Darcy Goes to War by Mary Lydon Simonsen

I should begin by saying that Pride & Prejudice is my favorite book of all time and because of this I have been hesitant to get into the world of Austen inspired fan fiction. Because I love it so much, any change or deviation feels almost sacrilegious to me. It's hard to imagine that anything could live up to the original. My first voyage into Austen fan fiction did not go well, as Death Comes to Pemberley (click here for my review) left a lot to be desired.

When I saw Darcy Goes to War was free on Amazon, I decided to give it a chance after reading the synopsis and getting a thumbs up from my friend over at Books Hug Back, who is an Austen fan fiction connoisseur. I thought perhaps this book would help me get over my own pride and prejudice and general Austen purist snobbery. After all, imitation is supposed to be the highest form of flattery. I was pleasantly surprise by how much I loved this book and Mary Lydon Simonsen has definitely jumped to the top of my new favorite author's list.

In this re-imagining, Elizabeth Bennet and William Darcy are living in England during the Spring of 1944. Britain is in the fourth year of fighting World War II. Elizabeth does her part by driving a lorry and Flight Lieutenant Darcy is a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Their paths cross one night at a local pub and Elizabeth takes an instant disliking to Darcy when he snubs her. Through a series of subsequent meetings, Elizabeth finds her initial impression of Darcy changing, but her guard is up. Falling in love during a war can only lead to one thing - heartbreak. However, Elizabeth and Darcy cannot ignore or fight the feelings they have for one another.

I was instantly sucked into this story and loved every minute of it. There are enough parallels to the original that the characters and story are respected, but this story also managed to be unique in and of itself. Elizabeth retained all of the characteristics that I love about the original - she's witty, independent, and strong-willed. Darcy, who is forever my ultimate literary crush, is just as swoon worthy (albeit less surly) as ever. I loved Simonsen's writing style and it was intriguing to see a modern twist on the story, where forces bigger than just class threaten to pull Lizzy and Darcy apart. The modern setting also allowed for the exploration of new facets of Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship and characters that were not possible before (whole lot of sexual tension!), which added a whole new dimension to their relationship. I didn't think it was possible for Darcy to be any sexier, but I was wrong and I totally dug the whole "fly boy" thing.

Darcy Goes to War is well worth the read, both for Austen enthusiasts and those who are not familiar with the original Pride & Prejudice (which if you are not - shame on you! Get thee to a book store stat!!). This book earns a 5 star rating from me and will probably become one of my favorites to re-read.

1 comment:

  1. Yay! Im glad you enjoyed! Any time you need more choices just ask! :)