cover image The Darcy Connection

The Darcy Connection

Elizabeth Aston, Author . Touchstone $14 (287p) ISBN 978-1-416

Aston’s latest foray into Austendom (after Mrs. Darcy’s Daughters ) follows the children of Elizabeth Bennet’s friend Mrs. Collins, who married the uninspired vicar Collins, now an uninspired bishop. Their eldest, Charlotte, has grown into rare beauty; Charlotte’s sister, and our heroine, is Eliza—Mrs. Darcy’s goddaughter. Eliza has ill-advisedly acquired a tendresse for Anthony Diggory, the son of the local squire, which is passionately returned. Sent off to London as companion for Charlotte, however, Eliza opens her eyes both to the possibilities of the larger world and her own place there, thence lessening the desirability of a Yorkshire life and of Anthony. Assisting this process is the handsome but proud banker, Bartholomew Bruton, with whom Eliza first becomes annoyed and then enamored. If she can save Charlotte from a cad and fend off Anthony, among other complications, Eliza may just find happiness. More development of Charlotte and one or two fewer complications would have helped, and some ends are simply too tidy. But the results are still utterly charming, with all the verve, humor and Austenian turns of plot one expects from Aston. (Apr.)