THE DARCYS & the BINGLEYS, Pride and Prejudice Continues
Rating: 5 out of 5
One Sentence Summary:
After a year of witty, Kama Sutra –inspired marriage, the Darcys are being called on to help with Caroline Bingley’s love fiasco.
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (as well as her other books) is more than just a story about romance and marriage. It’s a social commentary of her time. Also, it’s a hell-a funny. And Marsha Altman definitely takes it up a notch. The story starts just before the double wedding where Bingley asks Darcy advice of the controversial type. And I kid you not; Darcy gives Bingley his copy of the Kama Sutra, after which both the Darcys and the Bingleys head out to marital bliss. Since I’m not familiar with the infamous book at all, I’ll leave the imaginings to everyone else… Am I missing out?
Anyway, explosive a fact as that is, the main plot of the story is actually about Caroline Bingley’s love triangle with her suitor, Lord James Kincaid and the good but shy doctor, Daniel Maddox. The Darcys are summoned from their idyllic family life (Pemberley and baby Geoffrey Darcy and all) to investigate the less than trustworthy Lord Kincaid and hilarity ensues.
The story delves further into Darcy and Bingley’s friendship (which is every bit as comical as two opposites becoming friends is), and the depth of Caroline’s character. We even get to see a bit of Lord Kincaid’s and Dr. Maddox’s (family) background, which were probably set up as antithesis to each other.
What I Loved:
- Darcy and Elizabeth’s dynamics. Marsha Altman is witty, witty, witty. Here’s a little gem from the book:““Mostly business letters . . . business . . . business . . .Netherfield.” He passed it to her, and she immediately opened it and went to reading the several-page letter from her sister. “Oh, and Longbourn.”
“Mother’s handwriting or Father’s?”
“Oh,” she said without looking up from her letter. “It must be her monthly enquiry to see if I am yet pregnant. Will you do me the favour of writing her a quick response that I am and that she should stop asking?”
“Yes,” she said with a nonchalance he thought only he was capable of. “I am with child. This will please her to no end, especially if it is a boy.”
He was stuck in place, holding the letter from Mrs. Bennet, his mouth frozen for some time before he could say, “How long have you known?”
“It was confirmed a few days ago—the nurse who visited briefly?”
He puffed himself up with considerable partially mocking disgust. “And this is how you chose to tell me?”
“I did deliberate over it for some time about the best way and then decided that if I am to suffer nearly a year of sore muscles, stomach pains, and ballooning to a bovine, then I should at least have the pleasure of seeing that adorably miffed look upon your face just once more.”
(Altman, The Darcys & the Bingleys, pp 145-146)”
- Geoffrey Darcy and Georgiana Bingley are the cutest little babies! And it’s always so cute to see the Darcys being doting parents.
- Darcy and Bingley’s relationship. While we’ve always known the Lizzie and Jane are close, it’s refreshing to see how very much like brothers Darcy and Bingley are. Complete with embarrassing advices, competitions, and good-natured (not always) ribbing.
- Caroline Bingley and Daniel Maddox’s relationship. Maddox meets Caroline after she’s given up on Darcy, and so his view is not as colored as ours. There was no one to insult or be jealous of. She was “in essentials, very much what she ever was”, but he is able to humanize her less than endearing characteristics and makes her more appealing.
- “Fissers!” You really have to read the book to get this, but trust me, it is SO worth it.
What I Didn’t Love:
- As of now, nothing really. Probably just that the book ended at all. Oh well, there are sequels!
All in All:
This is a treasure. Go buy it. Go borrow it from the library. There were honestly times where I was giggling out loud. It starts well and ends with aplomb. This sequel doesn’t take itself too seriously and is therefore, all the better for it.