Every once in a while those free Kindle books actually turn out to be nice…
In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Bennett falls from a horse and is in a coma the day after the Netherfield Ball. When Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy stop by, they are just in time to hear Mr. Collins announce his engagement to Elizabeth – even though he hasn’t consulted her on the subject. Carried away in the moment, Mr. Darcy jumps in and says this is impossible as Elizabeth is engaged to him. Although it sounds a bit implausible, Clarkson actually pulls off this scenario quite well. Throughout the rest of the book, we still deal with all the prejudices of our favorite couple, but now they are in a situation where it is to their best interests to work through their differences together.
I really like variations where, instead of arriving at conclusions apart from each other as they did in the original (after the Hunsford proposal), they actually communicate and talk through things together. Unequal Affections was another similar scenario, and another of my favorite retellings. I appreciated that in this version Elizabeth still had plenty of sass, but wasn’t obnoxious. The other characters stay true to form as well.
This is a clean version, which was also nice – no sneaking off for pre-marital snogging. While there is tension there, it is presented in a way that didn’t make me embarrassed to read it.
Where the story bogged down a bit was a side strand with Darcy’s cousin Anne. Lady de Bourgh is a bit over-the-top, and combining her with Caroline seemed a bit strange as well. While it’s not a terrible way to take the story, it felt a little odd.
Still, all in all this was a pleasant surprise, and one that I recommend to anyone else there who, like myself, is strangely addicted to P&P retellings.