Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
Described as a Pride and Prejudice variation, Kelly’s second novel begins just after Darcy’s ill-timed proposal to Elizabeth at Hunsford. With the delivery of his letter of explanation for his inexcusable behaviour, Darcy does not expect to see Elizabeth again, and from there the story takes place in London, with some new twists. Most notable is that Georgiana is drawn into the story as a more central character and much of the action takes place around her, because of her or with her. Despite playing a larger role, she remains the rather insipid and indecisive girl from Austen’s novel.
The main characters bear a strong likeness to Austen’s portrayals, which suited this reader very well: these include Jane, Elizabeth, Darcy, Charles and Caroline Bingley, and the Gardiners. However, Miller takes other key players in a different direction and introduces new ones. She has researched her subject and knows her way around Austen’s most famous novel. The writing style is reminiscent of Austen’s prose but lacks the dry English humour and irony for which Austen is revered. Miller has used short, colourful vignettes that give the impression of watching a play, following the characters from one location to another as they fulfill their social obligations. One small complaint is that the novel takes a step too far in the misunderstandings, recriminations, and reconciliations department, so common in classic 18th and 19th-century romances where people rarely say what they mean, but other readers may disagree. A commendable, recommended novel which will delight Austen/Brontë fans alike and a satisfying standalone romance for readers unfamiliar with Miss Austen’s unforgettable work.