Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy- Mary Lydon Simonsen

Plot: Georgiana Darcy, and her cousin Anne de Bourgh, are both fearful that Mr. Darcy has ruined his chances at happiness. Anne, who knows she herself will never be able to marry wishes to see her cousin with the woman of his dreams, Miss Elizabeth Bennett. Georgiana, who is ready to come out in society and ready to find a husband herself,  is now the Mistress of Pemeberly, and does not want to see her brother lonely. Together they decide to create a very deliberate plan to set Mr. Darcy up to be in the same place at the same time as Elizabeth. The only thing getting in their way happens to be everyone else. From Wickham and Lydia, to Miss Bingley, to Darcy's former lover. Who knew one house could hold so many broken hearts at one time?

I have to say, it took me nearly 25 of the 53 chapters before I was really into this novel. The idea was a solid one, just a bit on the long side as we follow not one love story but almost seven. (Darcy and Elizabeth, Bingley and Jane, Wickham and Lydia, Mary and Mr. Nesbitt, Jane and Mr. Nesbitt, Darcy and Caxton, Caroline and Fitzwillam) There is just so many characters, it's hard to figure who you should be paying attention to at any given time.

The fact the author gave Anne de Bourgh a spotlight is the thread I found to be the most captivating. I wish there had been less Lydia and Wickham and more of Anne.

Giving Mr. Darcy a past that rips a tear in his "perfect armor"  was a nice refreshing touch. Too many other Austen sequels make Darcy a saint, which can get boring.
There are a few scenes with Kitty reading a gossip mag of the time, exposing parts of Mr. Darcy's past in lush colours. I felt this dimension was something needed to make Darcy more a man and less an icon, and gave the little used Kitty some stock.

Jane, at one point, is given way to her emotions which also was a refreshing twist on the character.

You know the old saying, never judge a book by it's cover... well this is one time I can't seem to get past the art work.
I know that some times, we as reviewers get copies with temporary covers.  I really wish this had been the case. The cover for Perfect Bride is just is too much like the cover of Twilight. Which might have been the idea, given that Twilight is a modern remake of Pride and Prejudice, and this is a sequel to P/P.  Unfortunately, everyone who spotted the book on my table felt the same way.
Were it me, I would give the art an overhaul for next printing.

It just seemed to me, that this novel took too long to get it's pot boiling and then got a bit over plated.

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