So, evidently there is no shortage of Jane Austen inspired media. Here in this space we’ve covered everything from Cassandra and Jane, a novelization of the relationship between Jane and her sister, to Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, which, really, defies summarization. Some staunch Jane-ites may disagree but I enjoy them all. To me, it’s evidence of the timelessness of dear Jane’s words and wit.
A few months ago I reviewed (and thoroughly enjoyed) Jane Austen Ruined My Life (linked to my review). Author Beth Patillo continues to exemplify her evident love and admiration for all things Jane with her follow up novel, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart. From the publisher’s description:
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister’s behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn’t looking for Mr. Anyone. She’s been dating Neil — a nice if a bit negligent — sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice — in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy — leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author’s own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil’s unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire’s journey to finding her own romantic lead. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn’t logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.
Like Jane Austen Ruined My Life, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is a fun, light read that all friends and fans of dear Jane are sure to enjoy. It does require some suspension of belief: a lost manuscript carefully guarded by a secret sect calling themselves the Formidables? One certainly has to respect Pattillo’s courage in employing the dramatic license necessary to surmise what Jane’s words and story might have been. To presume to take on Jane’s voice seems, well, a little presumptuous but here it works. It’s not meant to be a scholarly reference work. It’s light. It’s fun.
Whether you’d consider yourself a Jane-ite or otherwise, I think anyone who enjoys the fun and charm of a chick-lit novel set against the backdrop of Oxford will find Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart an amusing and entertaining diversion.
Thanks to Amy of Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists for providing the review copy!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….