I just finished a great Pride and Prejudice variation by Abigail Reynolds that you Janeites would love! In Alone with Mr. Darcy, Lizzy and Darcy have met, Jane is in London, and it’s Charlotte and Collins’ wedding day. Irritated with the wedding festivities, Lizzy takes a walk in the snow to clear her head. When she happens upon an injured Darcy, lying in the snow bleeding, she helps him to a little cottage where they spend several days trapped in a blizzard with little heat or food.
Romantic, yet sticking to the JA sense of decorum, this book was hard to put down. In fact, I got a Kindle nose-bonk one night when I read too long and fell asleep. The author took great care in creating the atmosphere and characters that we all love. I found Darcy and Lizzy’s relationship intoxicating. Their time in the cabin had me clicking forward faster than my eyes could take it in.
I adored Abigail’s take on things and to see Darcy’s view, which was sadly left out of the original. The supporting characters all did their best to hinder as they always do, but this is a happy ending even though at times it looks as if it won’t be.
I think my two favorite characters in this variation are Charlotte and Col. Fitzwilliam. I enjoyed seeing more of them and how they worked together to accomplish something phenomenal. Also, Mr. Darcy’s valet, Crewe, was a nice surprise. I adored the author’s twist on Georgianna’s origin and it was nice that Wickham didn’t have to be front and center as he always is in JA rewrites. At first, I thought the absence of Jane and Bingley as constant companions would be disappointing, but I soon forgot the old tale because the new one is so much fun.
After enjoying this book, I felt compelled to get in touch with the author. Turns out, this is only one of many variations by Abigail, so yeah, I have a lot of catching up to do!
To find out more about Abigail and her path to JA variation, I asked her some questions about the book, her inspiration, and what’s coming next.
EmmyZ: When did you first discover Jane Austen?
Abigail: I first read her books as a teenager.
EmmyZ: What is your favorite supporting character in Pride and Prejudice?
Abigail: I love Mrs. Gardiner, with her combination of good sense and tact, along with what I suspect is a wicked sense of humor!
EmmyZ: What made you want to rethink Jane Austen’s original tale?
Abigail: It wasn’t planned out. One time when I was re-reading P&P and got to the Lambton Inn scene, I just couldn’t bear watching the misunderstanding where Elizabeth thinks she has lost Darcy and he thinks she knows he still cares. I just wanted to shake them both and tell them to just open their mouths and talk to each other. But they refused to do it in the book, just like always, so in a temper I started writing What Would Mr. Darcy Do to remedy the situation!
EmmyZ: If you could transport into any Jane Austen character and live their life, who would it be and why?
Abigail: Tough question! Probably Lizzy Bennet just because she has the willingness to speak her mind at a time when women generally didn’t.
EmmyZ: What are your other Darcy or Jane Austen variations?
Abigail: Mr. Darcy’s Noble Connections, The Darcys of Derbyshire, Mr. Darcy’s Refuge, Mr. Darcy’s Letter, Mr. Darcy’s Obsession, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World, By Force of Instinct, Mr. Darcy’s Undoing, What Would Mr. Darcy Do?, To Conquer Mr. Darcy, A Pemberley Medley (short story anthology), and The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice.
EmmyZ: Do you have plans for any other JA rewrites?
Abigail: I’m working on a new variation which involves the Luddite rebellion, and have a plan for at least one more beyond that.
EmmyZ: What is your favorite JA movie adaptation?
Abigail: Tough question! I suppose I’d give a slight edge to the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.
EmmyZ: What inspires you to write?
Abigail: It’s the only way to get the characters in my head to be quiet!
EmmyZ: What sort of music/atmosphere is your ideal to create in?
Abigail: I usually like silence for writing, though I can ignore noise around me, which is important since it’s usually there! And cats trying to get on the keyboard or my lap are a crucial part of the writing experience – just ask them!
EmmyZ: Who are your favorite writers outside of Jane Austen? What do you enjoy reading?
Abigail: I’m extremely eclectic in my reading. I read romance, fantasy, science fiction, classics, and historical fiction. Almost anything that doesn’t have lots of violence. In the Regency department, I’ve really enjoyed Tessa Dare’s romances. Gillian Bradshaw, Kate Elliott, and Robin McKinley are other favorites. But any given day, I’ll give you different answers!
EmmyZ: Do you have any other projects going that aren’t JA related that the readers might be interested in?
Abigail: I’m working on another novel in my modern series set on Cape Cod. The first book in it, The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice, has obvious Austen ties, but the other books not so much.
Thank you Abigail for allowing us to get to know you! If you’d like to know more about Abigail, go to: