Lydia Wickham arrives at Longbourn in hysterics; her cheating husband has deserted her and told her that he only eloped with her because someone paid him to ruin her reputation. After Mrs. Bennet discovers her daughter’s pregnancy, she sets a plan into motion that requires Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth to hid Lydia at Pemberley and adopt Lydia’s child as their own. And when Wickham returns to demand money from the person who paid him to ruin the Bennets, Mr. Darcy has an even more difficult decision to make.
Obviously based upon the miniseries rather than the book, Shapiro ignores the ending provided by Austen and instead decides to provide her own imaginative ending to the tale of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. Now stripped of his pride, Mr. Darcy is celebrating the impending arrival of his first child with his beloved Elizabeth and is even willing to accept Wickham’s child as his own in order to save the reputation of the Bennet family. He’s even willing to reconcile with his estranged aunt in order to please his wife. Admittedly not the most puzzling of his actions as he makes a decision at the end of the novel that doesn’t fit in with the back story of his character.
The other characters — Mary, Mr. Collins, Elizabeth, Mrs. Bennet, Caroline Bingley — are all in fitting with their original characterizations, and the friendship/companionship that develops between Mary and Anne de Bourgh actually makes sense. Some of the time line, though, does not add up and the person responsible for paying Wickham to ruin the Bennets would not have know about Darcy’s infatuation with Elizabeth at the time. All that said, I still enjoyed reading Shapiro’s novel despite it’s flaws.
- Shapiro, Juliette. Mr. Darcy’s Decision. Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, 2008. Print. 210 pgs. ISBN: 9782569756829. Source: PaperBackSwap.