Let me begin this review with a confession. I am very cross with Ms. Miller, the author of “Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match”, for having written only five books. I’ve already read all of them, and I feel rather bereft not having another elegant Jane Austen variation to look forward to.
Having said that, I hasten to make one more confession. Just like other Kelly Miller’s books, “Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match” doesn’t disappoint. It transports the reader back in time, right into the era of gallantry, propriety rules, titles, and prejudices. With her beautiful prose, the author reconstructs on the book pages the times long gone.
In this “Pride and Prejudice” variation we meet the Darcys and their extended clan, the very same titled and affluent nobility who in the original novel were to be shocked by Mr. Darcy’s choice of a wife. We also get to know Georgiana, Mr. Darcy’s younger sister. I liked the way she is portrayed in this novel. She feels insecure about her ability to make sound judgements about people due to what happened between her and Mr. Wickham. It leads to certain complications in Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationships. Still, societal norms of that time are the ones to blame for misunderstandings between the characters.
The setting of the book – grand mansions, parks and museums of London – was a refreshing change. I do love the Austenesque countryside dearly. It is a picture of bliss with ladies – at least some of them – running freely across the fields covered with spring flowers, lower-key country balls with local gentry gossiping about their neighbours and girls not yet of age to be out dancing with officers of the militia regiment stationed in the neighbourhood. But London holds a charm of its own. Strolling the streets and places, which names have not been touched by passing centuries – Piccadilly, Oxford Street, Bond Street, Hyde Park, Tower of London – together with Darcys, Bennets, and Bingleys, the warm feeling of nostalgia didn’t leave me the entire reading time.
I recommend “Mr. Darcy’s Perfect Match” by Kelly Miller to all Austenesque romance lovers. The book has it all. Beautiful setting, charming prose, prudent ladies with passions hiding behind their calm facades, and gallant gentlemen dreaming about finding brides not only with titles and wealth that would satisfy their noble families but such who would excite them and stir their polished outer decorum.