Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise (Abandoned)

Although I do not normally review books I am unable to finish, this is one of those books were I feel like I have to say something.

Subtitled “A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas” and billing itself as a retelling of Austen’s original, Louise’s novel places Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy on the ship Pemberley’s Promise as it sails to the New World. Elizabeth is on her way to join her beloved Aunt and Uncle Gardiner while Darcy is off to fetch his sister Georgiana after she traveled to America in order to overcome Wickham’s treachery. Although the two had previously met, they did so without exchanging names and therefore did not immediately recognize each other when they meet again on Pemberley’s Promise.

One hundred pages in to Louise’s retelling Darcy proposes to Elizabeth a marriage of convenience. Elizabeth has given up her bed to a mother with sick children and, therefore, has taken to sleeping on the floor. What at first was a kind gesture meant to last a night or two becomes a major inconvenience after the mother also falls ill. Darcy, the secret owner of the ship, has a large compartment with an extra bed. Impropriety, however, prevents Elizabeth from utilize the empty bed without being married to Darcy so marriage he proposes.

At which point I set this book aside. I just could not suspend disbelief and believe that Darcy would propose marriage in order to provide Elizabeth with a bed. Just could not do it.

This is one of those books that, unfortunately, seems to be set on capitalizing on Austen’s current popularity. I’m not one to shy away from retellings, but this one  is incompatible with the original on even the basic level of characters. Had the names been different, I would not have been trying to draw connections between the Darcy and Elizbeth of the original with this new Darcy and this new Elizabeth. In fact, I probably would have continued reading had the names been different. Louise sets the bar too high for her retelling by trying to in fact make it a retelling.

(Note: Louise’s novel was originally published as Pemberley’s Promise in 2007.)

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Louise, Kara. Darcy’s Voyage: A Tale of Uncharted Love on the Open Seas. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2010. Print. 503 pgs. ISBN: 9781402241024. Source: PaperBackSwap.

Advent with Austen:

Hosted by Alex of The Sleepless Reader, Nymeth of things mean a lot, Iris of Iris on Books, Teadevotee, and Yvann of Reading, fuelled by Tea, Advent with Austen is meant to celebrate the 200 years since Jane Austen published her first novel, Sense and Sensability. The celebration runs during Advent, November 27 to December 24, 2011. To participate during this time, participants must read or watch Austen-related items: books by her, about her or modern re-imaginings and films.

Book Cover © Sourcebooks Landmark. Retrieved: December 11, 2011.
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4 thoughts on “Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise (Abandoned)

  1. I think the fact that it was so completely unrelated to Pride and Prejudice made me enjoy it more. I agree, as a P&P retelling or whatever this did not work, especially when later in the novel the author tries to fit in details from the original plot, you just go: “huh? I thought you were trying to steer clear of the whole plot” But as a fluffy read I enjoyed this a lot, actually, exactly because only the names overlapped with anything. However, now that I think about it, the story being so completely unrelated, it could just have been published as a historical romance with different names – but, I guess it wouldn’t have sold. Hmm.. that is a sad thing to contemplate, how the name Austen is used. I wonder if this wouldn’t have been less disappointing for most if she hadn’t used the names?

  2. LOL! He proposed marriage so that she could have a bed?! That gives another interpretation to the expression “marriage of convenience”. I’ll give it a wide pass, thanks for flagging :)

  3. Pingback: More Pride, More Prejudice | Ardent Reader

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