Monday, 30 March 2020

Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin - Review

Book cover: Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin
Today the blog tour for Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin stops by. This is a gem from the story forums that I thought would never be available published so I’m very happy to take part in this tour. Let’s look at the blurb and then I’ll let you know what I thought of the published version of one of my forum favourites.

Book Description

One distressing night in Ramsgate, Elizabeth Bennet impulsively offers Georgiana Darcy aid. Scandalous rumours soon surround the ladies and Fitzwilliam Darcy, forcing Elizabeth and Darcy, strangers to each other, to marry.

Darcy despises everything about his marriage to the daughter of an insignificant country gentleman with vulgar relations. Georgiana, humiliated after a near-elopement with George Wickham and full of Darcy pride, hates her new sister. Their family look upon Elizabeth with suspicions and do little to hide their sentiments.

Separated from those who love her, Elizabeth is desperate to prove herself to her new family despite their disdain. Just as she loses all hope, Darcy learns to want her good opinion. He will have to face his prejudices and uncover the depths of Georgian’s misdeeds to earn it, and Elizabeth will learn to trust him if she is ever to find happiness being Mrs Darcy.

Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin – My Review

Book cover: Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin
Being Mrs Darcy is a Pride & Prejudice variation that diverges at a very early point. In Being Mrs Darcy, Mr Bennet, Jane and Elizabeth take a trip to Ramsgate which coincides with Georgiana Darcy’s ill-fated seaside trip, which happens the summer before Pride & Prejudice begins. During this trip, Elizabeth happens to notice an assignation happening in the street outside their hired accommodation. She realises that the young lady is in distress, and impulsively intervenes, a move which prevents Georgiana Darcy eloping with George Wickham. Georgiana’s brother soon appears and unfortunately, so do many passers by. The ensuing talk leads to a marriage, but it isn’t Georgiana’s. Miss Elizabeth Bennet marries Fitzwilliam Darcy. It’s a marriage which doesn’t seem fated to be happy. The couple are strangers to each other; both are resentful at having been forced to marry. One of them feels betrayed by her father, who has gone from treating her as his favourite to completely washing his hands of her. One of them feels that the marriage is almost insufferably degrading to his family pride. Will Elizabeth ever feel any happiness in Being Mrs Darcy?

So often in forced marriage scenarios based on Pride & Prejudice we have a situation where Elizabeth dislikes Darcy while he loves her. This scenario is refreshing in that neither of them wants to marry and they are complete strangers. Elizabeth is understandably apprehensive about marrying somebody who she hardly knows and being torn away from her family.
What would it be like to live among these people who did not care about her and could not exert themselves to even say a friendly word or two?
Unfortunately, Mr Darcy, knowing that he is a matrimonial catch, doesn’t consider that she might have this viewpoint. He assumes that his bride to be is happy to be marrying him. After all, she will benefit in terms of social standing and material considerations.
While exceedingly grateful for Elizabeth’s assistance to Georgiana, he was paying a dreadful price for her help. Elizabeth at least would benefit from their marriage. He would give her a distinguished name, exemplary connexions and wealth far beyond what she had ever known. While she gained he lost.
He assumes that his sweet sister Georgiana will befriend his new bride. Unfortunately, Georgiana has been brought up in the same mould as Fitzwilliam Darcy, who says to Elizabeth in P&P that his upbringing has:
allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing -- to care for none beyond my own family circle, to think meanly of all the rest of the world, to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own.
She is a piece of work, but has had the sense to hide this from her guardians. Therefore we find poor Elizabeth trying to make the best of things, learning her duties while being judged by her husband, his family, friends, neighbours and his sister. Since the circumstances of her engagement are kept secret, she is also very limited in who she can lean on for support. 

This book is one of my favourite forum reads which has been edited for publishing. I have found it hard for me to pin down my thoughts on it because I keep comparing it to the unpublished version rather than thinking of it in its own right.

I love this starting off point, which was a new one for me when I read it. I liked the psychology of starting at a different point, where Darcy doesn’t care for her at all. So often in Austenesque writing the fact that Mr Darcy is a huge snob is smoothed over but here he does feel like he’s taken a step down in being forced to marry Elizabeth. He is resentful, not at her, but at circumstances. He’s also expecting a more Caroline Bingley style bride, who would be so happy to snare him that she wouldn’t feel upset at the thought of this sort of a marriage. He doesn’t think of his bride as a person with feelings for a long time.

I also liked the portrayal of Georgiana Darcy. It was a different spin on it, rather than being a meek, sweet person, she is very self-centred and class conscious. Elizabeth tried very hard to make the best of things, which I believe canon Lizzy would, while treading on eggshells trying not to upset her husband or cause a societal issue. A woman’s husband had so much power over her in those times, that it would be imperative to keep him treating you well. While I thought her behaviour made sense, and was in character, this sustained very good behaviour made her less like the flawed and free Elizabeth that we know and love.

