Monday, March 2, 2009

So, no. As it turns out, you can't judge an historical fiction book by its cover

So I think I need to quit buying books at Costco, when I have Tommy with me and do not have time to thoroughly examine the book. The picture on the front is NOT enough information, apparently.

This one, for example, turned out to be an historical romance about lesbians. Which I didn't catch onto until about page 150, at which point it became very clear.

So then, I put it here:

But I still like history, and a good love story. I guess I'm just a goblet half full of ale kind of girl. I don't give up easily. So I dove right into another historical romance: Mr. Darcy's Diary, our book club selection this month. I don't know if it is because I have over dosed on Jane Austen themed novels (who would have thought that gravy-training would become an entire genre?), or if it was that the writing wasn't so fab, but I was underwhelmed. 

Did you ever want to see inside Mr. Darcy's noggin while he was courting Elizabeth? Well, you are in luck, but I'll be honest, after about 100 pages, you might want out. You will soon see that Fitzwilliam really was the pompous jerk he seemed at the country dance where he first met the Bennetts in Pride and Prejudice, and that when he sat silent and brooding, it was much preferable to him speaking what (author Amanda Grange thought) was on his mind.

No, I'm being mean. It is mildly entertaining, and perfectly benign. If you like it, there are more: I saw Mr. Knightley's diary at the bookstore, too.

You know which series I'm also sort of embarrassed to have read, but secretly enjoy? Mr. Darcy's Daughters and all the sequels. 
The first was my least favorite, or maybe it just took that long to get over the fact that I was actually reading this stuff. I also read Letters from Pemberley, and then, yes, More letters from Pemberley, which are a little boring, but I recognized parts of Jane Austen's actual correspondance in them. I guess she was going for accuracy.

Now, if you choose to enter the world of Austen prequels, sequels and more, I warn you that there is and entire sub-genre in Austeniana called DARCY PORN. BEWARE the Darcy porn! I haven't run into any, but I have heard whispered stories of connubial bliss and physical congress in Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife.

Okay, then. You can't say you weren't warned. 


  1. Another Jane Austen "porn" warning- but unfortunately such a great read that the two extremely explicit scenes (covering four pages?) are almost forgivable- "By a Lady- Being the Adventures of an Enlightened (that should have warned me there- enlightened says it all) American in Jane Austen's England"

  2. Have you taken the quiz to find out which Jane Austen heroine you are? (May put up on my blog so you can give it a go.) The Austen obsession is shared by many!

    As for Fingersmith, I have it -- but I haven't read it. Are you opposed to lesbian relationships? Or did you just not enjoy the book?

    Great list of books on this site!

  4. You should try "An Assembly Such as This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman" by Pamela Aidan. She is an Austen expert and wrote a three part series starting with this book, to follow P&P, step by step, from Darcy's perspective. And she writes him just as he should be written--all kinds of dreamy.
    Now, why I should need to read a book that lays out his character just as I would expect it to be, I don't fully know. But I like.

  5. I read Mr Darcy's Daughters...ehhh.

    I really like Georgette Heyer's historical romances. They are really cute, feel good romances that make me clap my hands and sigh at the end. But after you read enough of them they seem a little repetative.

  6. My friend has sworn off CostCo books. She took a book back after the third time trying to buy something and being disgusted with it. She walked in and told them to take it back. She didn't even care if they gave her money back - she was going to MAKE them take it back. LOL. They just gave her money back. Too bad, she had a really great speech all planned out.

    I loved Abundance. Also about Marie.

    Have you read Austenland? It's about a woman obsessed with Mr. Darcy. Specifically Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. So funny, and a super fun read. I put book reviews on my blog, if you like those and are interested in other suggestions.....