Darcy: A P&P Variation by Alice McVeigh

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Although the title of Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Alice McVeigh (Warleigh Hall Press, June 2023) suggests that it is a retelling of the classic novel focusing on the leading man, it actually presents the entire Pride and Prejudice story from a variety of perspectives. Along excerpts from Darcy’s diary and Mary’s papers, McVeigh also gives an omniscient perspective of various scenes in the original story, including scenes with the Bennet servants. I enjoyed considering the possible expanded scenes with my favorite book characters, and I especially liked Mary’s internal growth through her diary.

Darcy is a fun read for the fan of the original novel and the cannon of Pride and Prejudice movies. Some of the conversations even captured the inside jokes from the movies! For example, there is comment from Mr. Collins at the dining table about the delicious potatoes, which made me laugh. The author’s voice felt very similar to Jane Austen’s voice. For me, that actually made it less interesting, because it felt unoriginal.

I liked the glimpses of Darcy’s journey as he retold the story of his sister with Wickham and as he explained how he tracked down Wickham after he ran off with Lydia. But, in general, Darcy’s first person narration added a little to the story, but that along with the passages with an omniscient perspective seemed pretty straightforward in retelling the novel. On the other hand, Mary’s journals gave insight into her psyche and purpose for what she does throughout the novel. Since Jane Austen never did give much thought to Mary in her novel, I really enjoyed seeing this unique perspective. McVeigh also created young adult Timothy Lucas to be Mary’s friend, so this portion of the book was creative and unique.

Darcy was an enjoyable read for me, since I always love reading new perspectives of Pride and Prejudice, as well as rereading the original. But, with the exception of the new insights into Mary, the writing and characters felt a little bit too straightforward. It wasn’t a stand-out variation for me.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance review copy of this book provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reviewed on June 29, 2023

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

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