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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Review: Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds

Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy: The Last Man in the World by Abigail Reynolds
Amazon | Goodreads
Historical/Retelling, 248 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Sourcebooks Landmark (first published June 24th 2007)
What if...

The last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry...is her husband?

In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn't marry him if he were the last man in the world.

But what if she never said the words? What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes?

In this installment of Abigail Reynolds's acclaimed Pride and Prejudice Variations, Elizabeth agrees to marry Darcy against her better judgment, setting off a chain of events that nearly brings disaster to them both...

*This review turned out super short. There are things I thought I wanted to say, warnings I wanted to give, but nope. This is it. If you like Jane Austen, romance, or butterflies-in-stomach, pick this up.*

I think it should be standard practice that, when one finishes reading all of Jane Austen's works, someone presses a copy of an Abigail Reynolds book into their hands. Or at least when one finishes P&P... She does one of my favorite things, which is to take a "what if" moment and expand it, to follow the ripple and see what would happen, what would change and what stay the same. This is something I do as a reader - and as an insomniac, telling myself stories in my head at night - and I think it's probably what a lot of writers of fanfiction do - but Reynolds does it so well.

Mostly I think this is because Reynolds understands the characters so well. Even the changes - even when I'm questioning a character and whether they actually would say or do a certain thing, I still find myself thinking, Well, maybe, given this particular 'what-if'... I almost always buy it. But even when I don't- even when I think they've stepped a little too far out of character - I still eat it up. Abigail Reynolds gives me FEELS.
Last year, I read and reviewed What Would Darcy Do? which made me really very eager to read the other Reynolds book I had sitting on my shelves (ie this one); this one made me really very eager to get my hands on everything Reynolds has written: once might be a fluke, but twice is a pattern.

Now, lest I seem fangirly, this is not an unreserved thumbs up. I did feel like Darcy and Lizzie stepped further and further out of character as the book went on. But the thing was, I didn't give a damn. There were some things that, in another book, in another author's hands, would have really bothered me. Maybe even made me put it down. But I couldn't. I could not stop reading this, much to the detriment of everyone who had to work with/speak to/look at me the next day... (Customer service, what?!)  This was so much more angsty and tortured and maudlin than anything I would have expected or wanted for my D&L, and I loved every minute of it. It had its fair share of faults, and I ignored every one of them. I felt foolish and giddy and utterly like a silly girl, but man, my butterflies had butterflies.
Abigail Reynolds is a witch.
A wizard.
A sorceress.

I can't even take it. Gah! I kinda wanna read this book again.

[Oh, and further proof of what Abigail Reynolds will do to you? THIS is what I posted on Goodreads the morning (early, early morning) I finished this:
Fucking hell. Why would I start a book I know I'm going to like at 2am? It's now 7. Why do I do this to myself.

As many issues as I had with this book - and they were big ones - I loved every minute of it.
See? Wizard.]

Click here to be taken to the Austen in August Main Page! Fab button artwork c/o Antique Fashionista!


  1. I love all of Abigail's books, too. And her newest one just came out! I can't wait to get my hands on it.

  2. I haven't read this one yet, I'm looking forward to getting it though. I made a similar mistake with the new one (Mr Darcy's Refuge) and starting reading it at midnight, I knew it was a mistake, but I tried to fool myself that I would only read one chapter and save the rest for another day! I found the willpower to turn off my kindle at about 2:15am, which I felt was an achievement :-)

  3. I'm yet to read a book by the mentioned author, but I hear good things wherever I go!

  4. Her works are great. I have both the original and the second edition of this book. I use them to get a quick fix of P&P variation in my life. Love 'em.

  5. I LOVED this book and have read it so many times. I can't wait for her new book which I plan to pick up at the Decatur Book Festival in a few days!

  6. I feel the same way about Reynold's books - love them, can't get enough of (most) of them, and have re-read them all!


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