I'd been looking at this book for awhile, because the blurb sounded fascinating.
The last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry…is her husband?
In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet tells the proud Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that she wouldn't marry him if he were the last man in the world.
But what if she never said the words? What if circumstances conspired to make her accept Darcy the first time he proposes?
The idea of Elizabeth being forced to accept Darcy's first proposal or accepting it for her family's sake has always intrigued me and is something I've long wanted to see a "What If" do.
This is not a fun book for Darcy and Elizabeth fans, I'm warning you now. Elizabeth's prejudices do not allow her to give Darcy a real chance for quite a while and Darcy's pride puts Elizabeth into the position of being made to marry him to protect her reputation and family. He is carried away with his love and can't imagine any woman would say no. Despite all the women Elizabeth listens to telling her to give him a shot, she could learn to learn him, she has to cut off her nose to spite her face. When the truth comes out, the two of them succeed in making themselves miserable for some time.
The characters were spot on in this one, wart and all. Darcy, while truly loving Elizabeth, has not had his pride and snobbery take a hit yet. The way he treats his wife - in his defense doing what he thinks is right at the time - and her family is wrong. Though some of it is what Elizabeth thinks Darcy would want and she does it rather then have him tell her. Yet, Elizabeth gets to see the Master of Pemberley and sees the other side of him. Meanwhile, Darcy has his love, real love, thrown in his face after his marriage - the loveless marriage of convenience he's always dreaded is now his.
This is a short book, a very fast read, but it packs quite a bit into it. Elements of the original novel are included: Lydia pulls her usual thoughtless action but the repercussions are quite different.(show spoiler)
There are a lot of misunderstandings in this book.
Surprisingly, despite the style and language not terribly contemporary to Austen, this was not a bad P&P pastiche. This one is a book I'm going to have to buy.