February 28, 2011

Mr & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan

A couple of years ago I became obsessed with Austen fan fiction, a brief intense period in which I immersed myself in everything Austen (I recall at the same time Masterpiece Classic was releasing new series versions of a few Austen classics), though eventually I think I burnt myself out and I haven't really focused on it much since...though I do have a nice collection of Austen titles and fan fiction. I think the genre has become saturated and quality has suffered. Seriously, I will never be caught reading Pride & Prejudice and Zombies and I am so glad my favourite actor Natalie Portman decided not to take the lead role).  Recently though another series caught my attention in blog posts (mainly because of the book covers), which is Sharon Lathan's Darcy Saga.

I hold the Pamela Aidan Fitzwilliam Darcy - Gentleman series as the pinnacle of Austen fan fiction, which followed the same storyline as the original Pride & Prejudice, but from Darcy's point of view. I was expecting a lot from the Sharon Lathan series, my first foray in Austen fan fiction after a long drought) but after reading the first novel I admit I am bit gobsmacked. Usually I do some research on ratings and recommendations before I purchase books but I have to admit I didn't do so for this series and I wish I had. I'm not really sure how to proceed with reviewing the novel, in order to be fair and not give away any spoilers. For further reviews I suggest visiting LibraryThing. Here are a few observations that may be helpful in deciding whether you would want to read the series:

  • The novels follow the Darcy's directly after their wedding.
  • There is a lot of description about the Pemberley estate, manor and history of Darcy's family. 
  • New characters are brought into the story.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy contains a lot of romantic language and scenes of intimacy. (I am not a overtly romantic person but I do think I have sensitivity and the quantity of these moments and the verbosity of the characters frankly made me uncomfortable, something that takes quite a lot to do!) 
  • The peak of the story, all the action, comes in the last chapters of the book.
  • The novel is romance not literature.
  • Indirectly offers lessons in romance: when, where, why, and how often to say "I love you".
  • The book covers are certainly pretty.

Well, I purchased the series all at once with a Christmas gift card, so they are there sitting on the shelf, so I suppose they will all get read one day (maybe). I think for me that's it for now with Austen fan fiction...but for those who can't get enough please look to the Pamela Aidan series and Syrie James' The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen.

My Rating: 2.5


Related Posts:
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Rigler
Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange

Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer

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