As time goes by and I grow older, I start to give more value to the natural beauties of our planet and the simplicity of life one can only find in the country, so I’ve started replacing my visits to big cities and museums with walks in the country side where I can get appreciate nature.
This new passion of mine made me want to read Boots and Backpacks very badly because in this modern take of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy go on a hike through the Appalachian Trail, and that brings together two of my current favorite topics, but unfortunately that did not mean this book was perfect for me.
The first pages of the book got me hooked because the writing was modern and fresh, but the characters, especially Darcy, didn’t convince me and I had a hard time liking them. In fact, I only started to like the main characters towards the end of the book, which made it hard to enjoy it until that point.
In the beginning of Boots and Backpacks Darcy is a playboy with no responsibilities and who apparently only does what gives him pleasure, not only I disliked this character but also struggled with so much attention being given to his sexual needs. The book doesn’t have excessive sexual encounters, and the ones that exist are really well written and sexy, but in my opinion too much emphasis is given to Darcy’s sexual activity and his needs. I believe that stating he has had more than 500 sexual partners is taking it too far because even in a modern take I could not imagine Darcy behaving like this.
To be honest, as the book progressed I understood why Darcy was portrayed as a society playboy with no responsibilities. The author did a great job in developing his character and showing how Elizabeth can change him and make him a better man. In that manner, the book follows canon with Elizabeth having a crucial part in Darcy’s change, but I still disliked the character through most of the book and that made it hard to love him towards the end. The Darcy we see in the end of the book is an honest and romantic guy who has nothing to do with the Darcy we see in the first part of the book. I only wish I had known this while I was reading the book, because I spent most of it disliking him without understanding the authors goal, had I known, and I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more.
I wasn’t too fond of Elizabeth’s character either, but seeing how these two characters helped each other overcome their biggest fears and insecurities was endearing. In a short amount of time, they showed each other a side of their character that no one else knew, and that enabled them to establish a special bond that made them support each other.
I also enjoyed all the descriptions of their hiking because it taught me a lot about this activity. I only make small hikes that last two or three hours maximum, so following these characters for several weeks was enlightening. Finding characters from the other works from Austen was also something I enjoyed because it gave the book a sense of coziness that always makes me feel good.
Darcy’s plotline was truly the main quibble I had with this book, not only for the reasons already mentioned, but also because the way Darcy was followed by a reporter, and how he was so easily recognized as if he was an incredibly famous Hollywood actor was not believable for me. Maybe I am naïve and that is something that occurs to New York socialites, but I had a hard time believing it and that influenced the enjoyment I felt while reading it.
I found the book a little long and it took me a while to finish reading it, but I do recommend it to readers who like modern takes on Pride and Prejudice and who do not mind to have characters portrayed in an extreme manner. If you are able to overcome that, you will for certain love this book because the character development is really interesting and the relantionship between Elizabeth and Darcy is noteworthy.
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