The Truth About Mr. Darcy by Susan Adriani
Publication Date: May 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Jane Austen Inspired Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 512pp
(Received for review from Sourcebooks)
Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Susan Adriani on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter
Excerpt from The Truth About Mr. Darcy (See Susan's Guest Post from this morning)
Synopsis (Book Blurb):
THE TRUTH ALWAYS HAS CONSEQUENCES...
Mr. Darcy has a dilemma: Should he tell the truth about his old nemesis George Wickham in order to protect the good citizens of Meryton from Wickham's lies and deceits? Doing so will force Darcy to reveal family secrets that he'd prefer never come to light. The alternative is keeping the man's criminal nature to himself and hoping he leaves the area before doing significant harm.
But as Wickham's attentions to Elizabeth increase, Darcy knows if he's to win the one woman he's set his heart on, he's going to have to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life. And what he ultimately does sets in motion a shocking train of events neither he nor Elizabeth could possibly have predicted.
The Truth About Mr. Darcy is a passionate variation on an Austen classic. Author Susan Adriani's debut novel shows readers a whole new side to Mr. Darcy while still remaining true to Jane Austen's original, Pride and Prejudice. Adriani's ability to change the direction of the novel is exemplary. By exposing Wickham's bad side to Elizabeth early on in the book, Adriani effectively changes the entire outcome. Readers will happy to see a more affectionate and loving Mr. Darcy, while seeing Wickham get his due.
This variation of Austen's Pride and Prejudice changes direction in the scene where Elizabeth and her sisters first meet George Wickham and are walking with him in the fields surrounding Meryton. Darcy is riding past when he notices Wickham, and instead of coolly turning on his heel and letting Wickham spread is lies, he tells Elizabeth just what Wickham is capable of, exposing his disastrous relationship with Darcy's sister in the process. Elizabeth has already formed an opinion about the haughty and arrogant Darcy and is forced to re-evaluate his character when he tells her the truth about Wickham. The relationship between Elizabeth and Darcy flourishes much earlier on in this re-telling as they respond very passionately to each other. Wickham, however does not go quietly!
There is a plethora of Austen inspired fiction on the market today. Authors in this area have to come up with something that is refreshing and different to draw the interest of the reader. Susan Adriani hit on a great idea when in 2008 she self-published her book, Affinity and Affection which Sourcebooks picked up and re-named The Truth About Mr. Darcy. She chose a spot in Pride and Prejudice that allowed her to vary the circumstances and create a situation that would hook the reader and keep them reading. I have always been fascinated by Darcy's relationship with Wickham and I thought she chose a great area to effect her changes to the story.
Adriani does a remarkable job of showing the readers a very different side to Mr. Darcy. I thought this was one of best parts of the book. Austen's Darcy was a stickler for propriety and the social rules. Adriani's, Darcy however, is a much different character. He is full of passion and love. He is still devoted to Elizabeth and sure that she is the only woman for him, but in The Truth About Mr. Darcy, Darcy actually shows his feelings. The reader isn't left to wonder what is going on in his head, it's easy to see his affection for Elizabeth and his desire. Things get very hot between the two of them on several occasions. This is definitely a change to the original. Readers who enjoy historical fiction that is steamy will really enjoy this aspect of the novel.
Adriani shows a budding romance between Darcy and Elizabeth without a lot of the conflict that accompanied the original. Their understanding of each other is more gradual and less fiery. That was the only thing I missed. Elizabeth is such a wonderful and beloved character and one of the aspects of her that appeals to so many readers is her determination and her spunk. She isn't afraid to get in Darcy's face and tell him how it is and some of that was missing in this one. Elizabeth's fiery nature is turned more toward passion than conflict in this one and that will strike a cord with a whole different audience.
I really enjoyed this book and liked the additional passion from Darcy. It's a great weekend read and full of all of the great characters readers have come love from Austen's original. Adriani stayed true to Austen's vision, while allowing it to blossom and change for a new audience. I thought she did a great job of making the two styles come together. I would recommend this one to readers who love Austen and Austen inspired fiction. Keep in mind that there is a lot of passion involved in this one and it may not be appropriate for younger readers. The changes Adriani makes to Darcy's character are just a joy to read.
Please check out Susan's guest post from earlier this morning here at Debbie's Book Bag. She discusses her first foray into the publishing world.
The Truth About Mr. Darcy is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
In addition to writing, Susan Adriani is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. In 2007, after contemplating the unexplored possibilities in Jane Austen's celebrated Pride and Prejudice, she successfully self-published her first story and is currently at work on a second. She lives with her husband and young daughter in Fairfield County, Connecticut.