One of my top ten variations of Pride and Prejudice: I simply love everything that happens on When they fall in love: Darcy and Elizabeth in Italy by Mary Lydon Simonsen.
After the proposal at the parsonage, Darcy chooses a bride and in a few months they are married and eventually they have a lovely daughter, Alexa. You can imagine how Elizabeth may be feeling.
However, the book does not start at that point. The book introduces the happy Bingley family and her governess, Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzy is the governess to her nice niece. She depends upon them in everything, her father has had financial problems and she is happy to be with her niece but she has sadly realised that her friend, Charlotte Collins, née Lucas, was more sensible than her.
Elizabeth goes wherever her older sister and brother go, she is content with the situation as she is going to France with them. Jane had a difficult labour whit Cassie and she is going to different spas to take the waters.
Almost all the places where they are going in France are suggestions of Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, Charles Bingley’s best friend. They keep travelling around France and Elizabeth is delighted with Paris or Aix-en-Provence, however she is not so happy when the whole family gets and invitation to go to Italy. Her unhappiness is not because she dislikes Italy, au contraire, she would love to go to Italy directly if it not were that the host for their stay is Mr Darcy.
Elizabeth’s feelings changed drastically after reading Darcy’s letter before leaving Kent. She begs Jane not to go with the excuse that her dad needs them and that their trip has been for over a year and it is time to go home.
Eventually, the invitation needs to be accepted and with her reservations about how Mr Darcy will receive her, they start their trip to Italy. Before they thought, they meet their host and everything starts to spark:
“Miss Elizabeth, it has been too long” Darcy said, extending his hand (…)
Without thinking, she removed her glove and lifted the hand that had been pinned to her side. Looking into Mr Darcy’s gray-green eyes, Elizabeth offered it to the gentleman, and when he accepted it, she knew she was in trouble.
I have omitted a key detail on this review but I have to add that misunderstandings are always around and it is really nice to leave the English etiquette and propriety and have a more relaxed vision of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. Now it is your turn to read it and she what is going on. What questions do you have after reading this review? I would have a few, write them on the comments and let’s see if I can answer them…
Last tempting excerpt:
Although Darcy looked directly at her, it was as if he was seeing through her. “If you could read my mind, Miss Elizabeth, I think you would be surprised at what you would find there”.
(cover picture from WhiteSoupPress)