About Me

Ithaca, New York
MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

#19 - Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

OK, folks -- lest you think I'm getting too full of myself with these highfalutin literary pretensions, I (ahem) almost forgot to mention another book I slipped onto a recent library stack: Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, by Linda Berdoll (Naperville, IL: 2004). Yes, it's another continuation of Pride and Prejudice, which I swore I was done with; yes, it's more than a little on the steamy side; yes, the Amazon reviews were pretty darned dreadful.

Jacket summary: "This sexy, epic, hilarious, poignant and romantic sequel to Pride and Prejudice goes far beyond being a Jane Austen sequel. It's Tom Jones meets Jane Austen meets Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire, with essence of Scarlett O'Hara and the Wife of Bath thrown in.

Every woman wants to be Elizabeth Bennet Darcy -- beautiful, gracious, universally admired, strong, daring and outspoken -- a thoroughly modern woman in crinolines. And every woman will fall madly in love with Mr. Darcy -- tall, dark and handsome, a nobleman and a heartthrob whose virility is matched only by his utter devotion to his wife.

Their passion is consuming and idyllic-essentially, they can't keep their hands off each other-through a sweeping tale of adventure and misadventure, human folly and numerous mysteries of parentage.

The book was self-published in 1999, with more than 10,000 copies sold. Here is what some readers are saying about Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: 'Pure pleasure...this book is so much fun I recommend it heartily.' 'Wow, Darcy! I could not put it down.' 'Tremendous-I didn't want it to end!'"

My own take: Poignant and hilarious may be stretching it a bit, but the book was most certainly sexy, and had enough funny moments to make me laugh at least as much as it made me blush. And I knew what I was getting into with the R-rated pieces; an old friend who adores P&P recommended this one, with the warning/ advertisement, "Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth have a lot of good sex." While I'll agree that the commentary on both parties' intimate endowments got a bit silly, they were almost made up with by one scene in which Elizabeth and Darcy are engaging in some pillow talk on the subject. In response to Darcy's remarking that his, er, estate is a bit larger than average, Elizabeth teases him, noting that she has no frame of reference, "Are you large enough to be put on display in Piccadilly?" OK, I've forgotten half the quote, and maybe you had to be there, but it was amusing.

In short, no, this isn't a book for Austen purists; if that's you, reading the back cover should clue you in straightaway. And the beginning is a lot stronger than the end, which tends to drag a bit. If you enjoy reinterpretations/ continuations of classic stories, and aren't a stickler for 100% accuracy, this will entertain you for a weekend or so.

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