Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Darcy Christmas by Grange, Lathan & Eberhart

A Darcy Christmas is a set of three Christmas novellas, all spin-offs of Pride and Prejudice but written by three different authors. I passed up the opportunity to review A Darcy Christmas in 2010 but promptly added the book to my wish list at Paperback Swap. A copy arrived in November, just in time for the Christmas season.

The first of the stories is a Pride & Prejudice version of "A Christmas Carol", in which Fitzwilliam Darcy is visited by the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future. He has given up on Elizabeth Darcy, thanks to pride and hurt feelings. The ghosts naturally convince him that his life will suck without her. I liked the first story, once I managed to shut off my internal editor. Most spin-off authors make mistakes, inserting the occasional modern or even American wording (depending upon the author), so you really have to be able to ignore those things if you want to read a spin-off.

Midway through "Mr. Darcy's Christmas Carol," by Carolyn Eberhart, I was in the groove. The second story is "Christmas Present" by Amanda Grange. It's Christmas season and Elizabeth is heavily pregnant but determined to visit her sister Jane and the newborn Bingley. There's not much to the story, but it's a sweet, lovely tale of a family gathering and new life.

The third novella, "A Darcy Christmas" by Sharon Lathan, is actually a set of short stories about Christmases throughout the years of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy's courtship and marriage. It's a good overview of one author's imaginative progression through the lives of the characters.

Each story requires a bit of adjustment as every author endows the various families with a different set of children and her own name choices and some family members may die in one story and reappear in another, but I enjoyed this little tribute to Austen's Pride & Prejudice world. A Darcy Christmas is not, however, a book I will return to. Recommended for fans of Austen who enjoy reading alternate tales of the Pride & Prejudice characters. No previous reading of the authors is necessary.

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I'm not a huge fan of novellas and short stories, I don't know why, I just don't. It's an interesting marketable idea, though.

  2. Jenny,

    You're not alone. Quite a few people feel like short stories and novellas aren't quite meaty enough to satisfy them. I used to feel that way, but I've found some really terrific authors who know how to do short stories and I tend to stick with them. This was an unusual read for me, though. At some point, I stopped reading Jane Austen spin-offs entirely (except for Marsha Altman's because her world is my favorite) but I decided I still wanted to give this one a go. I came close to giving up, but I'm glad I finished.

  3. I had wanted to read a Christmas book this year, but couldn't find anything that satisfied me. This is going on the list for next year, though, as I do love Austen, and have yet to read a spinoff. Great review on this one. I am glad that you liked it!

  4. Zibilee,

    I usually like to read a few Christmas books, but this year Christmas kind of caught me off-guard. So, I just read the one that happened to arrive in the mail. Hopefully, next Christmas will be better for seasonal reading.

    I liked but didn't love A Darcy Christmas. My favorite Austen spin-off series is still Marsha Altman's series, which begins with The Darcys and The Bingleys. She goes off the rails a little (the third book is particularly wild) but they're epic family sagas and I've found that her writing sounds the closest to Austen's. I just finished her 4th and will be reviewing it, soon.


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