This book is the first of a trilogy that promises to take the reader through the events of Pride and Prejudice from Mr. Darcy’s point of view, the first volume ending as Mr. Bingley and his party go to London after the Netherfield ball. The story, previously published on the Internet, has been immensely popular amongst readers of Jane Austen fan fiction, and it is easy to see why. Ms. Aidan has clearly put a great deal of thought into Darcy’s motivations, and provides an interesting glimpse into the inner workings of his mind. Ms. Aidan has a feel for language, and the prose is dense and meaty; in spots perhaps too much so; the going is a little slow at times, as the reader finds herself flipping ahead a few pages, wishing that Darcy would stop the navel-gazing and do something already.
Darcy and Elizabeth, thankfully, are quite recognizable from the originals, though even in the midst of their pride and their prejudices they have a troubling tendency towards something too close to perfection at such an early stage in their journey. We like our Darcy much snootier, at least at first; remember, it is Elizabeth’s set-down after the Rosings proposal that makes him see the error of his ways.