Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy

A Weekend with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly

What a delightful and fun book this was!  It was much different than ‘Molly’s Millions’ – better written.  I really liked the way it was written, as there were three main characters and how the story would focus on one of them alternately and then when they interacted with one another.

Dr. Katherine Roberts is a professor of literature at St. Bridget’s College in Oxford and something of an Austen aficionado.   What most people don’t know about her is her passion for other types of Regency novels, especially those written by Lorna Warwick.  She is heading off to an Austen conference in Hampshire, hosted by Dame Pamela Harcourt in her person home, in hopes of forgetting about the man who lied to her.

Robyn Love is a young lady who loves anything by Jane Austen.  She has saved up and is spoiling herself to a Jane Austen weekend retreat in Hampshire.  As she’s about to walk out the door to the train, her boyfriend from secondary school shows up, ready to take her.  She wasn’t expecting this, as she has been thinking about calling it quits with Jace – a guy who would rather put his foot through the telly while her favourite Austen adaptation is playing.

Warwick Lawton has a few secrets of his own when he shows up at the Jane Austen retreat in Hampshire.  Can he keep his secrets to himself while discovering more about a person he has fallen in love with?

As mentioned, these three characters’ stories were very well woven together.  It was sort of predictable, but it still held the interest of this reader, hoping that everyone would get their happy ending.  The ending did seem a bit abrupt (a complaint I seem to have with many books – maybe it’s just me!), but did tie up loose ends rather quickly. 

Both women are wondering if Mr. Darcy can only be found in books, and if happy endings will ever happen to them.  What was nice about this story is that the male interests weren’t perfect, weren’t Mr. Darcy incarnate, but guys who were willing to accept these ladies with all of their issues regardless.

Ms. Connelly did a wonderful job with her female characters and developed their voice well.  The reader really gets a sense of who these ladies are and care for what happens to them.  The characters seem real with their thoughts and feelings and you can see yourself wondering/feeling these same things.  I have always thought of doing an Austen weekend conference/retreat and this made me want to all the more. 

I was a bit hesitant to read this after reading ‘Molly’s Millions.’  I enjoyed that story but it seemed a bit too far-fetched.  However, with ‘A Weekend with Mr. Darcy’ the characters were more believable and the situations (save a few) were fairly realistic!  It was a humorous and delightful read, perfect for anyone who loves Jane Austen and a teaser for enticing the reader to go away to Hampshire for a Jane Austen retreat.

4 Stars!
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