are additional scenes with Elizabeth that develop the storyline further, it's not enough to make this a novel in and of itself.

Surely it wasn't supposed to be taken as more than a companion to Pride and Prejudice, but it's not spectacular. Darcy's behavior and thoughts in this adaptation didn't surprise me in the least, having drawn similar conclusions about the character on my own. At the end of the day, Pride and Prejudice is best in its original form--full of wit, satire, a lovely and humorous heroine, and the suspense of not knowing how Mr. Darcy would behave next. But I guess I know now that he rather blandly obsessed about Miss Eliza Bennet. What an anticlimax.


  1. I'm more of a Mr. Knightley stalker myself. I quite enjoyed this companion novel to Emma.

  2. Hilarious. I'm pretty sure my mom has that book. Well done in splurging on it. :)