“This will not do, Miss Bennet. You are not real, and the sooner I can convince myself of that fact, the sooner I will be free of this lunacy.”
Elizabeth shook her head, her tears forgotten in renewed exasperation at the gentleman. She ventured to look at him then. He sat with an air of feigned calm, one hand cupping his jaw, his fingers covering his mouth as he spoke. It was all quite distracting.
“Sir, I assure you. I am as real as you are.” Her brows lowered as she considered her strange new abilities. “At least, I think I am,” she whispered to herself.
(from Haunting Mr. Darcy, page 51)
KaraLynne Mackrory’s latest novel, Haunting Mr. Darcy, is a humorous, delightfully sweet retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennet, in a coma after a carriage accident, finds her spirit has been transported to a library, where slipping a hand through a book enables her to immediately absorb its contents. She thinks she’s having a splendid dream, until she realizes she’s in the London home of the disagreeable Mr. Darcy.
When Mr. Darcy sees Elizabeth in spirit form, he thinks he’s going mad. He was entranced by her back in Hertfordshire, and knowing that a match between them would be unsuitable, he has been trying hard to forget her ever since. But Elizabeth is somehow tethered to him and cannot leave his side, and it’s not long before Mr. Darcy’s family and servants notice his odd behavior, mainly that he is talking and laughing to himself. Meanwhile, back at Longbourn, Elizabeth’s family keeps vigil at her bedside.
Haunting Mr. Darcy definitely is “a spirited courtship.” With Elizabeth’s ghost being dragged along with him everywhere, even his bedchamber, distracting him at every turn, there are plenty of funny moments to brighten what otherwise could be a dark tale. Mackrory uses Colonel Fitzwilliam to lighten the mood and prompt Mr. Darcy to act when all seems lost, and even Lydia Bennet’s story takes an unexpected turn. I especially loved the references to Persuasion, which is another of my favorite Austen novels.
Readers of these retellings obviously expect a happily ever after, and I loved that I had no idea how Mackrory would get Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to that ending. I was intrigued by the prospect of a Pride and Prejudice ghost story of sorts, and I wasn’t disappointed. Haunting Mr. Darcy is among the most unique retellings I’ve come across so far, throwing Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth together at their weakest, removing the confines of society’s rules, and letting love take its course, complete with a believable paranormal twist.
Disclosure: I received Haunting Mr. Darcy from Meryton Press for review.
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.