Review: Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan

A fascinating portrait of a timeless, consuming love.

It’s Darcy and Elizabeth’s wedding day, and the journey is just beginning as Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice characters embark on the greatest adventure of all: marriage and a life together filled with surprising passion, tender self-discovery, and the simple joys of everyday life. As their love story unfolds in this most romantic of Jane Austen sequels, Darcy and Elizabeth reveal to each other how their relationship blossomed. From misunderstanding to perfect understanding and harmony, theirs is a marriage filled with romance, sensuality and the beauty of a deep, abiding love.

 

Review  
The first thing I would like to mention is about how Mr & Mrs Darcy came to be written.  In 2005 Sharon Lathan went to the theatre to see the movie Pride & Prejudice featuring Keira Knightly and Matthew MacFadyen. This film touched her so deeply that she couldn’t get it out of her mind. After months of reading and researching everything she could get her hands on about Jane Austen, Sharon Lathan began writing stories in the fashion of what is known as ‘fan-fiction’ and from there it continued to this, the first of a series of Pride & Prejudice inspired stories. It’s a cool little story, I’ve left out quite a bit but if you click here you can visit the author’s website and read the whole story in her own words.

Since, Two Shall Become One, was inspired by the 2005 film version of the novel rather than the Austen novel, the characters are more comparable to the parts played by Knightly and MacFadyen. The story begins as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy return as newlyweds to Pemberley, after a brief honeymoon stay along the way. What follows is an new introduction to one another for the couple, as they essentially learn how to behave and interact in their new roles of husband and wife. This is also a time for Elizabeth to discover what it means to become the lady of an estate, while Mr. Darcy must become more comfortable with sharing his home and his life with his new partner. And of course we get to be witness to the very first social events hosted by the pair. Family, friends and familiar characters appear from time to time but it’s Mr and Mrs Darcy who steal the spotlight as the perfect pair of newlyweds.

The characters in this story are slightly different from the original Austen creations, but by keeping in mind that this is more of a continuation of the film version, it is very accurate. Lathan states on her website that she has done much research into not only the Austen novel, but also the time period and location of Pride and Prejudice. This is very clear to the reader as her descriptive writing is outstanding in it’s detail. Overall the writing is terrific, and the author shows a great talent at both dialogue, narrative and description.

My only complaint about the novel would be the repetitive dialogue between Elizabeth and Darcy, in terms of vowing their love to one another. A plus to some readers may be the inclusion of many quite heated love scenes, however the drawn out talk between the two lovers can put a bit of a damper on the mood of the moment. The main plotline of the story was basically to do with how the couple come together as a married couple, and there wasn’t very much else going on action-wise outside the bedroom. It’s only toward the end of the book that conflict in introduced.

However, even though I was not into the overly romantic tone of this book, I am very much interested in reading Sharon Lathan’s upcoming Pride and Prejudice books. The next volume Loving Mr Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley, looks to be interesting. According to the author’s website, this book will focus on the societal introduction of Elizabeth as Mrs Darcy, with balls, opera, travel and shopping trips. With the author’s obvious attention to historical detail, this should be quite a fascinating read.

About The Author 
Sharon Lathan is a native Californian currently residing amid the orchards, corn, cotton, and cows in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. She divides her time between being a homemaker nurturing her own Mr. Darcy and two teenaged children and working as a registered nurse in a neonatal ICU. Throw in the cat, dog, and a ton of fish to complete the picture. When not at the hospital or attending to the often dreary tasks of homemaking, she is generally found reposing in her comfy recliner with her faithful laptop.

Title: Mr & Mrs Fitzwilliam Darcy:
Two Shall Become One
Author: Sharon Lathan
Book Genre: Regency Romance (Austen)
Book Type: Trade Paperback 320 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: March 2009

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© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

11 comments:

Nicole said...

The second one would probably be of more interest to me. I wonder how high society would take to the new Mrs. Darcy.

An Anonymous Child said...

It's interesting that fanfiction when about "Pride and Prejudice" is no longer fanfiction, but "reinterpretation". And is subsequently published...

Sharon Lathan said...

Joanne, Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my novel. I appreciate your positive remarks. I will be sharing the news with my blog readers with a direct link. I am sure Danielle will keep you in mind for when "Loving Mr. Darcy - Journeys Beyond Pemberley" is released in September. Sincerely, Sharon Lathan

Dar said...

Great review Joanne. I've been seeing Sharon around quite a bit lately. I've got this book on my wishlist to read one of these days.

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm so ashamed that I've never read a book by Jane Austen or anything based on her novels- including movies. I really ought to remedy that one day but so many books made into films, so little time *sigh* lol.

Vee said...

I love the lengthy bedroom discussions between Darcy & Lizzy. They share so much of the depth of their attachment during these intimate moments and it is a joy to read IMO.
It is the honeymoon period of their very new and passionate marriage and the "Saga" develops beautifully into a complete and entertaining look into their lives together.
I have had the pleasure of reading all of Sharon's books and they are my favourites.
Happy reading everyone!
TSBO devotee
Vee

naida said...

sounds good, great review.
I dont think i'd like heated love scenes between darcy and lizzie...lol. i'm old fashioned that way.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Susan said...

Wow, you make me want to read a follow-up to the incomparable Jane Austen! that's quite a feat, especially as P&P is my second favourite Austen novel (after Persuasion) But now I'm really curious about Ms Lathan's book. Well done, Book Zombie!!! And oh yes, I've seem three different versions of P&P, owning *Colin Firth* version as well as *Mathew McFayden*. Sigh. I'd like to be Mrs Darcy to both of them!!!

Trish said...

Interesting that the movie (and not even the BBC version!) not the book inspired hers! Sounds like a great follow up--we never do get to hear what happens after the marriage!

Serena said...

I really liked this novel...I can't wait to read the second in the series...thanks for linking to my review. I will add yours to mine.

Anna said...

Thanks for linking to my review. I thought this was an interesting sequel, but I agree about the lovey-dovey dialogue. It was a bit much. Still, I thought the book was well written.

--Anna
Diary of an Eccentric