Friday, 27 December 2013

A Most Civil Proposal by C.P.Odom

This book was very interesting indeed! It explores the implications of Darcy's proposal; unlike the original he changes his proposal as he thinks through what he is going to say and thinks the better of it. This book explored the consequences and impropriety of visiting the parsonage with Elizabeth and him alone. What he thought her absence at Rosing that evening signified and interestingly, Elizabeth started to look at marriage from Charlotte's point of view.  A prominent view at the time, even if people did not fully agree, it was certainly a societal norm. 

“But Lizzy, does he not say how much he loves you?” Charlotte tried to mollify her friend’s anger with rational advice. “Does he not say how he will ensure the future for you and your children? And does he not say that you will never doubt his love and respect for you? Do you have reason to doubt his sincerity in these regards? Are not these assurances beyond the realm of what most young women are presented when considering marriage? Oh, Lizzy, you must give some thought to the realities of life and not give over everything to your romantic notions! Does not Mr. Darcy express enough romance for any dozen impractical young men?” - C.P Odom

Both Mr Bingley and Darcy come into their own in this story and Elizabeth follows the more traditional path that usually ensues after a proposal of marriage, especially when love is not a deciding factor.  Well well, I would say Charlotte would be very proud indeed.
So this is where the book took a decidedly unpleasant turn, Mr Bennet was not happy about Elizabeth marrying Darcy and practically disowned her. I love Mr Bennet so this was a difficult read for me because throughout the book I despised him, he was a mean mean man. 
For many women in Elizabeth's situation , she is marring Darcy when she does not even love him; which seemed to be the rule rather than the exception. What would it have been like? Sharing a life with someone you hardly know, let alone love. Well Elizabeth is lucky to have Darcy because he is kind and considerate in regards to such matters and understands how Elizabeth  must feel. I feel for the many women who were not so fortunate.
This book kept along a realistic theme and the insight into the details of the settlement Darcy had written up for Elizabeth was interesting, not to mention generous and kind.

"She was suddenly conscious of just how widely their spheres actually differed, and she was struck anew by the incongruity of his choosing her from all the many daughters who were dangled before him, every one of those daughters more than willing to accede to his every suggestion and to flatter him at every opportunity. How he could have rejected all those agreeable and acquiescent girls and chosen an impertinent creature like herself was a complete mystery." - C.P Odom

The funny thing about this book was that I did not get a chance to write the review straight away, I had to re-read it when the time came to write the review ( okay so I didn't have to read the whole thing again).  I was glad I did, because I know that what I would have written the first time around would not have given a true picture. I would have been blinded by the portrayal of Mr Bennet. Let me set the record straight and say upon the second read, I opened my eyes to a truly delightful and thought provoking book. The realism, small details and historical context were great and I loved all the characters save Mr Bennet!
Darcy was lovely, the Colonel funny, Georgiana a dear sweet girl, Mr and Mrs Gardiner my favorite , Jane and Bingley together, lord Matlock capital and a surprisingly different Anne. The end of this book will leave you smiling and you will not be disappointed. I will leave you with the shinning moment of this book!!!

"The sound of flesh striking flesh was like a pistol shot in the coach as Elizabeth leaned forward and slapped Lydia as hard as she possibly could. The sting of the blow ran up Elizabeth’s arm, and Lydia’s head was turned halfway around by the impact. She was shocked into sudden momentary silence before she burst into tears and wild cries of pain and mortification." - C.P.Odom

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