Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Darcy Christmas

A Darcy Christmas: A Holiday Tribute to Jane Austen. By Amanda Grange, Carolyn Eberhart, and Sharon Lathan. Sourcebooks. 304 pages.

From Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol by Carolyn Eberhart: Old Mr. Darcy was dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. The clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner had all signed the register of his burial. His son signed it. And Fitzwilliam Darcy's name was as good as his father's before him. Old Mr. Darcy was as dead as a doornail.

From Christmas Present by Amanda Grange: It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a married man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of an heir, and Mr. Darcy of Pemberley was just such a man. Moreover, he was soon to have that want satisfied, for his wife, Elizabeth, was expecting their first child.

From A Darcy Christmas by Sharon Lathan: He set the painting onto the sofa, assuring it was well supported before stepping away. He gazed at the canvas, a smile spreading as he looked upon his family. His family. The family created by him and his wife, just as he had dreamt for so many lonely years. They stood on the portico of Pemberley flanked by their precious children on the steps. All of them were smiling at the artist. A sentimental man by nature, he silently examined the newest portrait of his family and lost himself in happy memories.

For the most part, I liked this one. I did. I really enjoyed two of these novellas! And while I wasn't impressed with "A Darcy Christmas" I would still recommend this collection.

"Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol" was surprisingly fun. I had my doubts--as you might have your doubts about weaving these two stories together--but I thought it worked. It does a slight variation on the original. What if Jane and Charles Bingley got their happily ever after--after Lydia was "rescued" by Mr. Darcy's intervention--but Mr. Darcy's pride was still in the way of his declaring his love (the second time). This is what that first Christmas might have been like. If he'd been visited by the spirits of Christmas past, present, future.

"Christmas Present" was a great novella by Amanda Grange. I've enjoyed many of her Austen adaptations in the past. This one did not disappoint. She got the characters just right. It felt authentic like what a Darcy Christmas might have *really* been like. Elizabeth and Darcy are expecting their first child, and Charles and Jane just had their first child. So the families are coming together--the extended families--to celebrate. I really enjoyed this one!

"A Darcy Christmas" is a collection of holiday short stories following the Darcy family through twenty or so years of marriage. (I believe we see their twenty-third Christmas as a couple? Although I might have lost track of the last few stories.) Since we only catch glimpses of the family--on Christmas Eve/Christmas--it's hard to precisely follow these stories. We do know that (almost) every Christmas sees Elizabeth either with a new baby or pregnant. (Perhaps these stories do connect to Lathan's previous novels about Elizabeth and Darcy. If that is the case, then the stories might make more sense when it comes to keeping up with their family, friends, etc. Especially in the case of her children's love interests.)

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


cleemckenzie said...

Thanks for the review. I'll take a look at these books when I'm out shopping for those gifts this week.

Juli Rahel said...

I really like ur Jane-Austen related book reviews!!
I did a review on an original Jane Austen book, Persuasion,
Check it out and comment!!

Sean Grey Hanson said...

There is absolutely nothing to criticize on this book. I even wanted to read more on this. It's quite worth your time.