The Other Mr. Darcy is a perfect follow-up to Pride and Prejudice. Monica Fairview has written a tale that perfectly captures Austen’s original characters, while managing to fill out and change our perceptions of the “villainous” Caroline Bingley.
The Other Mr. Darcy starts on the day of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet’s wedding. Caroline Bingley collapses in tears in what she thinks is an empty library, heartbroken over the lose of her love, Mr. Darcy. She is soon mortified to discover that she is not alone, but that Mr. Robert Darcy, Mr. Darcy’s American cousin, has witnessed her breakdown. This scene was very reminiscent to me of Gone with the Wind, when Rhett Butler secretly witnesses Scarlett’s declaration of love for Ashley Wilkes. I loved it!
Months later, Mr. Robert Darcy comes to the Bingleys’ residence at Netherfield to ask Jane to visit her ailing sister, Elizabeth Darcy. Jane and Charles quickly depart, while Caroline, Mrs. Hurst, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Mr. Robert Darcy follow and are held up by a series of events. Much more intrigue ensues and I won’t ruin the plot by revealing more!
I loved Caroline and Robert Darcy’s verbal sparring, it was fantastic and very reminiscent of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s war of words in Pride and Prejudice. Although in this case, Caroline is full of pride as Mr. Darcy and Robert assumes Elizabeth’s role. I also loved seeing the Bennet family again and Ms. Fairview captured each of their personalities perfectly. Caroline was also soundly rounded out and had great growth throughout the course of the book.