My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me.”
So begins the timeless romance of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen’s classic novel is beloved by millions, but little is revealed in the book about the mysterious and handsome hero, Mr. Darcy. And so the question has long remained: Who is Fitzwilliam Darcy?
In An Assembly Such as This, Pamela Aidan finally answers that long-standing question. In this first book of her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, she reintroduces us to Darcy during his visit to Hertfordshire with his friend Charles Bingley and reveals Darcy’s hidden perspective on the events of Pride and Prejudice. As Darcy spends more time at Netherfield supervising Bingley and fending off Miss Bingley’s persistent advances, his unwilling attraction to Elizabeth grows — as does his concern about her relationship with his nemesis, George Wickham.
This book just seemed to go on and on, without much happening, and no significant insight into Darcy’s character.
The narrator didn’t help matters for me. I didn’t enjoy his voice. He did a competent job with the reading, but he’s not going to be a favorite of mine.
My main problem is that during the course of this book, Darcy has no life other than worrying about his love life, worrying about his friend’s love life, and writing beautiful letters to his beloved younger sister. All of these are fine, but I’d seen Darcy to be a man with some substance behind him. I just don’t see it in this book.
I did like the concept. I liked where the storyline around Georgina (Darcy’s sister) was going. I loved Darcy’s valet. Some of the other secondary characters have promise of being developed in the later books. I’m just not sure I’m going to bother to read them.
I listened to this as part of the Everything Austen Challenge. This is the second item (out of 6) that I’ve completed– I’m now on schedule!
Next up is either to watch a different version of Emma or read the Lost in Austen choose your own adventure book. Or maybe something else entirely!
Thank you to Stephanie at Stephanie’s Written Word for organizing this challenge.