Thursday, April 29, 2010

Book Review: The Darcy Cousins by Monica Fairview

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The Darcy CousinsFrom the back cover:

Dispatched from America to England under a cloud of scandal, Mr. Darcy’s incorrigible American cousin Clarissa Darcy manages to provoke Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Mr. Collins, and the parishioners of Hunsford all in one morning!

And there are more surprises in store for that bastion of tradition, Rosings Park, when the family gathers for their annual Easter visit.  Georgiana Darcy, generally a shy model of propriety, decides to take a few lessons from her unconventional cousin, to the delight of a neighboring gentleman.  Anne de Bourgh, encouraged to escape her “keeper” Mrs. Jenkinson, simply…vanishes.  But the trouble really starts when Clarissa and Georgiana both set out to win the heart of the same young man…

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The Darcy Cousins is Monica Fairview’s follow-up novel to the previous The Other Mr. Darcy, reviewed here on The Calico Critic last fall.  Once again we return to Regency England and the social circles that include the Darcy family of Pride and Prejudice.  Robert and Caroline Darcy are again a part of the story, but theirs is not the main focus this time.  In this installment, another American cousin, Clarissa Darcy joins Georgiana Darcy in their first Seasons as young ladies available for courtship.  Multiple dashing (and not so dashing) suitors cross their paths, which makes things interesting throughout the novel.  Anne de Bourgh also has her own story line, making some decisions that will affect the entire family in one way or another.

As in Fairview’s previous novel, the language of The Darcy Cousins holds the flavor of the original Pride and Prejudice, but is a bit more readable.  The main characters are once again navigating the intricacies of Regency life, searching for love, security and general happiness for all.  While a few moments of villainy emerge, most of the plot is driven by relational issues, misunderstandings and mystery.  There are several moments that are reminiscent of other Austen works, such as Sense and Sensibility or Emma.  It’s all very well within the style that Jane Austen exhibited in her storytelling.

While The Other Mr. Darcy remains my favorite of the two novels, I enjoyed The Darcy Cousins very much.  The characters were enjoyable, the plot always kept a reasonable pace and I enjoyed seeing how the characters grew as people.  In particular, by the story’s conclusion 18 year-old Georgiana is no longer the same 15 year-old girl we met in Pride and Prejudice.  She indeed comes into her own as a woman.

Although The Darcy Cousins is a sequel to The Other Mr. Darcy, I didn’t feel that it was necessary to read Book 1 in order to appreciate Book 2.  Knowing the first installment was helpful and aided me in understanding a few plot points, but readers beginning with this title will have no trouble immersing themselves in the tale.  Cousins can for the most part stand on its own.

I’m so pleased that Monica’s previous novel was successful enough to bring about The Darcy Cousins.  Due to some other literary obligations, I had to put Cousins down and return to it several times before completion.  However, each time that I returned, I was always glad to dive back into the story, as it was consistently an enjoyable read.  I certainly hope that Ms. Fairview goes on to bring us another chapter in the life of the Darcy family.

This title was provided to me by Sourcebooks.  No obligation other than an honest review was required.


**Giveaway Contest**

Would you like to have my ARC of The Darcy Cousins?  The cover is a little travel-worn, as I frequently took it with me about town, enjoying any pages that I could squeeze into my busy schedule.  If you’d like to enter my giveaway to win this copy, here are the instructions:

  • Leave a comment below; this counts as your entry.
  • Entries accepted until 11:59pm on Saturday, May 8th
  • Open to U.S. addresses only.
  • Make sure at least one posted comment includes your email address. If you'd rather not have your email posted here, you may contact me directly to give me that information after you've entered here.
  • I will compile the entries and the winner will be chosen by, so even one entry can make you a winner!
  • Should you win, I will contact you on Sunday the 9th for your mailing information.  Please take measures to ensure that my email will make it past your spam filters, lest you miss my message! ( You'll have 72 hours to respond before I pick another winner.
  • More information on the giveaway policies can be found on the Contact / Policies page.

Bonus Entries

Please make note of all your bonus entries in your comment(s).  You may post separate comments or a single large comment.  Here are your bonus entry options:
  • Follow The Calico Critic by clicking on the Google "Follow" button on my sidebar (old or new followers both get the bonus entry, just let me know you're following).
  • Follow me (@LHartness) on Twitter (Please tell me your @UserName).
  • Tweet about this book's giveaway on; be sure to use an URL linking back to this blog posting in your tweet. You may do this as frequently as every 8 hours between now and May 8th at 11:59pm EST.  For each tweet, please come back and post the direct URL link to that specific tweet, not just your @Username.

That's it!  Thanks for stopping by, and good luck to all the entrants!


  1. I have heard of this one, I'm curious about it! Thanks for the contest! :)

    I'm a follower.

    allison.d.mason AT gmail DOT com

  2. would enjoy reading this one...thanks for 'sharing' your book Laura.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  3. Pride and Prejudice is one of the few books I reread. Please put me in your drawing.

    Thank you very much,


  4. I'm a follower and I tweeted here

    d.septer at insightbb dot com
    (I'm having trouble posting so this may be a double entry)

  5. I love Austen spin-offs...thanks for the chance!

    I'm a loyal follower.

    I follow on Twitter @truebookaddict


  6. I am a public follower on GFC.

  7. Thanks for the book giveaway. I'd love to read it.

  8. I follow on google


  9. Please enter me


  10. I tweeted twice

    d.septer at insightbb dot com

  11. Sound like a good book to read and share.

  12. I am a google follower Kathryn C
    I follow you on Twitter @oHIoKit

  13. Posted on twitter

  14. Kathryn313:

    Yes, it's a good book to read and share with loved ones! I hope Erin enters again!


  15. Posted again on twitter

    Erin was going to enter for this book but she said she needs a refresher course again on how to enter : )
    Thanks again Laura can't wait to read "The Bridegroom"

  16. I have received my refresher course lol. This sounds like a good book!

  17. I tweeted

  18. Did another tweet



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