Karen Wasylowski’s Darcy and Fitzwilliam provides a rare look into the relationship between cousins Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam.
The first part of the novel finds Mr Darcy recently married to the love of his life, Elizabeth Bennett. But not everything is sunshine and roses. When Elizabeth discovers that Mr. Darcy was once entangled in an affair with Caroline Bingley, she is furious at her husband’s omission of the truth. When Elizabeth discovers that she is pregnant, her emotions become even more muddled.
Throughout this first portion, we see the interaction between two cousins who greatly love one another. Though insults and sarcasm are often thrown between the two of them, advice and confidences are also shared. We also gain some insight into demons that Colonel Fitzwilliam wrestles with. Lady Catherine shows concern for her nephew when she realizes how bad his drinking has become, in his attempts to forget the things that he has seen while away at war.
The second part of the novel focuses on Colonel Fitzwilliam, and introduces us to Lady Amanda, a widow originally from America. Her late husband, in an attempt to control her from the grave, gives custody of their son to his mother. Amanda must adhere to a certain set of “rules” in order to remain with her son. Though she is instantly attracted to Fitzwilliam, she realizes that starting a romance with him could prevent her from being with her son.
But soon, Amanda finds herself pregnant with Fitzwilliam’s child, and suddenly, married to him! Now they must fight for her son, or risk losing him forever.
While parts of Darcy and Fitzwilliam are very enjoyable, particularly the relationship between the two cousins, others are unbelievable at best. Though I certainly did not like Caroline Bingley in Jane Austen’s original tale, I certainly don’t see her throwing herself at Mr. Darcy as she does in this novel. And while the author’s portrayal of a Lady Catherine who loves her nephews is certainly believable, I really don’t see this strong woman giving up on her harsh feelings toward Elizabeth so quickly, as she seems to in Wasylowski’s version. I am also not crazy about the jealous, overly emotional Elizabeth that is presented in this book.
That said, if you are looking for an interesting continuation of Austen’s story, this book may be for you. Wasylowski’s investigation of the relationship between two cousins, one that was unfortunately not really explored in Austen’s original, is certainly worth a look. And just a warning, this book does contain some language and sexual content.
Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Marketing professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Sourcebooks Landmark. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.