Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Review: Compulsively Mr. Darcy

Compulsively Mr. Darcy by Nina Benneton

Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Inc.
Genre: Jane Austen Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 351pp
ISBN-13: 978-1402262494
ISBN: 1402262493

(Received for an honest review from Sourcebooks Landmark)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Nina Benneton on the WEB: website, blog, facebook, twitter

Excerpt from Compulsively Mr. Darcy (Amazon Look Inside Feature)

Synopsis:


For anyone obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, it's Darcy and Elisabeth like you've never seen them before!

this modern take introduces us to the wealthy philanthropist Fitzwilliam Darcy, a handsome and brooding bachelor who yearns for love but doubts any woman could handle his obsessive tendencies. Meanwhile, Dr. Elizabeth Bennet has her own intimacy issues that ensure her terrible luck with men.

When the two meet up in the emergency room after Darcy's best friend, Charles Bingley, gets into an accident, Elizabeth thinks the two men are a couple. As Darcy and Elizabeth unravel their misconceptions about each other, they have to decides just how far they're willing to go to accept each other's quirky ways...

Thoughts:

Compulsively Mr. Darcy is Nina Benneton's debut novel. And what a debut it is. With a sharp wit and a knack for developing, eccentric, quirky characters, Benneton will easily score a ton of fans. Jane Austen fans are a loyal group and I think they will eagerly embrace Benneton's modern version of Darcy and Elizabeth. Benneton stays true to Austen's original vibe for each character, but gives them a few unexpected twists that will appeal to many readers. 

I wasn't quite sure from the blurb on the back of this book, that I was going to like it. I'm a big Pride and Prejudice fan and love just about everything Austen related there is. So I admit to a bit of skepticism. But I was completely taken aback by how well this book flowed. With how the author was able to turn a phrase and how spot on she was with her idea's for updating some of the most beloved characters of all time. 


Darcy with OCD? Readers who have read Austen's original will definitely see where Benneton is going with this one. The first Mr. Darcy, has some quirks that OCD could possibly have explained. I liked the fact that Benneton allows Darcy's condition to be a part of him, but not the ruler of him. He is still very much his own person. He has issues, but don't we all? I think that's kind of what Benneton was getting at here, we might have quirks but can't let them take over our lives. I thought she very cleverly showed readers a Darcy that they could really relate to.

Elizabeth as a surgeon? Why not? Even in Austen's version Lizzy was intelligent and eccentric. Benneton's Elizabeth is a little offbeat. She's focused and smart, but she has some emotional baggage of her own. I liked the way she was so willing to try an understand what made Darcy tick. She wanted to learn how to be a part of his life and his condition. I liked that. We need more of those kinds of people in the world, lets face it... we are an emotional bunch.

I loved the way Benneton used humor and wit to help drive the story. I enjoyed the fact that she incorporated many of Austen's characters. She modernized them, but she still stayed true to Austen's vision for these people. Wickham is still devious and diabolical. Lady Kathryn is still on her high horse and Jane and Bingley are still very similar in turn and in nature to their originals. Benneton's real strength seemed to be in bringing out aspects of Austen's characters that were always there, they just weren't elaborated on. 

This was definitely not a sequel or a prequel or any of that. It was a variation. The overall theme is the same as in the original Pride and Prejudice, the author just takes a few liberties with the time and setting of the story. I loved the modern twist and thought it was fun to read. The humor is exceptional and readers who love Austen will find it hard not love Benneton. Great first effort! I hope to see more from this author in the future.

Compulsively Mr. Darcy is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

 

 

When Nina Benneton and her family first arrived in America years ago, she took one look at the front lawns of her neighborhood and thought, Gosh, these Americans are indeed a blessed race. They even got the gods to give them the power to grow trees in perfect geometric shapes. Inspired, she spent years making her family proud by trying to achieve the American dream - college, graduate school, gainful employment, then conquering the world and winning a Nobel prize in something. A wonderful husband and a gaggle of beautiful children interrupted her attaining the last two goals, though the family promised she could resume her campaign once the nest is emptied. 

Meanwhile, armed with a laptop, a stack of tabloid magazines, and a dog-eared Jane Austen novel, Nina started writing. On the same week that she learned Compulsively Mr. Darcy would be published, she went to the local nursery to look for trees with perfect geometric shapes to plant in her yard. She is hard at work on her third novel. 

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