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Friday, February 25, 2011

Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Waslyowski

Title: Darcy and Fitzwilliam; a tale of a gentleman and an officer
Author: Karen V. Waslyowski
ISBN: 978-1-4022-4594-7
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: Trade Paperback
How I read it: Trade Paperback ARC from the publisher
Rating: 4.5 Crowns

A gentleman in love cannot survive without his best friend...
Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam couldn’t be more different, and that goes for the way each one woos and pursues the woman of his dreams. Darcy is quiet and reserved, careful and dutiful, and his qualms and hesitations are going to torpedo his courtship of Elizabeth. His affable and vivacious cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a military hero whose devil-may-care personality hides the torments within, until he finds himself in a passionate, whirlwind affair with a beautiful widow who won’t hear of his honorable intentions.

Cousins, best friends, and sparring partners, Darcy and Fitzwilliam have always been there for each other. So it’s no surprise when the only one who can help Darcy fix his botched marriage proposals is Fitzwilliam, and the only one who can pull Fitzwilliam out of an increasingly dangerous entanglement is Darcy...
(from the publishers)

My thoughts:

Darcy and Fitzwilliam is highly original for a Pride & Prejudice spin off. While maintaining the core of Jane Austen’s characters, the author has in a sense liberated them from the restrictions of the era in which they were penned. Jane Austen was said that she did not write any scenes in which men were alone because she did not know what they spoke about or how they acted, in some ways that put a limit on her novel, being that we only see things from a woman’s point-of-view. Now with Darcy and Fitzwilliam we see the flipside, we get to see how these two men interact with each other, and I have to say it is a truly fascinating glimpse. I loved they way Karen Waslyowski knew her characters, when an author is truly in tune with her characters it shows, and you could see it in this book. I also enjoyed the way she portrayed Darcy and Elizabeth as a couple, no marriage is perfect, and there are bound to be a few ruffled feathered, and those were included.

I highly recommend this book! It is a true page turner, that you will get lost in!

I would like to thank Karen V. Waslyowski for providing this lovely glimpse into her inspiration.

Just now I was listening to one of my favorite song, Bryan Adams’ “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?” from the Johnny Depp movie, Don Juan DeMarco. Believe it or not that song was playing in my mind often as I wrote Darcy and Fitzwilliam, especially as I wrote the Epilogue, remembering how wonderful that moment is when you realize you have found the love of your life and how incredibly lucky you are when that love can survive a lifetime. “When you see your unborn children in her eyes…” I loved that line.

There are many different sources of inspiration when you begin to write, parts of your own life intertwines with the lives of the people you have created and the lines between them can become blurred. I can pinpoint the very moment of conception for my book. I was watching the 2005 movie of Pride and Prejudice for the tenth or the eleventh time. During the scene at the dinning table, when Catherine is interrogating Elizabeth about her sisters, about her education. About her accomplishments- Darcy’s eyes flicker toward his aunt and you can see his embarrassment at her rude behavior. I empathized with him entirely; my mother was always blunt and outspoken and his Aunt Catherine was as ill-mannered as Elizabeth’s mother.

Then, for a brief moment in the movie, his eyes look up to his cousin’s and in the very next shot you see Fitzwilliam’s eyes twinkle with amusement-two very different reactions to a busybody of an old woman.

In my mind their two characters were born.

Their behavior toward each other, Darcy and Fitzwilliam, is very similar to the behavior I have seen between my husband and his friends or my brother and his close friends. I was always impressed as I grew that there appeared such different codes of conduct between male friends than there were between female-to a degree. Men don’t swap clothes or discuss hairstyles for hours on end, nor do they worry about the whether a certain pair of slacks make their rears look big. If either my husband or my brother are any indication they put on their outfit with a look toward comfort rather than style and then forget the whole thing. Men talk about sports a lot. My husband said it’s the great equalizer among them, something most of them all share with a passion. Insanity if you ask me, The only interesting part of any game is the last five minutes, and only then if the score is close.

The hardest part for me was to write from the standpoint of a man, or two men in the case of Darcy and Fitzwilliam . I tried to put narcissism aside and any fear of repercussions for my words. In addition, females tend to think horizontally, juggle several chores at once, solve a multitude of emergencies, while men seem to think perpendicularly, one problem, one situation at a time. Men tackle a particular problem more thoroughly but women have more day to day crisis.

In fact, if women had to tackle one problem at a time civilization would probably grind to a halt.

That’s just between you and me.

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Mystica said...

Thank you for this review of what is obviously a delightful book. I also share your liking for Bryan Adams. But my favourite has always been Summer of 69! It is very nostalgic!!!

Luthien84 said...

Thanks for your review and a guest post by Karen. I really enjoy reading Karen's inspiration behind the creation of her novel.

And thanks for making this giveaway international.


Sierra said...

Sounds like a fantastic read! Thanks for the review and the international giveaway!


Martha Lawson said...

Sounds great! Enter me please, I'd love to read this one.

follow on gfc

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

buddyt said...

I have always thought that Fitzwilliam sounded like one of the more sympathetic characters in Pride and Prejudice but of course his character was not very well developed.

I think this is a fantastic idea for a book and would like to read it.

Thanks you for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Pam S (pams00) said...

Thanks so much for sharing your great review! As a Jane fan I love spinoffs, spoofs, and stories inspired by her work. This sounds like a good one; thank you for the chance to win it.

Pam S
pams00 @ aol.com