Darcy looked down, feeling somewhat embarrassed. “Now you know very well, Georgiana, that I have never really taken a strong liking to any particular woman. Usually the association was out of duty or obligation or some familial obligation. There may have been a few whose company I enjoyed, but none I would have sought as my wife.”
“Oh, but there were certainly many who wanted you to take a liking to them and who would have, without the slightest hesitation, consented to being your wife!”
“Yes, and I can remember all your comments after I would introduce one of those women to you.”
Georgiana looked down, displaying a childlike pout for her brother. “I was not that bad, was I, Fitzwilliam?”
Darcy laughed. “I quickly discovered, Georgiana, that the quieter you were around the lady, the more vocal you would be to me after she left!”
(from Darcy’s Voyage, page 397 in the ARC)
Darcy’s Voyage proved to me that I’m still not growing weary of the numerous sequels and re-tellings of Jane Austen’s novels. In this re-imagined Pride and Prejudice, Kara Louise takes readers on a completely different journey while staying true to Austen’s beloved characters and arriving at the same conclusion.
Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy meet in a carriage, and after enjoying a lively discussion, they part ways. Two years later, Elizabeth convinces her father to let her travel alone to America to visit her Uncle and Aunt Gardiner. After boarding Pemberley’s Promise, she runs into Mr. Darcy, and they strike up a friendship, not realizing he is the man from the carriage and the owner of the ship. Elizabeth is booked in steerage, and she willingly gives up her bed to a pregnant woman whose daughter falls ill. And when Elizabeth also becomes sick and injures her ankle, Mr. Darcy devises a plan that will allow her to sleep in the extra bed in his cabin — and joins the two of them together permanently.
Of course, misunderstandings separate them once they reach New York, but after returning to England, they are reunited at Netherfield, and readers are reunited with the rest of the cast of Pride and Prejudice. In addition to the complicated situation carrying over from the voyage, Darcy and Elizabeth still must deal with George Wickham’s evil ways, Caroline Bingley’s arrogance, and Lady Catherine’s rage. Louise handles these things (and more) much differently than Austen, breathing fresh air into a story I know inside and out.
Although I found it hard to believe that Mr. Bennet, being a gentleman, would allow Elizabeth to travel solo and that Elizabeth and Darcy didn’t recognize one another on the ship after being so smitten for months after the carriage ride two years prior, I really enjoyed Darcy’s Voyage. Because they meet in a far different manner, there isn’t the prejudice that Austen created, though pride is glimpsed here and there. Darcy’s Voyage is more about keeping love intact at all costs than about overcoming pride and prejudice. Louise puts a unique spin on events, with enough tension to carry the story until the end, where some things play out differently than in Austen’s novel. Darcy’s Voyage is among the most creative Austen re-tellings I’ve read in awhile.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Darcy’s Voyage from Sourcebooks for review purposes. I am an Amazon associate.
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