For anyone, who is as obsessed with P & P as I am - and I'm certain there are many - the most natural thing is to wonder, after you've read P & P, what was going on in Darcy's head. What's his side of the story? His point of view, his opinions? Jane Austen told us one of the greatest love stories (I'm going out on a limb here, but I dare you to refute me) through the heroine's eyes. While Elizabeth is a practical and generally sensible story teller, it might seem very biased. Just the story-telling part of it. And because I like Mr. Darcy more than I like Elizabeth, for all the obvious reasons, I've always wondered, from probably my second reading of the book over ten years ago, what exactly was he thinking?
This book, Darcy's Story by Janet Aylmer, came out soon after the BBC adaptation of the classic. There are way too many around, if you ask me, and very few live up to the expectation. Many try to mimic Miss Austen because there is no other way to tell the story; some come close, most fail miserably.
Aylmer, a pseudonym apparently, is an Austen enthusiast, and obviously loves P & P enough to write something from the point of view of one of the most marvelous men in the world of literature. But, that's all there is to it. I appreciate the attempt, I really do. I love that there is more about the brother-sister relationship, and that Georgiana is given a bit more character. I love the insight into Darcy's heart; the differences in his perception of his interactions with Lizzie. I love it all. But it cannot compare to a lot of things that one takes away from the original.
Like, Darcy being a bit shy. He's reserved, perhaps, but he does speak his mind. He doesn't hesitate too much.
I think what did it for me with this book was that it borrowed heavily from the original. The lines used by Elizabeth are repeated in italics throughout the book, and though I understand the intention of it, I fail to see its significance because the only people reading this book would be P & P fanatics. No one else would understand it.
It was a fun read. Definitely one of the better companion novels because it does not stray too far off from the story, or give the characters too much of their own lives. I say this keeping in mind that I've read a lot of novels which would've made Miss Austen wish she'd never created her characters! I'd recommend it as a fun and quick read for a Darcy fan.