Sunday, April 19, 2009

Color Me Purple

I've noticed that some "mainstream books" that normally might appear on the Fiction shelves have made their way onto the Romance aisles at the bookstores. Like, for example, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwiliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. When I first saw it, it kind of stuck out like a sore thumb for me. For one, It's larger than an oversized paperback, and two, lots of these Pride and Prejudice continuations are cropping up these days.

The author starts off the book with a foreword in which she admits that before 2005 and the Joe Wright production of Pride and Prejudice starring Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen, she had never read any Austen books nor seen any previous screen adaptations of the book. But once she saw the 2005 movie, she fell in love and decided to read the original, research, and write her own continuation. Her influence of the 2005 adaptation was clear; there were many little details in the book that was obviously from the movie and not from any other versions or the original book.

Once I started, I realized that it was very similar to Linda Berdoll's Mr. Darcy takes a Wife. It starts off right after the Darcy/Bingley wedding and then the next chapter flashed back to a few days before the wedding. Both books did the same thing.

 Now, a quick note: if you're a Austen purist, don't even think about picking up either of these two books. Because if you do, you will think that the good name of Jane Austen has been entirely sullied by anachronistic language and too much sex. That being said, if you just want a Romantic read and feel like Pride and Prejudice should've ended in the sack, you might enjoy this. But beware, there is a copious amount of sex in both books. However, I must note that while the two are similar, Lathan's book contains a lot of slices of life scenes where Berdoll juggles the entirety of the cast and a (sorta) more complicated plot.  

Back to Sharon Lathan's Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. Like I said, there's is a very close correlation to this book and Berdoll's book. Which is fine with me but I did notice the similarities off the bat. Lathan has a lot of sex. I was kinda surprised. Even more than Berdoll's book, which already surprised me when I read it a few years ago. But anyways, the sex has so much purple prose. So much. And cuddling. And pillow talk. More snuggling. More good morning sex. If purple writing amuses you, you'll enjoy this. It didn't annoy me, surprisingly; I just went with the flow and enjoyed it.

But as to plot...well, it's thin at best. Like I said, the book is mainly comprised of all slice of life scenes with lots of bedroom back and forth, a few breakfasts and dinners, a party, and one incident that seemed to act as the climax of the book. Doesn't take a genius to come up with the "surprise" if the Darcys are going at it like bunnies everyday. 

In the end, I flipped through it, some parts my eyes just read the words but I wasn't too concerned that I might be missing something. I was probably only missing some more cuddling. But thankfully, I was in the mood for a super sappy read. With lots of cuddling. So, good thing I was in the mood. But honestly, I can't really recommend this book to someone else because I don't think it's a good spend of $14.99. (I got mine for free through BookMooch. Thank you fellow moocher!)

2 out of 5: 2 because I just so happened to be in the mood for something so sappy. But if you want plot, accuracy, or interesting character development...steer clear! Sex abounds in this so-called Pride and Prejudice continuation. More like well written fanfiction.

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