The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, Mary Lydon Simonsen
After (finally) reading Austen's Pride and Prejudice, I was interested to see how some of the multitudes of "sequels," spin-offs, etc handled the story. I was lucky to receive Ms. Simonsen's book for review from Sourcebooks. In it, she tells the P&P story from different points of view.
There is no need to rehash the story line of P&P; the back cover of this story implies that this novel is going to be told from the viewpoint of Darcy's younger sister Georgiana. That is what really tweaked my interest as I love seeing different views of the same story. However, this one wasn't exactly what I expected. Considering what was mentioned on the back cover I thought the entire novel would be told from Georgiana's point of view with possible some insight from her cousin Anne de Bourgh but that is not really what we get. While there is quite a bit from Georgiana's viewpoint there are numerous chapters that are told from various other characters' points of view. I was rather disappointed with this. While the story was familiar and the chapters told by other characters were entertaining (especially the ones told by snobbish Caroline Bingley!) I was really hoping for a real insight into Georgiana and her personality, her thoughts on her brother, etc, and I just didn't feel that there was much of that here. I didn't really feel like I knew too much more about Darcy's younger sister than I did at the end of P&P. As for Georgiana and Anne's matchmaking, it pretty much consisted of what you would expect from young girls (but I won't spoil the fun by mentioning what they are here!).
I know it seems like I did not enjoy the book at all but I did, it just wasn't exactly what I was expecting (or hoping) it would be. There are some beautifully written scenes and some that really had me chuckling (like the observations made by Miss. Bingley). I just feel there was so much more potential here in telling the story from the viewpoint of a character that is not described in very much detail in the original. All that aside, it is a fun read and I do always enjoy seeing a well known story told from a completely different perspective.