Thursday, February 3, 2011

Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Wasylowski

I think the most interesting part of the Austen writing craze is that within this one tightly tuned niche, there is such a variety.  Austen fiction has become it's on genre, but within that genre you'll find a wonderful range of writing samples.  Some are dry and stick to Austen's original writing stance as much as possible.  Others take great liberties and toss an entirely different story at you.  The one thing they all have in common is the entertaining Darcy family. 

This book takes a new order for Austen fiction.  It's written in three parts.  The first takes a look at Darcy and Elizabeth, exploring the gentleman in the story.  The second tells the story of the officer, Cousin Fitzwilliam.  The third takes both stories in hand and pulls them together.  The writing is crisp and clear without being dull.  It's one of the more interesting Austen fiction books that I've read.  Though the characters are known and beloved, Karen adds a new dimension to them.  Don't get me wrong, they're the same characters, but we get to have a new visual.  Particularly interesting for me was the in-depth look at Aunt Catherine.  She's still a hard-headed snob, but she's so darn lovable! 

Two important points on this book:  It's easy to put down.  I hate to say it, but it's true.  It took me four days to get through it.  I loved every second of reading it, but it wasn't a page-turner for me.  My second issue is really rather small, but it really annoyed me.  The boys continually call Aunt Catherine simply 'Catherine'.  I can't put my finger on exactly why it bothers me, but I think it's the lack of respect and closeness.  I would never dream of calling one of my aunts by just their first name.  I realize this was a different time, but I can't imagine it was more relaxed then.  Wow!  I sound so nitpicky!  You all know how I feel about giving my honest opinion though. 

If you're an Austen fiction fan, this is definitely a book to pick up.  It's one of the better ones that I've read and I did enjoy it.

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