“Did you forget, the regiment will move away to Brighton soon enough, and all we will be left with are the Miss Whom-ever’s you think unworthy of your time now?”
Lydia waved her down. “I shall have a husband by then, and I am sure I will not care.”
“How do you mean to get a husband when you chase all the men in town away?” Kitty snorted.
(from The Future Mrs. Darcy, page 44)
The Future Mrs. Darcy is Volume 2 in the Given Good Principles series by Maria Grace, a variation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In the first book, Darcy’s Decision, Grace introduces readers to a young Fitzwilliam Darcy struggling to come to terms with his responsibilities as the new master of Pemberley. This time around, Grace follows the Bennet sisters as they struggle to keep the youngest, Lydia, under control.
Mrs. Bennet hopes her eldest, Jane, will marry Mr. Carver of Netherfield, but when Lydia, Kitty, and Maria Lucas do a bit too much flirting with the officers during an evening at Lucas Lodge, Mr. Carver decides they are a bad influence on his sisters and quits Netherfield. All eyes are on the Bennets as a result, and some families no longer wish to associate with them. Mrs. Bennet is confined to bed because of her nerves, just as Mr. Bennet must leave on estate business.
Elizabeth is put in charge of the household books, and she realizes she underestimated her mother. She also realizes she’s been neglecting her sisters, and she begins taking the time to listen to and really get to know Jane, Mary, and Kitty. Not only do they have to divide and conquer all the household tasks, but they need to keep an eye on Lydia as tongues begin wagging about some officers planning to elope with some local girls.
The Future Mrs. Darcy follows the Bennets, particularly Elizabeth, before Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, and Mr. Wickham enter the picture. It’s short, well written, and a good way to spend an afternoon. Lydia was even more annoying than in the original novel, and readers will wish they could reach into the book and throttle her, especially during the hastily planned dinner party she helps Mrs. Forster throw. Grace introduces some interesting original characters as well, from the creepy Major Sloane to Mr. Pierce, the local curate whom Mary likes.
I think Grace was wise to introduce Elizabeth and Darcy in separate books so readers can see how they really do come from different worlds. It should be exciting to watch them navigate the path to happily ever after in future volumes. I can’t wait to see where she goes with this series, and I highly recommend it for readers like me for whom these Austenesque novels are a guilty pleasure.
Disclosure: I received a copy of The Future Mrs. Darcy from the author for review.
© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.