After Fitzwilliam Darcy failed to offer for his cousin’s hand in marriage — and went ahead and fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet, that little nobody! — Lady Catherine de Bourgh is less than thrilled with her only daughter Anne’s prospects for betrothal. A strongly-worded letter is sent to Darcy from Rosings, where the de Bourgh women reside, demanding that he come up with some sort of alternate solution for Anne, whom he’s treated shamefully.
Lady Catherine and Anne set out for Pemberley determined to find a husband for the heiress, who has long lived in poor health under the thumb of her domineering, critical only parent. Still mourning for her beloved father, who died when she was a child, Anne holds no ill feelings for Darcy — but desperately does want to find a place in a world of her own creation.
When Anne and Lady Catherine are separated on their way visit Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, Anne begins to see — perhaps for the first time — that her isolated, constricted world at Rosings has made her a true prisoner in her own life. And something must be done about it — especially when she meets Edmund Caldwell, the soft-spoken but charming man who shares her dreams and temperament. But has no title — or anything else — to offer an heiress.
Judith Brocklehurst’s take on what happens after Jane Austen’s beloved Pride & Prejudice has finished is a fun, truly fresh take on many of Austen’s beloved characters. For the first time, Anne is seen not as the dowdy, quiet and forgettable cousin to whom Darcy could never imagine getting engaged — Anne de Bourgh is dynamic, fun, and a writer with aspirations to have work read by the masses (like Austen herself?).
Brocklehurst’s tone seemed to line up perfectly with Austen’s — something I haven’t encountered quite so much in other novels based on her work. Darcy And Anne is both readable and likeable, and at just over 200 pages, I easily gobbled this one up. I loved reuniting with the Darcys — and seeing their family grow! — as Lady Catherine finally got some of her comeuppances. Anne was a warm and sympathetic character, and I loved getting to know her as she started out on her own path.
Austen fans will enjoy this “sequel” which stays true to Austen’s original characters, tone and intent — but adds an entertaining extra chapter to a timeless classic.
4 out of 5!
ISBN: 1402224389 ♥ Purchase from Amazon
Review copy provided by publisher