The Other Mr. Darcy
Who would have thought that the sneering, snobbish Caroline Bingley could become a thoughtful, helpful, sympathetic creature? Monica Fairview has undertaken this daunting task and presents her readers with a Miss Bingley who undergoes a complete and convincing transformation, led by her increasing self-knowledge and greater observation of the hypocritical manners of the members of the “best circles” she had once aligned herself with.
In this somewhat unevenly written but entertaining story, Fairview trots out all the familiar Bennets, Darcys and Bingleys, who come across as not quite fully rounded characters, rather relying on the reader’s prior knowledge of them than presenting them more in depth. But there are also some new and interesting characters—in particular, Mr. Robert Darcy, the American cousin of Elizabeth’s husband, who finds himself stranded in England, unable to return to his native Boston because of the war between “the colonies” and Great Britain.
In a parallel to the original Pride and Prejudice, Caroline and the “other” Mr. Darcy start off on the wrong foot and continue to misunderstand each other (almost for a bit too long), but with the help of some very creative plot turns (wait ’til you read what happens to Mr. Wickham!), the story keeps moving at a good pace as it heads toward the very Austen-like ending. A fun read!