Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Review - Given Good Principles by Maria Grace

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle Book
Source: Purchased
Darcy's Decisions - Add it // Buy It
The Future Mrs. Darcy - Add it // Buy It 
All The Appearance of Goodness - Add It // Buy It
Ratings: DD & AAoG (3/5) TFMD (4/5) 

These three companion books set up a very different set of circumstances for Darcy and Elizabeth to navigate. 
In the first book, Darcy's Decisions, Mr. Darcy has just lost his parents and is struggling to find his own footing in the world. While he has all the wealth and privilege he could want, the weight of being Master of Pemberley is crushing him. He chooses to turn to his curate to help find the right path. Several painful discoveries make guidance even more necessary.
The Future Mrs. Darcy follows Elizabeth's journey. She and Jane recognize their sisters' problematic behavior and set out to change it after their mother falls ill. They worry it is too late to salvage their reputations and secure good matches for any of the sisters. The girls must learn to run their father's estate and manage one another
In the final book, All the Appearance of Goodness, Darcy and Elizabeth finally meet. Their lives have taken different course, but as their acquaintance begins, it is still uncertain if they will understand each other.

Darcy's Decision (Given Good Principles) The Future Mrs. Darcy (Given Good Principles, #2)All the Appearance of Goodness (Given Good Principles #3)

These books go by in the blink of an eye. Each one is less than 250 pgs and I found them a fun and easy-to-read diversion. I was craving some P&P adaptation and these satisfied that very well. I found both the prequel novels interesting and really like the deep look into the shaping of these two characters. The author obviously knows quite a bit of Regency history and I found the books really interesting, especially the historical elements mentioned.

However, I didn't think the characterization of Lizzie or Darcy was accurate. Both of them take different paths than the original story, which can and does work very well in some adaptations. It just didn't work for me this time. Instead of pride and prejudice ruling their relationship, it felt like discomfort and anxiety did. The author took a lot of liberties with all the characters' storylines and introduced a lot of these points without a lot of explanation or resolution. The changes made some of the characters really unlikable like Georgiana, who comes across as a brat, and Miss Bingley is absolutely atrocious. Even some of the villains are completely different or totally removed!

I did really like Darcy's relationship with his curate and how that relationship helped him grow and change. I also really liked the relationship between the Bennet sisters. These relationships made up a bulk of the first two novels.

These things wouldn't have bothered me in a historical fiction, but since it is an adaptation they did. Maybe it would have worked better as one larger independent story? Will check out Maria Grace in the future though. Her historical cadence and references were interesting and fun to read.

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