Mr. Darcy's Secret by Jane Odiwe
Publication Date: February 2011
Genre: Jane Austen Inspired Fiction
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Books-A-Million, IndieBound
If you live in Morehead, KY or the surrounding area:
Purchase from our local independent bookseller: CoffeeTree Books
Borrow form our local library: The Rowan County Public Library
Jane Odiwe on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter
Excerpt from Mr. Darcy's Secret
Synopsis (Publishers Weekly):
What comes after "happily ever after" for Pride and Prejudice protagonists Lizzy and Darcy? Odiwe (Wiloughby's Return) picks up right after the wedding as Lizzy moves to Pemberley and learns how to be the mistress of a grand estate. While trying to reconcile Darcy with Lady Catherine and coax Georgiana out of her shell, Lizzy is bombarded with innuendo about Darcy's past indiscretions. Reluctant to discuss rumors with her husband, she tries to maintain a calm demeanor as various people, including the odious gossip Mrs. Eaton and still bitter Miss Bingley, hint about illegitimate children and secret affairs.
Jane Odiwe explores a very different avenue with Jane Austen's characters in her new book, Mr. Darcy's Secret. This Austen inspired novel picks up the story of Darcy and Elizabeth after their wedding and readers will be captivated by Odiwe's take on what happened after Pride and Prejudice. With so many prequels, sequels, and variations on Austen's works, Odiwe has carved out a niche of her own. She isn't going the traditional route and that makes all the difference.
Elizabeth and Darcy have married and Elizabeth must carve her own niche in the fabric of Pemberley. As she is busy learning her place in the daily running of the household, she has many obstacles to overcome. It isn't happily-ever-after just yet. Elizabeth focuses on trying to help Georgiana overcome her crippling shyness, while also working to resolve issues between Darcy and Lady Catherine. One day she unexpectedly comes across some old love letters that may be Darcy's and as she begins to hear rumors, she starts to question is past and what he was like. Will one secret jeopardize the life they are trying to build together?
One of the things that I really appreciated from Jane Odiwe was the fact that she went a different direction from most of the Austen inspired fiction that I have read. Most of them tend to take minor characters from Austen's original works and give them their own story. In Odiwe's novel, she gives the characters from Austen that we love, Darcy and Elizabeth and gives us more. She expands on what we know about them brings us details that we may have never thought of before. We just expect that Darcy was always the prim and proper man we have come to know. We just expect that Caroline Bingley just fades into the background and we don't hear much about her again. Odiwe proves us wrong and I really liked that.
Odiwe's writing style is very engaging and the plot takes off quickly and draws the reader in. Once the rumors start to fly, the story really falls into a good pace and things are revealed in a very timely manner. I thought the author's ideas about a secret can really destroy a relationship were spot on. Honesty is such an important issue in any relationship and I thought Odiwe really brought that out. I liked the way she showed that rumors can start and more importantly how they can really hurt people in the process. I found the author's themes were valid and very realistic and I loved the way she used Darcy and Elizabeth to show readers some valuable lessons on how to treat each other, having faith in your partner and never letting anything come between you.
I recommend this one to Austen fans as well as fans of Austen fan fiction and Austen inspired fiction. This is a great book, with a strong plot and characters we have learned to love.
Mr. Darcy's Secret is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen, as well as Lydia Bennet's Story and Willoughby's Return. she lives with her husband and children in North London.