The Darcy Cousins by Monica Fairview

7263332Fiction — print. Sourcebooks Landmark, 2010. 423 pgs. Received from PaperBackSwap.

Fitzwilliam and Georgiana Darcy’s cousins, Frederick and Clarissa, arrive from America much to the chagrin of Lady Catherine de Bough, who decides Clarissa is more vexing and brash than Americans normally are. Georgiana, however, is intrigued by her self-confident cousin and quickly becomes Clarissa’s partner-in-crime setting up clandestine meetings between her American cousin and her de Bough cousin so Clarissa can help squirrel Anne out from under her mother’s thumb.

But Clarissa’s lively personality and easy nature in public — a stark contrast to Georgina’s personality — attracts the attention of all the men in the neighborhood, including the man Georgina is interested in, and sets both girls up as accused accomplices when Anne mysteriously disappears one night.

This novel is one of the few follow-ups that manages to focus on Georgina and Anne in a way that feels true to the original characters, and the evolution of their characters was my favorite aspect of this novel. Georgina slowly creeps out of her shell rather than being yanked out by a contrived plot, although there are some aspects of her and Clarissa’s behavior that is very shocking for the time period in which this novel takes place. Appearing to be meek and sickly, Anne is actually a rather strong character, a great lover of books, particularly ones her mother disapproves of, and longs to travel to the places she visits only through books.

Somehow I managed to miss the memo that this is actually the second book in a series, but I never felt like this impeded my ability to understand the story being told in this novel. I’m not sure I will go back and read the first book in the series, however, because the events of that novel are very readily discussed in this novel. I wish I hadn’t made such an error as I thoroughly enjoyed Fairview’s novel.

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