Mr. Darcy & the Secret of Becoming a Gentleman–Maria Hamilton

This book is a guilty pleasure meant for those who have watched the BBC/A&E miniseries more than once and have replayed various scenes in which Mr. Darcy stares broodingly at Miss Bennet.  If you are one of those people, prepare to wallow in repeated scenes of brooding, in stolen touches on wrists and earlobes and, yes, finally, a consumation scene near the end.  If you want to envision Mr. Darcy as Colin Firth and feel a tingle on your own wrist as his fingers trace up Miss Bennet’s hand, I won’t tell. 

I contemplated some of this Austen-chick-lit all summer and just couldn’t make myself do it until I saw this one on the new fiction shelf at my library.  I snatched it up quick and hid it amidst the pile of other books I was checking out.  Then I consumed it like a pan of brownies–with great pleasure even in the knowledge that it wasn’t really of high nutritional value.

For 280 pages, Mr. Darcy works hard to redeem himself from Miss Bennet’s reproach on the heels of his first marriage proposal.   Over and over and over.  For the remaining 160 pages or so, Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet strive to achieve some stolen moments in which wrists can be touched and earlobes brushed.  Some of the plot near the end will surprise an Austen purist, but it’s all good fun regardless.

It’s a first novel for attorney-cum-author Maria Hamilton and there are some rough spots–some moments where I became aware of the writing and all of its mechanics–but it’s a fun read.  And maybe the gateway to more Austen-chick-lit. 

Finished 10/12


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