Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World examines what it would have happened in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen had Elizabeth Bennet not refused Mr. Darcy's marriage proposal. Lizzy is stuck in a situation in which she is forced to accept Darcy's proposal, or at least she feels that is the case. The marriage happens quickly and Lizzy is filled with anxiety about her role as Mrs. Darcy, what to expect from her husband, and how to overcome her prejudice against her him.
"Was his pride so great that it did not occur to him she might refuse him? Elizabeth opened her mouth to deny his allegation, but before any sound could emerge, she recognized the danger." (Page 6 of ARC)
Reynolds has a firm grasp of Austen's work and her Pride & Prejudice characters, and that knowledge shines through as we follow Lizzy and Darcy into their alternate universe. From misunderstandings to barbs, Darcy and Lizzy spar with one another and hide their true feelings as they fear the other's reproach. The servants and the housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds, are just as they should be -- hovering on the outskirts and ready to lend help when necessary.
"But when he turned his head sideways on the pillow, his eyes clouded with the drug, she leaned towards him to meet his lips with her own. It was a gentle kiss, but his lips were hot against hers. Elizabeth almost shook with the emotion of it." (Page 108 of ARC)
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World is a treat that will transport readers into regency England with a set of new and old characters. Lizzy and Darcy may be one of the greatest classic love stories, and Reynolds' spin on the love story reads like a classic. Lizzy is still strong-willed, but tentative in her new marriage and her new circumstances. Darcy is a bit harsh at times, but readers will forgive him his transgressions. Readers should be cautioned that there are some intimate scenes that give this novel a more contemporary feel. All in all, this is a delightful variation.
Sourcebooks is offering 2 copies of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World to U.S./Canadian readers of this blog.
1. Leave a comment on this interview about what you would like to ask Abigail Reynolds.
2. Leave a comment on my review of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.
3. Blog, tweet, Facebook, etc. this giveaway and leave a link here.
Deadline is Jan. 11, 2010, 11:59PM EST
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy from the Sourcebooks for review. Clicking on titles or images can bring you to my Amazon Affiliate page; No purchase necessary, though appreciated.
This is my 1st book for the Jane Austen Challenge 2010!