by April Floyd
Genres: Historical British Fiction, Historical Regency Fiction, Regency Historical Romance
Release Date: March 15, 2019
Purchase from: Amazon
My Rating: ★★★☆☆
What if Darcy and Elizabeth switched places? She would be the wealthy young lady of Pemberley and he the master of Longbourn. Elizabeth’s mother, Lady Fanny Bennet, wishes for all her daughters to marry titled gentlemen. Mr. Bennet agrees to a point, but he also thinks love should play a part in any match. In Hertfordshire, Elizabeth visits Mr. and Miss Bingley at Netherfield Park and meets Mr. Darcy at the Assembly. Get ready for some of your favorite characters to be flipped and flustered by this twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice! Lady Catherine is no longer a lady and the Fitzwilliams are in trade. Can gentleman farmer Darcy win the love of the spoilt and willful Elizabeth Bennet? A rose by any other name…
**Please be aware, this review contains spoilers.**
I previously read Mr. Darcy of Longbourn (MDoL) in March 2020, and, apparently, liked it quite a bit as I put it on y “buy after reading on Kindle Unlimited” Amazon list. However, this read through I found it less appealing.
I was left with a lot of questions, especially in the second half of the book. For ease, I’ll go through them in the order that they occurred to me.
Why would Darcy believe Wickham over Elizabeth? In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth disliked Darcy and found Wickham appealing; so it made sense that she would listen to Wickham. But in MDoL, Darcy and Elizabeth get along well; he loves her when Wickham tells his lies. It makes no sense for Darcy to instantly believe Wickham. It would be far more believable for him to ask Elizabeth about what Wickham said.
Why Wouldn’t Darcy read Elizabeth’s letter? In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth read Darcy’s letter even though she despised him at the time. However, in MDoL, Darcy, who claims to love Elizabeth, won’t bother reading her letter. He fears she isn’t who he thought she was, but won’t take the easy opportunity afforded to him to hear her side. That isn’t love. He isn’t even willing to consider her words.
Is Jane happy with her husband? It’s clear that Lady Francine (Mrs. Bennet) is pushing her daughters into titled marriages. It’s never made clear if Jane is actually in love, or even happy, with her partner or if he’s just who her mother chose for her.
How is Elizabeth friends with Caroline? Several times, Elizabeth mentions that Caroline isn’t nice. She also says and thinks that Caroline frequently does things she dislikes or disapproves of. So why are they friends? Just because Elizabeth is friends with Charles? As is clear in Pride and Prejudice, you can be friends with one sibling and only just tolerate the other.
What’s the point of Lady Francine visiting? After attempting to disown and then ignoring Elizabeth because she rejected Collins, Lady Francine makes an appearance in the epilogue. She shows up to make amends and meet her grandson. But, she throws a fit and storms out when she sees that her father, the Earl of Matlock, sent Elizabeth his wife’s table. It’s such a stupid thing to get upset over. She won’t even wait to meet her grandson. So why bother including that scene? I don’t understand the point.
Why did the Earl of Matlock an Catherine de Bourgh get engaged so soon? He announced their engagement after they’ve spent about a day in each other’s company. I realize that they’re older and may not want to waste time, but that’s really quick. And Elizabeth gives her blessing saying Catherine has “made my grandfather happier than I have seen him in many years.” However, she has only seem them together for maybe a couple of hours in total. So how can she know that Catherine has made her grandfather happy? He could just be relieved that Anne is safe and well.
Why shoehorn in the original dialogue? There are several lines of dialogue that don’t make sense because the author tried to shoehorn original dialogue into MDoL. It isn’t necessary, and really stands out to me.
So, now that I’ve complained, I’ll say MDoL isn’t bad. It’s an interesting story, and I like some elements — like the Gardiners and how Wickham is dealt with — very much. It’s just not a story I think you need to rush out and read.
About the Author
April Floyd lives in Alaska with her husband and youngest son. She loves happy endings, nice people, and reading great stories. Once upon a time, she was an Army wife and a phlebotomist and recently ran a successful ebook deals site for four years. Historical fiction, Jane Austen, and fantasy/dystopia are her favorite genres.
NOTE: This review is based on an eBook I purchased from Amazon on November 7, 2022.