#78 A Review of Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen Wasylowski

Cover ImageDivided into two volumes, Karen Wasylowski’s debut novel, Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A Tale of a Gentleman and An Officer tells the story of our beloved characters after the marriage of Darcy to Ms. Elizabeth Bennet.  Col. Fitzwilliam, just back from the Peninsular war, returns to rejoin his boyhood friend (and biological cousin) Darcy and his new bride.  Although their reunion is lighthearted and filled with jokes from their past, some unfinished business lurks beneath the laughter as Darcy and Fitzwilliam grow apart over time.  Enter volume two, where Col. Fitzwilliam enjoys pseudo-rock star status as a veteran of the war returning to his homeland.  Enjoying his new-found celebrity, Fitzwilliam comes across Lady Amanda Sayles, with whom he falls head over heels in love.  Sayles returns his affections, but worries that engaging in a relationship with Fitzwilliam would jeopardize her relationship with her son.  What will become of Fitzwilliam in this matter?  Will Fitzwilliam and Darcy ever reconcile their growing resentment?

I know from other reviews I read that reviewers either liked or hated this book.  Many of the “hate” reviews seemed to be centered around their dislike of the liberties taken with the characters.  Personally I’m not an Austen purist; I tend to get bored with reading the same thing over and over and over again.  I really enjoy reading the new personality traits that authors come up with and give to each character.  It’s this trait that helped in guiding my enjoyment in this novel.  I was able to take it for what it was at face value: laugh when I was supposed to, be sad when I was supposed to, and just enjoy the overall story lines that Wasylowski came up with.

Just from following Wasylowski’s twitter, I knew I was in for lots of laughter when I decided to read Darcy and Fitzwilliam.  Wasylowski’s take on Lady Catherine and Mrs. Bennet were absolutely hysterical; taking the most ridiculous elements in both of them and blowing them way out of proportion.  The end result are two uproarious women who were utterly ridiculous (in a good way).

For those of you Janeites out there, that can withstand liberties taken with Jane’s original masterpieces, then I’d tell you to give this novel a try.  It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will certainly make you joyful for deciding to revisit Darcy, Elizabeth, Fitzwilliam, and the rest of the Pride and Prejudice gang.

4 out of 5 Stars

This is my thirty-sixth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge

This is my twelfth completed review for the Chunkster Challenge

Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen Wasylowski
Sourcebooks (2011)
Paperback 496 pages
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7 thoughts on “#78 A Review of Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen Wasylowski

  1. Wait, you mean there are actually people out there that hate this book? Whaaaat? Lol Ive read lots and lots of P&P fics and this book still makes my Top 5 list. It made me laugh and cry. I loved the bond between the cousins and also this Lady Catherine. And of course the two couples.

  2. Thank you for saying that. The few bad reviews were in the first two weeks and were expected. They are common to all P&P sequels and, thank God, mine were very few. Since then the reviews have been wonderful.

    Thanks for the lovely review here. And Monical P, whoever you are, you are my hero!!! Thank you for coming to my defense like that! Come and visit my blog, The League of British Artists, http://www.britsunited.blogspot.com.

    Thanks again for the interview and review.

    Karen

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful review Kim. You mention that reviewers either loved or hated this book. Hate is a very strong word with ugly connotations. I don’t think I have ever hated a book, Disliked yes. Hate no. When you change the personality of Austen’s characters, it always stirs up trouble and resentment. I have not read this book yet, but I am tempted because of the strong division of reactions. When an author gets people feeling strongly about their words, that is a good thing.

    Cheers, LA

  4. I want to make it very clear that I did NOT change the characters of Pride and Prejudice in any way. I did NOT change the story, no one was on a ranch in Texas, nor were they vampires, nor did Darcy suddenly decide Lizzy was the one for him at the first assembly. The Colonel is not suddenly Brad Pitt. Aunt Catherine is not the wicked witch.

    Darcy and Fitzwilliam deals with the two cousins. It is not yet ANOTHER reinvention of Pride and Prejudice. It deals with the men and their friendship and how they deal with the women in their lives that they love, and how they interact with each other – as friends, brothers and competitors.

  5. You’re welcome. I need to re-read and put a review online. Its my early New Years resolution to post reviews for everything I read. Im sure I’ll do much better than with the whole weight-loss one. Lol

    I’ve been to your blog but just lurked, I think, up til this point. Your other blog always cracks me up. Housewives of Derbyshire is hilarious.

    (I am @jaffobsession on twitter, by the way)

  6. Pingback: Kim’s Review of Sons and Daughters (Darcy and Fitzwilliam #2) by Karen Wasylowski | Reflections of a Book Addict

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