Mr Darcy's Secret

Jane Odiwe, Author
Jane Odiwe, Sourcebooks Landmark, $14.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-4022-4527-5
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 02/01/2011
What comes after "happily ever after" for Pride and Prejudice protagonists Lizzy and Darcy? Odiwe (Willoughby's Return) picks up right after the wedding as Lizzy moves to Pemberley and learns how to be mistress of a grand estate. While trying to reconcile Darcy with Lady Catherine and coax Georgiana out of her shell, Lizzy is bombarded with innuendo about Darcy's past indiscretions. Reluctant to discuss rumors with her husband, she tries to maintain a calm demeanor as various people, including the odious gossip Mrs. Eaton and still bitter Miss Bingley, hint about illegitimate children and secret affairs. It would be a charming romp through "what-if" if Lizzy didn't come across as a brainless young debutante, neither charming nor intelligent, while Darcy is erratic, going from extreme haughtiness to acting like a buffoon. Austen fans will barely recognize their beloved characters in these clumsy caricatures. (Feb.)