Friday, 27 December 2013

Mr Darcy's Diary by Maya Slater

"2 brace of partridges, 3 pheasants & a hare today. Edward doubled my score. I have no notion how he does it – he is always tipsy, even before we set out!" - Mr Darcy talking about Mr Hurst -M.Slater

The first Pride and Prejudice fan fiction book I read was Mr Darcy's Diary by ...... I thoroughly enjoyed it as it was my first insight to another world. Months on after reading many more I can see I gave it too much praise (I mean no disrespect as I admire anyone who takes the time to write a book) but recollect that I found myself turning pages in haste as the entries that did not contain a mention of Elizabeth seemed dull, "who cares I thought on many an occasion". Now why am I telling you this, because this Diary was the total opposite and every entry was worthy of a read.

"He too is fretful, having omitted in the flurry of our departure to wrap my spare top-boots in a cloth. He shewed me a small scratch on one heel, & averred that the boots might just as well be thrown away. He so far forgot himself as to mutter that I ‘needed a good tankin ’ for hastenin’ away so sudden from Netherfield.’ - M.Slater

Laurel Ann from Austenprose mentioned in her review that it might have Jane Purists running from the room. Yes I agree but they should understand that what I found after months of reading fan fiction that portrays a lovey dovey Mr Darcy which is near perfect; that in reading this I had to acknowledge I had been reading about a Mr Darcy that was far from Austen's and indeed hard to find.

This Diary is explicit in some parts but nothing that had me blushing. I dare say Austen would not write such things but this is Mr Darcy's diary and I daresay he would! This was the most realistic and plausible account of events I have read thus far, you may choose to disagree but I found the hard reality of life back then a refreshing change. I could respect this Mr Darcy more than any other I have read about (except of course Austen's, that goes without saying). The change was gradual and realistic, he did not go from Mr disagreeable Darcy to love sick Darcy in a heart beat, this journey is a relate-able one; which is probably why I was drawn in. To fully relate to a man's thoughts when you are a woman reader only lends more credit to the author. Every revelation was great, some new, some I had thought of before and some that were expanded beyond what I had imagined.

'Edward Hurst, dozing on the sofa as usual, opened one eye & said unexpectedly: ‘If Charles has set his heart on her, there is very little that you can do to prevent him.’ ‘But the disapprobation, the censure of all those whom he respects …’ objected his wife. ‘I cannot precisely disapprove of Miss Bennet,’ answered he.' - M.Slater

Since starting this reading challenge I have purchased all my books on my Kindle and was devising a Christmas list to include hard copies of the books I feel worthy to grace my Austen dedicated bookshelf. To my surprise this will be very near the top of the list. I do not know what to say but this book has left a lasting impression on me.
I barely sleep, read it within two days and did not start my university assignment because of it which I am almost ashamed to admit, but I care not one jot. This book had me laughing out loud almost every other page, to my daughters dismay and embarrassment, including a few people in the dentist waiting room!  By the end of the book I was smiling like a Cheshire cat, disappointed as I wanted more but content never the less. I was on a high for days, this author deserves praise indeed. I feel I could go on but instead I will finish with the recommendation that you get this book!!!!

‘You do not understand,’ I replied. ‘I cannot propose marriage to Miss Elizabeth Bennet. She can never be mine.’ I felt I owed it to her to continue: ‘I own that in the past I was not indifferent to her; but in time it will pass.’ ‘No. That is not enough for me.’ She stood up to leave the room. I rose too. She dashed the back of her hand across her eyes, & limped out. I remained alone, listening to her departing footsteps, lest she trip over her shoe-lace in the hall. I am writing this, a free man again. - M.Slater

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