Georgiana Darcy, reserved, affable, and well-bred, is preparing for her big debut into society, which is a very momentous occasion in a young girl’s life. Georgiana hopes to have a successful season but with her naturally shy disposition and the remembrance of her past misjudgments, she views her coming out with a bit of trepidation. Fortunately for Georgiana, her American cousin, Clarissa Darcy, is journeying from Boston, Massachusetts to make her own debut into society as well. Clarissa is beautiful, exuberant, fearless, and a little impetuous. Will Georgiana be left in the shadow of her engaging and charming American cousin? Or will our shy and reserved Georgiana be influenced by her forward and flirtatious cousin?
Georgiana isn’t the only person to benefit from Clarissa’s presence; Anne de Bourgh at the age of twenty-nine has become a prisoner in her own house. Because she is regarded as weak and sickly, Anne is never without her companion, Mrs. Jenkinson, or her formidable mother, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, by her side. Clarissa, bewildered by Anne’s lack of freedom and reticence to participate in conversations, conceives it is her mission to draw the quiet and forgotten Anne de Bourgh out of her shell. Clarissa and Georgiana discover that Anne de Bourgh isn’t as weak and complacent as everyone believes her to be, and that she is capable of doing something very uncharacteristic and dramatic.
(“The Darcy Cousins” is actually a sequel to her “Pride and Prejudice” sequel “The Other Mr. Darcy,” which was released October 2009).
In this story Monica Fairview presents an engaging historical romance through the eyes of innocent Georgiana Darcy who idealistically thinks the grass is always greener in her cousin Clarissa’s court. I love that Ms. Fairview has extended the Darcy family tree to include some American cousins, they make a very suitable addition to the “Pride and Prejudice community. Georgiana is ” coming of age.” in this story… It was lovely to go by Georgiana’s feelings of insecurity, awkwardness and inadequacy; and I was reminded that, whether it be the nineteenth century or twenty-first century, transitioning into adulthood has never been smooth.
I was extremely impressed with the way Fairview weaves the story to capture the reader’s attention. The author uses old fashioned, tried and true storytelling, and this is a wonderful story. I was impressed with how a simple story could be so intriguing, using the historical backdrop effectively and accurately to keep the reader captivated.
I would recommend this book to those who like a good historical romance story.
Now Author ” Monica Fairview” has kindly agreed to write a “Guestpost” for me… I wanted to know , “What inspires you to write? ” Here is what she has to say :
” Tasting” the Past by Monica Fairview..
Thank you so much for inviting me to join here, Sumana, and for your question, what inspires you to write? since it has inspired me to write this blog.
Anais Nin once said : “ We write to taste life twice” , and I find that to be true on many levels. Whether you’re drawing on something from your life, or creating a whole new fantasy world, each moment of writing is a process of remembering and reliving so element of your experience. Unlike what many people imagine, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re drawing on actual events in your life, or some big moment of extraordinary insights that gets you going. It’s the minutiae in life – the little things – that provide your inspiration, and enable you ” to see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower ” . ( William Blake ) To me, it’s about being ” in touch ” with the world around you.
E L Doctorow once said : “ Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining , but the feeling of being rained upon. ” In other words, you have to re- live that sensation yourself. What does rain feel like? ” The warm rain washed her face like a benediction.” Or ” Rain droplets slid down his skin like sweat. ” Or ” A piercing rain crept through the gaps in her clothing. ” There are as many ways to feel the rain as there are people. In that sense words are a marvel, because in a single sentence I’ve translated that experience of rain so that you as a reader can experience it as well. But rain has to matter, and that’s where the inspiration part comes in, because if rain is just rain, an unpleasent wet sensation which I have to put up with because I have no choice – well then it’s not going to be interesting enough to write about.
Inspiration from that perspective is any object or sensation that resonates with you . It could be a simple sensory experience , as in Marcel Proust’s famous madeleine , which evokes so many memories of him : “ I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake…….a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped , intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place .” Or it could be your moment of clarity, when your perspective of things shifts just a little. This was the case for me in The Other Mr Darcy which was born the instant I looked away from Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy’s happiness and saw Caroline Bligley sinking into the corner. I knew, despite her spitefulness, that she was wounded , and I knew then that I had to write her story.
It could be far broader and more tenuous , of course – it could be about a style of writing, or a certain author’s depiction of a world. In that sense Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer are inspirations for me because they capture the essence of a bygone era so strongly that I , too , feel I must write about it. I want to “taste” that world again , and have it come alive once more.
In case of Jane Austen, it’s her character in particular that inspire me. Which is why I have returned to them not once , but twice so far. I’m compelled especially to write about the characters whose stories weren’t fully told. I was intrigued by Georgiana Darcy , who goes through a rather nasty shock at a very early age. I wanted her to get the chance to grow and develop , which I felt must be difficult without parents to guide her, and with a brother who is much older. I wanted her to have her own love story. The inspiration for the novel came in the form of a question : what was it like for a shy person such as Georgiana Darcy to grow up with such a glamorous brother ?
What do you think?
To see my answer to the question , you’ll have to read The Darcy Cousins .
Thank you very much Monica for this wonderful post..
NOW THE GIVEAWAY :
March 30th – April 4th
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* Pls. mention after reading Ms. Fairview’s guestpost what is your thought for “inspiration”…
Thanks Danielle @ Sourcebooks for the book & giveaway as well as arranging the guestpost..
This review is also going to ” Book Review Party Wednesday” hosted by http://cymlowell.blogspot.com/