By Marsha Altman
2 Heart Review
2 Heart Review
Cheeky Reads is happy to welcome its very first Guest Reviewer Cheeky Girl Lisa! Lisa is a well known lover of the fabulous Jane Austen and so I thought who better to review The Plight of the Darcy Brothers? Please welcome Lisa to Cheeky Reads!
In this lively second installment, the Darcys and Bingleys are plunged into married life and its many accompanying challenges presented by family and friends.
With Jane and Elizabeth away, Darcy and Bingley take on the daunting task of managing their two-year- old children. Mary Bennet returns from the Continent pregnant by an Italian student promised to the church; Darcy and Elizabeth travel to find the father, and discover previously unknown—and shocking—Darcy relations. By the time Darcy discovers that there's more than one sibling of questionable birth in the family, the ever-dastardly Wickham arrives on the scene to try to seize the Darcy fortune once and for all.
I should start out by saying that although I am a serious fan of Jane Austen’s novels, I’m not exactly a Jane Austen purist. If anyone who has a talent for entertaining and compelling writing wants to continue Ms. Austen’s stories about love and life, then that’s fine with me. In the case of The Plight of the Darcy Brothers, however, I have to contend that the story isn’t compelling and is light on entertainment.
Marsha Altman’s talent lies in understanding Jane Austen’s characters well enough to keep their personalities intact – even affording Mr. Bennett and Mr. Darcy a few great lines. Seeing the young family life of the Darcys and the Bingleys provides a few funny moments but from then on its one clumsy reveal after another of predictable scandals and family secrets. Too much time is spent on a sub-plot featuring Caroline Bingley and her doctor husband, while not enough time is given to the ongoing Darcy-Wickham rivalry in spite of a “game-changing” revelation.
By the end of the novel, I felt like I’d just sat through a long episode of one of those campy British sitcoms – complete with a Monk, a Madame, a Prince and a long-running joke about ink-stained children. Not to mention an overly-violent duel that isn’t in keeping with the rest of the novel’s tone.
The Plight of the Darcy Brothers is certainly a light and easy read, but I wouldn’t recommend putting it on your “must-read” list.
(It should be noted that this is the second sequel that Marsha Altman has written. I haven’t read the first, but the second is not written in such away that you’d be lost if you don’t read them in order.)
So, leave a comment telling us if you've read any Jane Austin sequels or are you a purist who likes to stick to the original- and all it's many movie adaptations? What's your favorite Jane Austin movie and do you like the new modern contemporaries like the Jane Austin Book Club?