* * *From 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…
* * *
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.
CONTEST NOW CLOSED
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