Poor Evie! She was kind enough to agree to step up and take over the Reader’s Perspective post at the last minute for Dave McKee, and instead of giving her a gentle start, we gave her a tough chapter to comment on. Fortunately, she’s a very nice person and will probably forgive me some day for asking her to do this. And yes, the entire team of The Darcy Brothers has noted the concern expressed by a number of readers who feel things are moving too fast in the story right now, and we’re in the midst of discussions across 8 time zones about what to do about it. One way or another, I expect you’ll be seeing some of those missing scenes eventually. If you have some ideas for scenes you’d particularly like to see, we’d love to hear about it. This is why we’re interested in reader perspectives!
Meantime, let’s send some hearty JAFF get-well wishes to Dave’s wife Lawayne. Here’s hoping they let you out of the hospital soon! – Abigail
First I must thank all of the authors who have taken us this far with Theo Darcy. It has truly been a delight to read and I have savored every moment since the creation of Austen Variations. I also want to thank Dave McKee who has entertained me to no end with his reader perspectives. Dave, your witty remarks have kept me in stitches. You have raised the bar and I only hope I can fill your shoes.
Before reading this chapter I had lots of preconceived ideas. I planned to make you gasp, laugh and squeal with delight. I planned to explain why Charles Bingley should take over the world and introduce you to my idea of Pride and Prejudice meets Anna Karenina or lay out the plot to my imagined “Armageddon Darcy” (It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a Dragunov – SVD 63 must be in want of a spotter). I even thought about humoring my husband and titling my piece, “Why husbands would prefer a story involving the assassination of all things Darcy.” Unfortunately, this week’s chapter did not take me in any of those directions.
There were several things which troubled me about this week’s chapter. Elizabeth’s health has been completely ignored, she is all of the sudden very bold and professes her love to Mr. Darcy in a wholly unexpected manner, Theo has spoken to Elizabeth about his brother’s love for her in what to me seems to me a slightly inappropriate manner because we have no idea what has transpired over the last couple of weeks, Anne is back at Rosings and it looks like we must be very close to the end of the story.
As far as Elizabeth’s health goes, last week Mr. Darcy was concerned about Elizabeth’s state of health and even Mrs. Gardiner mentioned that she had been violently feverish “the night before”. Then we jump to two weeks later when Theo receives information about Wickhead’s plans to ruin Elizabeth’s sister. He goes to see Elizabeth and she is emotionally distressed, however nothing is mentioned about her illness. How much time has passed since she was shot? How long does it take to heal from something like that? She has had a painful surgery and I would guess that since she was in good health prior to her accident she would heal relatively quickly, however this is regency England where they bleed people and leach them. And what about physical therapy? I would expect that her shoulder may have frozen from being bound in one position for such a long time. If that is the case then would she be up receiving guests like she had before the ruckus at Rosings (And isn’t that a great name for a book? The Ruckus at Rosings.)?
What happened during those missing two weeks when Mr. Darcy was calling on Elizabeth? Clearly Elizabeth was warming up to him. This was evident last week when she had her heart to heart with Darcy about not liking to be coerced into anything, much less a marriage, but she still very clearly had reservations. Jump to this week and straight from the get-go, Theo tells Elizabeth not to doubt Darcy’s love. Since when is it ok for Theo to speak so directly about such a private matter to Elizabeth. I understand that he has been trying to convince her that Darcy is a great match, but something just seems improper about that. I am resolved to make things right…
“Mr. Darcy, you are looking well this morning.”
“It is the sight of you which makes me well. How are you feeling today? You have some color to your cheeks. Are you warm? I could open a window if you’d like.”
“You are much too kind. I truly feel much better today. Perhaps later you might help me to the garden. I’d so love to sit under the trees and listen to the birds singing. For now though, perhaps we could continue from yesterday?”
“Ah yes, where were we?” Mr. Darcy leaned across the Chaise where Elizabeth was reclining and picked up the small, well warn, leather covered book that lay on the side table which was situated on the other side of Elizabeth. He could have asked her to hand the book to him, but reaching across afforded him the chance of accidentally brushing her small hand which lied folded on her lap.
