Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Mr. Darcy Forever by Victoria Connelly

I wish I had a schedule where I could have hopped on Mr. Darcy Forever sooner.  Thank goodness for a nice Spring Break that gave me a chance to sit down and read it in one sitting.  In my world, that's a bit of a luxury, and I loved it!  This was a prefect book for my break.

Synopsis:  From Goodreads, "Estranged sisters Sarah and Mia Castle have spent a lifetime fighting over the men in their lives. They finally begin to make amends at the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England. During the festival, the sisters realize that they can't bear to be apart. They discover that their sisterhood forms a bond stronger than their mutual connection as Jane Austen addicts. And in true Jane Austen fashion, they each begin to lose their hearts to dashing gentlemen."

Review:  Having read an earlier novel of Connelly's, I knew I was in for a nice, modernized treat with this newest book.  Let me just start off by explaining that Pride and Prejudice doesn't really play a role in the novel.  The title, in my own opinion, is a tie to the perfect Austen character, as the rest of the book is more geared toward Sense and Sensibility.  

In the beginning of Mr. Darcy Forever, I had a difficult time tracking the present and the past as it jumped from the present estrangement between the sisters, Sarah and Mia, to the past events that split them up.  I can tell you right now that we don't learn of the conflict until well into the book.  Usually that would irritate me, since I like to understand the characters so that I can attach myself to their actions and reactions.  In this case, it worked out really well and had me realizing how quickly I jump to conclusions--maybe like these two sisters did to begin with.

As mentioned, it takes a long time to understand what came between these two sisters.  Sarah, who has OCD and needs to control everything, appears to be the nuisance or villain.  Although we might feel for her and her idiosyncrasies, it seems like she might have driven the two apart by her actions.  However, Mia increasingly comes across as immature and possibly as responding too emotionally to her situation.  Come on.  Can't Mia see after these years of being apart how silly and immature she used to behave?  This is what I thought in the beginning.  Readers of Jane Austen's novels will quickly start to draw connections to Sense and Sensibility in the story.  This is in no way exactly like the classic story, but there are some definite similarities to the Dashwood sisters, with some interesting and surprising twists to the story.

Mr. Darcy Forever was a delightfully emotional read.  Austen fans will readily recognize aspects of Austen's classic, while getting a modern look at Bath and our characters' complex, modern lives.  I really enjoyed the novel and its characters and appreciated the way the story unfolded so as to not feel predictable or overworked.  Overall, a good clean Austen modernization.  

*FTC Disclosure:  This review was based on a review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. I don't know if I truck with characters in Austen adaptations having weird issues like OCD. I mean, the main appeal of Austen's novel was that the characters were totally ordinary people whom you could recognize from real life, right?

    This sounds more fun than my spring break read, anyway. I decided to read Great Expectations. *headdesk*

    1. Ick. I was NOT a fan of that one. But, I'm not a fan of Dickens to begin with. I know, *gasp*, I'm an English teacher. Yea. Not a fan.

      Honestly, they still felt relatable, but in a more "diagnosed" sort of way. LOL.