A DARCY CHRISTMAS By Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan, and Carolyn Eberhart [Review]
All the sugary sweetness of old-fashioned treacle can be found in A DARCY CHRISTMAS by Amanda Grange, Sharon Lathan, and Carolyn Eberhart. The book is actually three short stories featuring Jane Autsen’s famed lovers Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, written by three of the more prominent authors in this oddly growing genre. (It is amazing how many books Jane Austen’s character’s have spawned.) I have mixed feelings about the book. Call me a Scrooge, but bah and maybe a little humbug too.
It was the first tale that nearly did me in. When the opening pages of the book have you wanting to toss it across the room and into a nonexistent fireplace, it’s not a good thing. “Mr. Darcy’s Christmas Carol” by Carolyn Eberhart is what caused the reaction, and I think it was the collision of two authors in a wreckage of mixed language that stopped me dead on the first page. The mimicking of Dickens’ Victorian A Christmas Carol is a little too close and, honestly, it didn’t get better from there. I plowed on, though, like a plucky Austen heroine facing her first London Season, I went on.
The other two stories, “Christmas Present” by Amanda Grange and the title piece “A Darcy Christmas” by Sharon Lathan, were sweet, a little witty and almost there. Almost, not quite. For me, they lack what I love in Austen, the social commentary, the dialogue, everything, because there is so much more there than just the love story, although that serves as the backbone of the novel. These tales, all three of them, are just sweet. Sweet to the point of whipped honey covered in treacle studded with candied flowers dipped in sugar.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Jane Austen, and actually like, even love, a few of the modern Pride and Prejudice based books, which is why I wanted to read this one. I just was really not expecting the unrelenting sweetness without a break of anything – well except for a a few ghosts on Christmas Eve – that I am sure left both Dickens and Austen spinning in their respective graves.
If you are a fan of Jane Austen, or buying a gift for a fan, maybe think twice about this book. However, if you are a fan of these authors, you might want to give A Darcy Christmas a try, just sit far enough from the Christmas fire that the book is not in danger of being chucked into the flames.
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark | Pages: 304 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon