What would happen if Darcy and Elizabeth knew each other (kind of) before Bingley arrived to Netherfield Park? 😉
Behind the mask (a Pride and Prejudice novel) by Bronwen Chisholm has its starting point in a erotic encounter. I am pointing it from the very beginning in case someone does not like to read erotic scenes involving our dear characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
The masque ball is set before the story by Jane Austen but immediately Behind the mask catches up with Pride and Prejudice. It is obvious that there will be changes, but those changes, in my opinion, follow an interesting retelling of P&P.
We can read about a passionate Darcy and an adventurous Lizzy, a lot of the events are reversed in this novel but with a great imagination and skill, Bronwen Chisholm hits the target when she decides that Darcy actually helps Bingley to get back to Jane and he makes Miss Bingley to go to London in order to protect the Bennet family. It is also great to see that Darcy, again, loves Elizabeth beyond everything.
I have to say that during this novel Lizzy has mentioned several times that “she will not marry” AT ALL. Is that something to be worry about? YES!! How difficult is to have this obstinate, headstrong girl on the right path!! Even after what happened at the Hunsford Parsonage…
I keep talking about William and Lizzy but I need to mention other characters who change a bit from their “moulds”. Colonel Fitzwilliam is a lovely infuriating busybody that makes the story of our heroes a rollercoaster where they do not help at all as they are too stubborn (Lizzy) and too honourable (Darcy). Mr Bingley is great in this story as we can read more about him, he is more protagonist in a way as he is more observant and insightful. Lydia, what could I say about Lydia? She follows her own ruin but she is even lucky at the end! Mrs Bennet’s nerves are worse than in P&P but I have to say that Elizabeth gives her more than one reason for having a bad health, you will eventually sympathise with her (poor Mrs Bennet and Mr Bennet)! Mr Bennet still needs a bit of drive towards his daughters, he cares a lot but he needs to show it more! Charlotte is as usual a great friend and one of the most perceptive characters together with Anne!
I have to mention Lady Susan, oops, I mean Lady Sarah, one of the oldest friends that Jane and Elizabeth have. She is key in this story and I have to say that I really like how the novel ends for her.
One quote from the book that I have loved (read it properly):
“Miss Elizabeth, would you do me the pleasure of being my partner,” for the rest of my life? His breath caught in his throat. “For the next dance?”
By the way, who is Lucinda? I am not answering this question, you must read the book and discover it!
(picture from https://bronwenchisholm.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/cover.jpg)