So this book review is a part of that challenge I made for myself a year ago. The one in which I promised to review every book and film based on Pride and Prejudice book and movie. (For more on that go here.)
An Assembly Such as This (Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman book #1), by Pamela Aidan, is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice…with a twist. In this version, we get the view of Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s point of view.
And I have to say I have never, ever been a fan of these fleshed out fan-fics, you know the one’s where people decide to put a new twist on a perfectly good story, but I must say I loved this.
Yep, I was not expecting to like this book, but I just loved it and didn’t want to put it down.
You see the reason that it was so good was first of all the author, Aidan, really paid close attention to Pride and Prejudice and made sure that her book stayed as close as possible to the novel. The book spans from the first assembly in which Darcy snubs Elizabeth and ends when he returns to London, taking Bingley in tow.
It really shows the progression of Darcy’s interests in Elizabeth, as we have that view into his brain.
I also love how the author focuses a lot of time on Darcy and Georgina’s relationship. In Pride and Prejudice, you know he is a great older brother, but it is nice seeing much more of his care, attention, and affection.
But the main reasons why I loved this book…the Bingley and Darcy friendship.
In the original text, we know the two are close friends but all we really see is Mr. Darcy trying to take care of his friend, removing him from Jane and then encouraging him to come back. In Aidan’s book, we get to see the every day parts of friendship. The things they have in common, discussing issues they have with their families, their views on what’s popular at the time, etc. It’s nice to see that side if Darcy, as well as seeing that he isn’t always telling Bingley what to do.
Yep, they are best friends, through and through.
If I had to pick out something that I didn’t like about this book, I would have to say my only issue is the stiffness in Darcy’s personal thoughts.
In the book Pride and Prejudice, we are hardly ever in his head, so of course he is always stiff and proper, following the way people acted during that time. He only relaxes when we get to Pemberly, as that is his home and he feels comfortable there. However, Aidan always has him stiff and rigid. Even when he is talking to himself and thinking. I would have preferred him to be a bit more relaxed as it is in his private thoughts, but to be honest it is so minute, that it doesn’t really matter. All in all, it was a great book and I am looking forward to reading its sequel.