In the first volume of the Given Good Principles series, Darcy’s Decision, we are introduced to Fitzwilliam Darcy in a sort of prequel/retelling of Pride and Prejudice. The focus is on the Darcy and Wickham families, and Elizabeth Bennet is not a part of their lives yet. Near the end of the novella, Darcy’s heart for his unknown future bride is revealed; he hopes to one day marry a woman of integrity, not necessarily one of position or wealth.
In the second volume, The Future Mrs. Darcy, the same concept is applied. It’s a bit of a prequel/retelling, and almost the entire focus is on one side of the Pride and Prejudice world. This time we are privy to the family life of the Bennets. Mrs. Bennet has taken ill due to her frequently fragile nerves, and the girls are left to fend for themselves in running the household. They learn about the management of the meager estate, and we witness how the girls (Lydia in particular) are functioning in society.
The Future Mrs. Darcy is an interesting peek into the life of the Bennets, and in particular the character of Elizabeth. She shows strength and leadership, stepping up to helm the inner workings of the household during a difficult time. She more than proves to the reader that she is worthy of becoming Darcy’s future bride. Conversely, Lydia shows the opposite characteristics as usual, displaying selfishness, immaturity and an insatiable desire to pursue military men in town. As was seen in Pride and Prejudice, her antics put the future marital chances of her sisters in jeopardy.
As with Darcy’s Decision, Maria Grace’s writing and excellent, with many educational footnotes throughout the text. Although she acknowledges some adult content, her choice of words is always kept clean and family-friendly. She characterizes Austen’s personalities respectfully, taking them a bit away from the source material, but staying true to how Austen saw them. Jane is kind and sweet, Elizabeth is responsible and smart. Mr. Bennet does his best to shepherd his gaggle of women, especially the over-the-top Lydia, who seems to bring nothing but trouble to the family. These characters certainly aren’t infallible, and Maria’s presentation of them keeps the story interesting and colorful.
The Future Mrs. Darcy, while short, was another enjoyable Maria Grace novella for this Janeite. Because of the way the stories are presented, Darcy's Decision or The Future Mrs. Darcy could be read in any order. I eagerly look forward to the next combining volume, All the Appearance of Goodness, where our two story lines presumably merge. My expectation is that it will be a fine addition to this delightful series.
Giveaway: The Future Mrs. Darcy
(U.S. Entrants Only)
(U.S. Entrants Only)
I enjoyed The Future Mrs. Darcy very much, and I would like to share my gently-read review copy with one of my U.S. readers. Be sure to read the guidelines below, enter via the Rafflecopter widget, and good luck!
- The contest period ends at 12:00am EST on Saturday, June 1st.
- Contest is open to U.S. entrants only.
- Make sure you leave your email address in the one required portion of the Rafflecopter form. Should you win, I will contact you on Saturday the 1st. Please take measures to ensure that my email will make it past your spam filters, lest you miss my message. (CalicoCritic@gmail.com) You'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner.
- All entries must go through the Rafflecopter form. If you leave an optional blog post comment, in order for it to count toward your contest entry, be sure to indicate that you commented through the "Leave a Blog Post Comment" button on the Rafflecopter form.
- The award will be mailed via USPS Media Rate shortly after the U.S. mailing address is provided.
- Entries will be verified. If a fraudulent entry is detected for the winning name, another winner will be drawn.