“I believe we were at 116.” Elizabeth could not take her eyes off of the gentleman in front of her. The man who had seemed so aloof and disdainful just a few short weeks ago seemed to be transforming in front of her eyes. His ocean blue eyes shone brightly in contrast to his tanned skin and dark hair. When did Mr. Darcy become so handsome?
“116. This is one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s sonnets.” Darcy closed his eyes and began to recite. “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments, Love is not love which alters when its alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove”
Elizabeth joined in. “O no, it is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.” Boldly, Elizabeth reached out her hand and placed it atop Mr. Darcy’s. Her hand looked so small and fragile in comparison to his large muscular ones. His ungloved hands were clearly the hands of a person who was not afraid to get dirty. How had she never noticed that before?
Gently, Mr. Darcy picked up Elizabeth’s hand and brought it to his lips. The warmth of his kiss seemed to spread through her body inch by inch until it reached her cheeks and she remembered to breathe. What was this feeling that had come over her? She did not understand it but she certainly did not want it to stop either.
There you have it, they have become friends and Elizabeth feels comforted by his presence. But is that enough to wildly profess undying love? I don’t think so. Elizabeth prides herself on being logical. I don’t think she would have done that. I wanted her to say that she had discovered that she has begun to think very dearly of him and the thought of losing him terrified her. That is where Mr. Darcy would begin to hope that she could love him. Her encouragement gives him strength and the evening before they wed, they will be walking in the garden at Pemberley, at night, by candlelight and she will turn to him and tell him that she loves him. He will bend down and really kiss her for the first time and fireworks will explode.
Now that that is resolved, let’s take a look at the disgraceful behavior of Lydia Bennet. Lydia thinks everything is a funny joke. She has never been serious a day in her life and due to the fact that everything has been handed to her since her birth, she can never understand to concept of hard work. She wants a new dress and dear Mama takes her to Meryton to buy one. Ribbons for her bonnet? All she has to do is say the word. Why ever would a grumpy old man or two (for everyone older than her that was not in regimentals must be a grumpy old man) think that they could spoil her fun? No she will not have it. Life is a party and every turn an adventure. So what if it didn’t work out with her dear Whicky, there was always Mr. Denny and now that she knew about the ways of “love” she would be damned if she just sat at home and knit. She was going to run into the world head first and screaming with delight. No one would deny her!
So the way I see it, with Lydia being Lydia, she is destined to disgrace herself with one man or another. Eventually, Darcy will have to pay off some fool to marry her and save face. Either way he is plagued with her. Lydia is trouble and will end up seeking Elizabeth’s pin money for the rest of her life. The only good thing about this is that at least Whickhead is not Darcy’s brother-in-law. Is there really any hope for Lydia?
Darcy and Theo have come to an understanding. Praise be! But with the joy of the brothers finally seeing eye to eye comes the realization that The Darcy Brothers must be coming to an end. After all, wasn’t this whole project about getting them back together like one big happy family? I refuse to believe that it could be over any time in the near future! We still have some unresolved sidelines. Anne and Lady Catherine need to be sorted out. Jane and Charles need to ask for that double wedding. What happened to Richard? And as for Monty…
Well, I believe that Monty might be a good reason to end The Darcy Brothers. After all, ending one story means starting another. I’m voting for “The Trials of Sir Theo Darcy”. I see it as a series. Theo has been knighted for his service to the kingdom and is a renowned trial lawyer specializing in murder. He and his buddy Monty solve murder mysteries in unconventional ways all the while claiming the hearts of damsels in distress. What do you think?
Next week we have Regina Jeffers taking up the story. What are some things that you would like to see? Can Lydia change her ways? What obstacles would you like to see resolved or brought to the forefront? Will Theo EVER be rid of those nagging feelings of resentment? Will Wickham really be sent away or will he find a way out of his troubles? What has Mr. Collins been doing this whole time? Will we EVER get to see a passionate Lizzy/Darcy kiss?