Book Review : Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer by Karen V. Wasylowski

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Darcy and Fitzwilliam: A tale of a gentleman and an officer by

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A gentleman cannot survive without his best friend...

Fitzwilliam Darcy and colonel Fitzwilliam couldn't be more different. Darcy is quiet and reserved, and carries the weight of his responsibilities on his shoulders. His affable and vivacious cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam is a confirmed bachelor whose military feats have made him a hero, and whose devil-may-care personality hides the torments within. Cousins, best friends, and sparring partners, Darcy and Fitzwilliam have always been there for each other.

Then life gets complicated, with unrequited love and unresolved deeds from the past raising their ugly heads, and family difficulties threatening even the most steadfast friendship. Will these two strong personalities find a way to align, or will the vicissitudes of life and love tear them in different directions and destroy the family they have always worked together to protect?

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It has been a long time since I last read Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice. I think I read it when I was 12 years old. I have almost forgotten all the characters in the story, with the exception of the protagonists, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. Darcy and Fitzwilliam by Karen V. Wasylowski is a continuation of the original story, but I'd rather not compare it with the original and rate it as a stand-alone novel.

Albeit apprehensive of how things might turn out, given my lack of experience in reviewing historical fiction, I decided to give it a try. After reading it, I felt that it was much better than what I'd initially expected, and I found myself tremendously enjoying every second of it.

The book is divided into three parts, #1: Fitzwilliam Darcy, #2: Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam and #3: The Family. Each one of them presents a different tale, but all of them are still related. Being cousins, friends and partners, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are two inseparable souls. However, their names confuse me sometimes because Darcy's first name is the same as Richard's last name. They call each other 'Fitz', 'William', 'Fitzwilliam' and other unpleasant names, and sometimes this makes it hard for me to distinguish their dialogues.

The stories are often funny and enjoyable. Read this dialogue between Lady Catherine and Colonel Fitzwilliam:

"... I demand that you settle down and marry immediately. Why can you not select from the daughters of the many excellent families that are within our circle? My goodness, Pamela Tyson Briggs must be nearly twenty years old and has the hips of a good breeder."

"She has the hips of a rhinoceros," he mumbled.

My favourite scene in the story is the one which involves Lady Catherine and Miss Caroline Bingley in chapter 19 in part one. I "witnessed with my own eye" the older lady's sharp-tongue and quick wits. She disliked Elizabeth previously, but after she saw how this woman brought great joy to his nephew, she willed herself to accept Elizabeth as part of family, and was even willing to come to Elizabeth's defense when Caroline visited the house with malicious intentions. Their "battle" was one worth appraising.

The second part of the story circles around Colonel Fitzwilliam and his new love interest, an American widow named Amanda. Even though their relationship was very romantic, I found it quite unconvincing. They had only known each other for 2 or 3 weeks and they had already gotten married. And before that, Amanda agreed to becoming Colonel Fitzwilliam's mistress even though she had not known him for long. Both of them believed that they were deeply in love with each other. In a way, that was true, but how much could you love someone you barely knew three days ago?

The third part, the family. This is a story about both the cousins. Elizabeth was pregnant with her first child, her due date just a month later. The wicked Caroline Bingley intentionally sent her a letter which enraged her until her temper snapped and she had a great fight with Darcy. Meanwhile, Colonel Fitzwilliam was planning to escape to America with his lover Amanda, and her son Harry. How will things turn up? You'll have to read this book to know more.

This book is really a book worth reading. It is interesting, lively and wonderful. The plot is well-planned and the stories are cleverly written. The author also instilled a suitable amount of humour and sarcasm in her writing that will definitely delight readers. I would recommend it to historical fiction lovers, as well as fans of Jane Austen's classic, Pride and Prejudice.

Note: This book contains profanity and adult contents.

Rating: 4.000

I received a paperback copy of this book for reviewing purposes from Karen Wasylowski. Thank you, Karen!

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Karen Wasylowski is a retired accountant living in Bradenton, Florida, with her husband, Richard, and their many pets. Karen and Richard spend much of their free time volunteering with the St. Vincent DePaul Society and Stillpoint House of Prayer, both charitable organizations that assist the poor living in the Bradenton community. They are also actively involved with Project Light of Manatee, an all-volunteer organization that provides literacy instruction to poor immigrants and to members of the community who cannot read.

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