Fiction — print. Berkley, 2008. 263 pgs. Library copy.
Attempts to expose the inner mind of Austen’s beloved character, Street provides the so-called confessions of one Fitzwilliam Darcy and attempts to provide the innermost thoughts of the man who lost his heart to Elizabeth Bennet. Beginning with the Meryton Assembly and ending with the engagement of Darcy to Elizabeth, Street explains how Darcy was entranced by Elizabeth simply on sight without realizing she and shrill Mrs. Bennet’s “Lizzy” are one and the same.
Angered by his attraction to her, Darcy spurns her with his “intolerable” comment and spends the rest of their time at Netherfield trying to get Bingley to leave so as to put distance between him and Elizabeth. (It appears separating Bingley and Jane was an added bonus.)
Perhaps most interesting about Street’s retelling is the snippets and insights the reader is given into the relationship between Darcy and his younger sister, Georgiana. Darcy’s discovery of Wickham and Georgiana’s plans to elope are covered as well as their behind-the-scenes interactions we are not privy to in Austen’s novel.
While not the best retelling from Darcy’s point of view, I thought Street’s Georgiana was the most insightful. In other retellings and sequels, Georgiana is so shy it’s easy to forget she exists and her relationship with her brother (and her cousin) is never quite as affectionate as I imagine it to be when reading the original.
The struggle Darcy experiences between his attraction to Elizabeth and the expectations he has for his future wife is never fully achieved after the assembly ends. The Darcy in Street’s novel did an immediate about face after receiving Elizabeth’s rejection, but I would imagine he would struggle quite a bit more with her words than Street says he did. Still an enjoyable retelling, but not my hands-down, all-time favorite.