It is a truth universally acknowledged that women everywhere love Mr. Darcy…except me. I’ve read Pride and Prejudice multiple times and I’ve tried, really, really tried to figure out what it is that makes this (to quote my uncle) the greatest love story of all time.
I’ve made this complaint before and my dear friends said, “It’s just the time period that you have a problem with. The writing style was different then.” Yes, I know.
In an effort to greater understand the Austen infatuation, I read other novels from bordering eras — Frankenstein, Dracula, all the Bronte works (Wuthering Heights wasn’t better, per se), and the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. It didn’t help. I still want to slap Elizabeth and Darcy upside the heads and yell, “Spit it out. You take so freaking long to say nothing.”
So knowing my lack of devotion to all things P&P, it will probably surprise you to know that I spent last night reading this:
And that I actually enjoyed it. The main character, conveniently named Jane, is infatuated with Colin Firth’s portrayal of Mr. Darcy. (I haven’t seen that version, but I’m assuming it’s not tremendously different from the novel). Jane’s great aunt dies, leaving her an all-expenses paid vacation to Austenland–three weeks of Austen-era immersion.
Jane wants to kick her Darcy habit (which again, I totally don’t understand) and quit looking for the ideal man. (Sidenote: The Darcy in the 2005 P&P remake reminded me of Edward Scissorhands, and succeeded in making me feel uncomfortable every time he was on the screen. Dude looks like he needed an extra-strength laxative.)
While I can’t fathom the Darcy love, there were other things about the book that were great: dialogue, character interaction, and a tiny bit of intrigue.
So if you’re looking for a quick, clean, romance, Austenland was a pleasant read.
But I still find Mr. Darcy unattractive, arrogant, long-winded and judgemental.
Ridicule me at will.