The story has been noticeably pruned from the forum version and is quite a bit shorter, but it's still a long read at over 450 pages. One other big change from the forum version is that this version has no sex scenes. For some readers this will be a big positive, as I know that some readers won’t read sex scenes, but for me, who doesn’t mind them, I felt that some of the moments during those scenes when you saw the relationship between husband and wife developing were removed from the story. However, as I said these kind of reflections on my part came from comparing the story with the unpublished version rather than looking at the published story in its own right. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I’m so glad that it’s now published for more readers to have the opportunity to discover it. I’d rate this as a 4½ star read.


4.5 star read


Author Bio

Author Lucy Marin
Lucy Marin developed a love for reading at a young age and whiled away many hours imagining how stories might continue or what would happen if there was a change in the circumstances faced by the protagonists. After reading her first Austen novel, a life-long ardent admiration was borne. Lucy was introduced to the world of Austen variations after stumbling across one at a used bookstore while on holiday in London. This led to the discovery of the online world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction and, soon after, she picked up her pen and began to transfer the stories in her head to paper.

Lucy lives in Toronto, Canada surrounded by hundreds of books and a loving family. She teaches environmental studies, loves animals and trees and exploring the world around her.

Being Mrs Darcy is Lucy’s first novel. Her second, titled Mr Darcy, A Man with a Plan will be released in summer 2020.

You can connect with Lucy at:

-        Facebook: Lucy Marin
-        Twitter: @LucySMarin1
-        Goodreads: Lucy S Marin

Book cover: Being Mrs Darcy by Lucy Marin
Buy Links

Being Mrs Darcy is available to buy now in paperback, ebook and Kindle Unlimited


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18 comments:

  1. I remember reading the unpublished story and being quite angry with Darcy

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    1. I think, from the forum comments, that quite a few readers felt like that. I thought this was one of the areas which had been cut in this published version. He spends less time being neglectful of her, which helps you not be so angry with him!

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  2. Ceri,
    Thank you for taking the time to review Being Mrs Darcy for your readers. I am glad that you enjoyed it!
    Lucy Marin

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    1. Thank you so much for dropping by, Lucy! I am so glad that you've published and wish you all the best with the book :)

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  3. Hi Ceri,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us on this story.

    I read this many moons ago and,like Vesper, remember despising Georgiana and Darcy for their treatment of Lizzy.

    However,I loved the transformation that took place when a certain person’s eyes were opened to their unfair, ignorant and sometimes arrogant attitude towards a person most undeserving of this.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Lucy,best of luck with your book. 🍀

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    1. Hi Mary. I think the story has been edited and so there is less chance to learn to dislike them for how they treat her. I found it easier not to dislike Darcy as he is neglectful of his wife but not actively unkind, unlike his sister, who is still a piece of work!

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  4. I recently finished “Being Mrs Darcy.” An excellent read - thank you Lucy. I enjoyed Lizzie’s determination and courage as she/we awaited Darcy’s transformation. I look forward to you next book. Thank you for using Kindle Unlimited.

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    1. Lizzy is certainly an admirable character in this story, poor thing! Thanks for stopping by maomac!

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  5. Carole in Canada31 March 2020 at 14:03

    Wonderful review Ceri! I don't think I ever read this one on any forums, so it should be a 'fresh' read for me. I am looking forward to reading it. Congratulations Lucy on your debut!

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    1. Hi Carole. It will be a fresh experience for you then. Usually when I have review books I have only read them once when I do my review. It almost doesn't seem fair to review a book that I've read many times because sometimes you perceive a book differently after another read. This one had been edited quite a bit and so I found myself noticing differences while I read the story. I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

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  6. I need to read this one, it seems. Loved what you said about it in your review, Ceri. :)

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    1. Thanks Sophia! I hope you enjoy it when you read it :)

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  7. I first read this online and then as an ARC from Q&Q Publishing. I loved it both times. This was such a creative story and spot on as to the attitude of little Miss Darcy. That was horrid but so great. I wish you much success in this work. Thanks to Ceri for hosting.

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    1. Thanks Jeanne! It was fun to see a different take on Georgiana Darcy. I like to think of her as a sweet little thing, but when you consider Darcy's comment from P&P that he had been brought up to be selfish and arrogant, the idea of Georgiana being the same is an avenue worth exploring! Glad you enjoyed both versions.

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  8. I have read this twice and enjoyed it...especially when she finally tells him off re: his and Georgiana's treatment of her when she was the one who paid dearly for saving Georgiana.

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    1. They are pretty ungrateful in this book aren't they!

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  9. Thank you for sharing your opinion with us Ceri! I am really looking forward to read this book, and when I see reviews like yours, I feel tempted to start immediately! This looks lika a great read :)

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you read it, Rita!

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