Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fitzwilliam Darcy; Such as I was - Review

by Carol Cromlin


Genre: Historical Fiction/Pride and Prejudice Adaptation
Paperback - 341 pgs.
Published - Juliy 2013

Fitzwilliam Darcy is arguably the best known, most charismatic hero Jane Austen ever created but he is also the most unfathomable. Who exactly was Mr. Darcy? What principles guided him? What desires drove him? How did he come to be the character Austen, so vividly, portrayed? 

Carol Cromlin offers a window into the private life of this young, landed, Georgian gentleman. Her story presents events during the first eight and twenty years of Fitzwilliam Darcy’s life that shaped his personality and established his character, making him the man who so decidedly won Elizabeth Bennet’s heart, despite her absolute determination against him

I've been having a lot of trouble writing this review. I just don't know how to express my opinion about this book because I liked it, but there were things I didn't like as well. It feels like a giant jumbled mess in my head. Hopefully I'll be able to make some sense of it.

First of all I won a signed copy of this book from Misty the Bookrat's Austen in August. I was so excited to receive this book and I've been anticipating reading it since it came in the mail. I was so excited to see what kind of antics a young Mr. Darcy could get up to and what other experiences might be included in the story.

I did like this book, but I didn't quite love it like I wanted to. I really liked Darcy's early years and his relationship with his parents, I thought, was fantastic. I thought Master Darcy and Lady Anne were both wonderful characters that made sense based on Darcy's principles in the original story. Even though the book is written in old English (I had to look up a few things), I found the story easy to follow and a fast read through the early years of Darcy's life.

The middle of this book, when Darcy gets older, was where this book slowed down for me. I loved reading about Darcy's adventures on the Pemberley estate and even his friendship with George Wickham, who has a great origin story of sorts in this book. Darcy's college years and his time on the continent with his cousin was a bit harder for me to got through. It may have been the mood I was in because there are duels and exciting treks across the countries of Europe. After Darcy got back to England especially Pemberley, I was once again flying through the book.

While all the characters were important in Darcy's life, from the title and description of the book I expected the book to be exclusively about Darcy's experiences and his interpretation of events. The books is from a variety of points of view and includes experiences that include Darcy, but are mostly about other characters like George Wickham and the future Colonel Fitzwilliam. I wanted more of Darcy's opinion of these events rather than another person's point of view on what was happening.

To finish up I enjoyed all the experiences and the time line made me realize how Darcy's life fit into history as well which was interesting. Something I really liked was how Darcy became involved with the Bingley family. That might be my favorite string of stories within the novel. I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend reading it if you get a chance. It is a fun take on Darcy's early life which is really well done. I hope Cromlin will writing more Austenesque books in the future.

Rating: 4/5

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