One of my goals this year is to read and review older Austenesque books, so I thought that Mr. Darcy’s Daughters by Elizabeth Aston would be a good place to start as it was published in 2003.
The story begins twenty years after Pride and Prejudice left off and tells us the story of Mr. Darcy’s daughters first season in London. Similarly to the Bennets, there are five Darcy girls, Letitia who is the eldest, Camilla who is similar to her mother Elizabeth, Georgina and Belle who are twins, and Alethea, the youngest. The girls also have some brothers but they are only mentioned in the story, just like Darcy and Elizabeth who are in Constantinople and do not make an appearance.
When I started reading this book, I knew that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth would not be at the centre of the stage, but I was not expecting them to be completely missing from the story, which was a minor quibble I had with the book. Even if it was necessary for them to be absent for the plot to work, I still missed their presence, especially because all the other characters were new to me. In fact, because we were introduced to so many new characters in the beginning of the book, not only the girls, but also their relatives, friends and acquaintances, it was very hard for me to feel any real attachment to any of them, and for the greatest part of the book I was not very engaged with either the characters or the story.
In terms of characters there were a few I liked and a few I disliked. Aunt Lydia, for example, was really fun to be around with (Wickham is long gone), and Wytton was certainly the best character in this book with his resemblance to Darcy in terms of personality (even if I cannot understand his fickleness of heart). But Fitzwilliam was a despicable character I could not enjoy due to his coldness and obtuseness, and Sophie was truly annoying which is a strange fact to accept when I think she is the Gardiners daughter. The same applies to Mr. Darcy’s daughters whom I could not like. Their behaviour was scandalous and not at all what I would imagine from girls raised by Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. The only one I started caring a little about was Camilla, and that was only towards the end of the book.
In terms of plot, I think the idea was interesting and it was nice to see a little more of the ton, but what I enjoyed the most was Camilla’s romance towards the end. If the book had been only about that I think I would love it very much, however, there were too many scandals and elopements for my taste in this story. It was mainly this exaggeration of scandalous behaviours from Mr. Darcy’s daughters that made me dislike the general plot. I am not particularly fond of Lydia, so seeing so many of Darcy’s daughters having Lydia like behaviours was truly a disappointment for me.
Mr. Darcy’s Daughters is a very well written book released at a time when not many ventured into Jane Austen Fan Fiction. It has its own merits for bringing to live so many new and different characters but unfortunately, the exaggeration of certain behaviours coming from certain characters, the farfetched explanations and the language that was often used prevented me from enjoying it more.
You can find Mr. Darcy’s Daughters at:
and on Audible