THE TRUTH ABOUT MR. DARCY
Rating: 5 out of 5
One Sentence Summary:
What if instead of waiting till his disastrous first proposal in Hunsford, Darcy proclaims his feelings for Elizabeth and tells her about Wickham all before the Netherfield Ball?
I’ve always believed that Wickham (and all his lies) was Darcy and Lizzie’s poison. I’m not saying that without him, Lizzie would have fallen for Darcy immediately (obviously not, and that was all completely Darcy). They both had lessons to learn. But what would have happened if the issue of Wickham was dealt with sooner?
In the story, because of a more-blackguard-than-canon Wickham, Darcy is forced to show and admit his feelings for Elizabeth earlier. This instantly paints Wickham as a scoundrel and Darcy as a better man than previously thought. And even though in the original, it took Elizabeth’s scathing rejection to point Darcy in the right direction, Adriani makes Darcy realize it on his own through his actions concerning Wickham’s insinuations and attentions to Elizabeth.
Lizzie and Darcy’s relationship already formed and strengthened in the beginning, the main problem then becomes how they get to the altar, Lizzie acclimatizing to the ton, and of course more of Wickham’s villainous intent.
What I Loved:
- I loved that Lizzie and Darcy reached an understanding earlier because that gave more opportunity to explore how their relationship as a couple is. And boy, were they passionate! They’re amorous, practically indecent (for their time), and can’t keep their hands off of each other.
- Collins and Caroline Bingley were great secondary antagonists. They didn’t do anything plot-wise (well, more so for Caroline than Mr. Collins), but it was hilarious to see the effects of their jealousy and insults.
- Lydia gets to see Wickham for who he is. This was always something that left me hanging in the original. Does Lydia ever realize what a cad the man she married is? Well here, she does.
What I Didn’t Love:
- Wickham again. It’s not that I disliked it; I guess I’m just ambivalent about it. Wickham has such a more dangerous quality here. I get that in the original, he’s selfish and a pathological liar, but to be that screwed up. A huge reason why Darcy and Lizzie find their way to each other sooner rather than later is because here, Wickham acts like such a licentious ass. That whole “appearance of goodness” is lost.
All in All:
The story is too delicious to pass up! The characters (except Wickham) stay close to the original and it’s not too big a leap to imagine this what-if scenario. The writing, pacing, and dialogue are witty and the ending is so satisfying.