Sunday, February 17, 2008
Me and Mr. Darcy, by Alexandra Potter
And now for something modern...........
Since I am an Austen fanfic writer at heart, I had to review this adorable book that Jill gave me for Christmas this year. As you read this book, you will find that you see yourself in some of these characters, not to mention your friends.
Emily is bookshop manager, 29 and single, she has had a series of dates that have gone wrong. She can't help but wonder if her views on what a man should be are prejudiced by her belief that all men should be like Mr. Darcy. None measure up, of course. An invitation from Stella, friend and co-worker to spend the holidays in Mexico drinking and flirting prompts Emily to quickly come up with an excuse not to go, and an Austen tour of England that suddenly appears on the desk in front of her is the perfect escape. Emily books her package, hoping for a week of literature and history, and no men of the ilk she had been exposed to on her string of bad dates. It might be a tour full of little old ladies with gray hair and eyeglasses hanging from chains, and but anything has got to be better than spending the week alone, or worse, in Mexico.
To her surprise, she steps into a bus full of very active older ladies, all interested in Mr. Darcy as a love interest, and no eyeglasses hanging from chains! The entire group is introduced to Spike, a journalist from a well known London paper with a bad attitude who has been forced to join their tour to find out what it is about Mr. Darcy that so many women are attracted to. Emily and Spike get off on the wrong foot immediately, she thinks he is a pompous ass, and he thinks her plain, boring, and "American".
The Austen tour starts off with Jane Austen's home, where Emily, suffering from extreme jet-lag, decides to take a rest at Ms. Austen's famous writing desk! She awakes to see a Regency dressed gentleman standing before her, claiming to be Mr. Darcy. Thinking he is an actor employed by the house, she brushes him aside, despite his strange reaction to her. When Spike is sent, much to his chagrin to search for her, Emily tells him of speaking with Mr. Darcy, but the man is gone when Spike goes to investigate further.
Mr. Darcy is not gone, however, he shows up at most all the historical places they visit, spending time with Emily when she is separated from the group. Emily knows in her mind it can't be real, but a white silk scarf left behind one day makes her rethink this assumption. Spike argues with her as much as ever, and this confirms Emily's notion that Mr. Darcy is the perfect man.
Everything begins to unravel (including our beloved Pride and Prejudice!) as Emily continues on the tour, and Mr. Darcy pops up everywhere. Her relationship with Spike takes an interesting turn, along with other aspects of her life, and of those around her. Watching Emily trying to pick her way through the British culture, history and the drama in her own life lend for an amusing story.
I would recommend this book to any Jane Austen fan! It is not your typical fanfiction by any means, and it has several mysterious twists and turns which made for an enjoyable afternoon of reading! It is a story about love, and why the perfect man might be the not so perfect man. Read it!!