The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview
Book Review by Miguelina Perez
Ms. Monica Fairview’s The Other Mr. Darcy is a well written, and thought-provoking story of one of Jane Austen’s beloved but yet very much loathed character, Miss Caroline Bingley of Pride and Prejudice. In “The Other Mr. Darcy”, Caroline Bingley, not only gets her own story, but is redeemed of her past sins against Elizabeth Bennet and her family and gets her own happy ending.
Ms. Fairview’s story takes place right after the wedding of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. Caroline is besieged with grief over having lost him and seeks solace in a private room where she breaks down. It is here that you begin to see a subtle change in Caroline as we perhaps begin to wonder if we had misunderstood the young woman who acted poorly because of her love for Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Ms. Fairview paints Caroline’s pain like the bold color of red on a canvas― “…Then with a wrench, something tore in her bosom―her chest―and she finally understood the expression that everyone used but that she had always considered distinctly vulgar. Her heart was breaking…she was heartbroken. Her Mr. Darcy had married that very morning…He had preferred Elizabeth Bennet.” You can’t help but feel her pain and yes, feel sorry for her. Perhaps it is here that Caroline begins her transformation from the mean spirited and selfish young woman we all have come to know to the humble, gentle and caring young woman that Elizabeth Darcy gladly comes to call sister.
As the reader is privy to Caroline’s pain, they soon find out that, a gentleman had also watched Ms. Bingley during her breakdown. Respecting her privacy, he does not make his presence known until he is discovered by Ms. Bingley. Apologetic the gentleman admits his error. Still he bares her scorn like a gentleman. Later much to Caroline’s disgrace, she discovers that the gentleman who saw her bare her soul is Mr. Darcy’s American cousin, Mr. Robert Darcy.
Robert Darcy is the total complete opposite of his English cousin. Where Mr. Darcy is proud and stiff, Robert is carefree, jovial and does not stand on ceremony, however, he is a complete gentleman very much like his cousin. He comes to Caroline’s aid when she is compromised and pretends to be engaged with her.
The book is well written, and the dialogue is witty and refreshing. I love the conversations between Caroline and Robert. Robert Darcy’s Americanization gives him the ability to keep with Caroline’s stuffiness and often demeaning barb.
Ms. Fairview introduces a pair of thieves and brings a justifiable end to Mr. Wickham. The introduction of these characters were unexpected surprises and while I felt they were not really needed, they were however, very entertaining and as I said it added an element of surprise making the story more refreshing and one of a kind. The authoress captures the other characters of Pride and Prejudice true to form. I found myself wishing many times over, “if only I could smack Lydia Wickham, oh, how I wish I could.”
In the end Caroline learns the value of friendship and family and comes to respect the Bennets and see the error of her ways. She is redeemed, and it is through this redemption that she is finally able to find happiness with the other Mr. Darcy.
I could go on and on, on the positive attributes, which are many, in the novel, but then I would be giving away a lot more than I already have. And well you are just going to have to get your own copy, definitely worth keeping a copy in your library. Having read The Other Miss Bennet by Ms. Patrice Sarath, Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson’s, Charlotte Collin by Jennifer Becton, and finally Murder at Mansfield Park by Lynn Shepherd, I have become a believer of sequels from Jane Austen’s beloved stories. Enjoy!
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About the Reviewer
Ms. Miguelina Perez is a writer, and jewelry artist. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of the District of Columbia. As a jewelry artist one of her lariats was showcased in the San Antonio Express-News. She has won several awards including a critical Writing award for an essay on the gender roles of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
It was during her high school years at the school’s library that she first encountered her first romance mystery writer – Ms. Victoria Holt and then Ms. Phyllis J. Whitney. Her love of romance novels stems from those discoveries, especially the Romance mystery genre.
Several of her poems have been published in anthologies, and she was named “Poet of Year in 1995”. She finished her first book, The Vicar’s Deadly Sin – a Regency romance mystery, the first of a seven-part serial based on the Seven Deadly Sins.
Currently, she is editing the sequel to the Vicar’s Deadly Sin, “Angel’s Lust.” Her next project is a contemporary romance thriller called “A Hero of Her Own.”
You can read Miguelina’s column on the 3rd Saturday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.