Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Title: Mr. Darcy’s Secret
Author: Jane Odiwe
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: Historical fiction, Pride & Prejudice spin-off
How I read it: Trade Paperback Arc from the publisher
Rating: 4.5 Crowns:
One dark secret can completely ruin a bright future…
After capturing the heart of the most eligible bachelor in England, Elizabeth Bennet believes her happiness is complete—until the day she unearths a stash of anonymous, passionate love letters that may be Darcy’s, and she realizes just how little she knows about the guarded, mysterious man she married…
(from the publisher)
They say that marriage is a rocky road, and that adage rings true in the first few months of the Darcy’s marriage. After marrying Darcy, Elizabeth believes that she is the happiest woman in the world, although things soon begin to crumble when Darcy begins discussing the qualifications Georgiana must look for in a husband. Citing that man must be wealthy and titled, Elizabeth begins to wonder if Darcy truly changed his pride-filled ways. Failing to trust his sister will make the right decisions and unwilling to heed his wife’s advice a rift begins to develop between the newlyweds.
After discovering passion filled love letters, and spotting a boy who closely resembles her husband, Elizabeth begins to wonder how well she truly knows the man she has married.
Mr. Darcy’s Secret is the first book that I have read by author, Jane Odiwe, and I have to say she has captured the essence of Jane Austen’s writing. Filled the decorum associated with the era, and filled with remarkable plot twists, and sub-stories, I could not help but to fall in love with this book. Graceful writing fills each page, and I loved the way she has captured the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. If you are looking for a Pride & Prejudice continuation that stays true to the original, then Mr. Darcy’s Secret is the perfect book for you.
I would like to thank Jane Odiwe for this lovely guest post.
Author Jane Odiwe talks about what it is like continuing a well-known novel.
It’s always a challenge to continue a well-known novel, especially when the author is as wonderful as Jane Austen, but it’s a process I find very exciting. Faced with a blank page on my computer screen, there are endless possibilities as I think about Jane Austen’s characters and where I will take them next. There can be a few people in this world who do not know the story of Pride and Prejudice or who have never heard of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, so taking on the writing of a continuation like Mr. Darcy’s Secret is both daunting and exhilarating. I’ve read Jane Austen’s novels many, many times, and adore all of her books. It was Jane’s stories that made me want to become a writer myself, although initially I wanted to try my hand with a secondary character from Pride and Prejudice. That was Lydia Bennet’s Story, my first novel! Although Jane establishes an idea of her character, I wanted to take her on a journey to find out why she was so naughty and see if I could give her a happy ending. After ‘cutting my teeth’ on Lydia, I wanted to take a look at another favourite book, Sense and Sensibility. I was always fascinated by Marianne’s relationship with Willoughby and wanted to know is she’d really got him out of her system, and so along came Willoughby’s Return. This book had me thinking about the younger sister Margaret too, and I discovered that I really like writing a couple of storylines about different characters in the same book. So, when it came to Mr. Darcy’s Secret which I’d ’saved for best’, I was really brimming over with idea about how I wanted to approach it. With two novels under my belt, I knew that I was ready to write about the iconic pair of Darcy and Elizabeth. I started thinking about their relationship. At the end of Pride and Prejudice they marry, but it occurred to me that they didn’t know each other very well, and whilst we see everything through Elizabeth’s eyes we don’t know very much about Mr. Darcy, and for that matter neither does Elizabeth! What if she got to Pemberley, and discovered something that made her question whether she really knew him? I was reading Jane Austen’s letters and thought a stash of ’secret’ letters might be the very thing to rouse Elizabeth’s curiosity and provoke some questions. I wanted to test them both, to see if they still harbored any of their former pride or prejudice. Having decided that this would be the most thrilling course for me to take, I plunged into research, which I love! Going to Derbyshire for inspiration was a real treat, and then I realized that Elizabeth hadn’t been able to go to the Lakes with her aunt and uncle so I wished to take her there too. That involved more lovely research, and I knew then I wanted to weave in Georgiana’s story. The book evolved like that with the characters taking me on a journey, and I really didn’t know exactly what was going to happen until nearly the very end of the book.
It was an enthralling process, and one I enjoyed enormously!
About the author
Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen, as well as Lydia Bennet's Story. She lives with her husband and three children in North London.
Thanks to Sourcebooks I have two copies to giveaway.
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Royal Reviewer Angela Renee at 12:11 PM