Just finished another one of Kara Lousie’s brilliant Pride and Prejudice variations, Mr. Darcy’s Rival. I really don’t know how she does it. It’s as if she’s had Lizzy and Darcy over for tea halfway through the book and read their tea leaves, but they are all jumbled up. She sends them on their way and tells the ending differently, but so seamlessly that neither one of them knows what really should have happened.
This book starts at Rosings with Lizzy visiting Charlotte. Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam have not arrived at Rosings yet. In their place is another of Lady Catherine’s relatives, Mr. Rickland. He embodies the best qualities of both Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam put together. When Darcy arrives, a sort of tug of war ensues over Elizabeth. There is a letter involved that I love and had to read more than once.
I enjoyed seeing more of Anne De Burg in this rendition as she is usually just a cardboard cutout in most novels (even in the original). One of my favorite side characters is Col. Fitzwilliam and we get to see a lot of interaction between him and Darcy. Although I am not a big fan of Charlotte, her part in this book was well played. I liked the discussions between friends that we don’t really see in the original.
The original character Mr. Rickland is cut from a very close cloth of the rest of the cast. He fits in, plays his part, and does his very best to draw Elizabeth’s attentions away from the man who wants to claim her. If he succeeds, you will have to find out for yourself.
To tell you anymore would spoil the fun the author unravels. I’ll just say, there are all the deceptions, injuries, payoffs, and misconceptions one would expect from an Austen variation. I love how the author can rip apart our most beloved tale and sew it up again.
Kara has become my all-time favorite Austen author and this addition to her list leaves nothing to be desired.