A Darcy Christmas
These three Christmas novellas featuring Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are a delight for fans of Pride and Prejudice. Debut author Carolyn Eberhart offers us a clever retelling of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, in which the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visit Darcy on Christmas Eve to warn him of the consequences if his pride keeps him from marrying Elizabeth. Amanda Grange, author of Mr. Darcy’s Diary, gives us a heartwarming story of the Darcys’ first Christmas together. Darcy and a pregnant Elizabeth visit her sister Jane and her husband Bingley, who have a baby of their own. Unexpected visitors, including Elizabeth’s mother Mrs. Bennet and Darcy’s overbearing aunt Lady Catherine, arrive, but do not prevent the Darcys from celebrating a joyous Christmas. In Sharon Lathan’s “A Darcy Christmas,” the arrival of a portrait of the Darcys and their children inspire the couple, after more than twenty years of marriage, to recall past Christmases with their joys and tragedies, including the birth of a daughter and the death of one of the older generation from Pride and Prejudice. Lathan shows us an affectionate couple, clearly very much in love, but without the explicit sex which she gives us in her series of novels about the Darcys.
All three novellas are a pleasure to read, although some of the language, particularly in Lathan’s novella, sounds too modern. I have never especially cared for attempts to imitate Jane Austen’s style; they never come close to the real thing. But it is jarring to read of a girl in Jane Austen’s time having a “crush” on a young man, for example. And there are a few minor inaccuracies: in Eberhart’s novella, Georgiana Darcy plays Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” which was written much later. But these stories are still absolutely delightful.