The Darcys & The Bingleys
The novel opens a couple days before the double wedding with a funny scene between Darcy and Bingly, in which Bingley asks Darcy for advice on how to keep a wife “happy” in marriage. The exchange between the two characters is a perfect opening of the book. Altman gets Bingleys boyish charm and likability spot on and Darcy is just as unapproachable and off-putting as before. You can see that Altman has tried to write a believable sequel to Pride & Prejudice and she succeeds.
Altman ventures where no Austen novel has gone before – sex. Written with humor, Elizabeth and Jane worry, just like Bingley seems to do, about the wedding night and really get nervous from the talk of womanly matters from their mother.
Another fun part of the book is the growth of the Darcy character. Unlike Pride & Prejudice, The Darcys & The Bingleys shows you the private Darcy. The man who likes to tease his wife or maybe have a drink or two with his best friend Bingley. These exchanges add the the humor in the book and allow us a glimpse of Darcy behind the Pemberly front door. I’m not sure how Austen would like this Darcy (I imagine lots of blushing on her part) but I found it to be a refreshing look at the character. Bookfoolery & Babble also reviewed this book and I just love the quotes she picked out to include in her review. Make sure to stop by her blog to check them out.
Overall I think Altman’s The Darcys and The Bingleys has written a fun, witty and ultimately a very satisfying read. I sure hope that the author decides to continue with another book about the two couples. If she does, I’ll sure to be one of the first to read it!