Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man
by Brenda J. Webb
Genre: Romance / Historical / Jane Austen Re-telling / Austenesque
Ages: 17 and up
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks, Brenda!
Fitzwilliam Darcy, An Honourable Man is a Pride and Prejudice variation.
Not a simple retelling, it is an intriguing new story. Leaving
England after his disastrous proposal was refused at Hunsford, Darcy
spent two lonely years in Scotland and Ireland before returning home to
face Elizabeth Bennet, certain that he could regard her as an
indifferent acquaintance. Events that transpired in his absence have
left Elizabeth a changed woman. The victim of a marriage by deception
to Count Stefano, she has suffered greatly at his hands. Will Mr.
Darcy rescue the woman he vowed to forget?
I read this book twice in a row before I sat down to review it. The first time, I just got caught up in the story and didn't put it down until I finished it. Then, only a week or so later, I picked it up again and read it a little slower, more carefully. I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, the second time around.
This novel is a seemingly effortless blend of the perfect love story of Pride and Prejudice with the darker, Victorian feel of Jane Eyre. For me, this was perfect. I've always loved the darker variations, where our favorite lovers have everything against them. Darcy returns from a long, miserable voyage only to find that the woman he has been trying so hard to forget has been grievously wounded to the point where she no longer speaks. And yet, he does not hesitate to offer is aid. This book shows everything I love most about Fitzwilliam Darcy. His constancy, his honourable nature, and his utter willingness to sacrifice everything to protect those he loves.
Elizabeth is a mystery for a large portion of the book. Since she is unable to communicate, you are left wondering what exactly happened to her. You know only a handful of clues, and even as she slowly comes back to awareness her memory has holes. I love how even at her worst moments, she responds to Darcy. The faith she has in him is lovely.
The minor characters in this book are brilliant. Col. Fitzwilliam, who is concerned that his cousin is ruining his life, yet is unceasing in his support. Georgiana, impulsive and loving. In addition to the traditional cast of characters, you have the pleasure of meeting the wholly new and lovely additions of Evan Ingram, Georgiana's charming husband, Meryton's retired vicar Mr. Williamson, and, my personal favorite, Evelyn Fitzwilliam, the Colonel's mother.
This book is easily one of the top ten Austenesque novels I have read. Just writing this review I'm itching to start reading it a third time...
Rating System: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).
I rate it a 4.10 for brief mid-level name calling.
I give it a 5.10 for a vague scene, fade-aways and some touching before fading away.
I rate it a 6.10 for intended rape, murder and kidnapping.