It’s tough being a teenager, even if you are the handsome, accomplished and wealthy Georgiana Darcy. Your parents are dead and you have dull Mrs. Annesley for a companion. Being painfully shy and having an older brother like Fitzwilliam doesn’t help matters much either. His standards are incredibly high. He “cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen [young ladies], in the whole range of [his] acquaintance, that are really accomplished.” And, then there’s Colonel Fitzwilliam. He’s your cousin and co-guardian with your brother. He arrives for inspection and departs by patting you on the head like a dog. How can you possibly be the refined, accomplished young lady that your family expects before your presentation to London society when you don’t know how to walk with grace, talk with ease, and curtsey to the King without wobbling? No wonder you’re churlish and snappy…you’re only seventeen!
Pride and Prejudice continues through the eyes of young, impressionable, and insecure Miss Georgiana Darcy as debut novelist C. Allyn Pierson picks up the story right before the wedding of her brother Fitzwilliam to Elizabeth Bennet and continues through their first year of marriage and Georgiana’s presentation at court. From Pemberley to Hertfordshire to London, we follow Georgiana through the trials of teen angst, as she candidly writes in her diary of doubts and struggles universally acknowledged by anyone who has ever been there: “Why did I say that?” or “She doesn’t like me.” or “Why do they treat me like a child?” or “Does this boy like me?” all through her gentle, sweet-natured, and occasionally brusque manner. Along the way, we are privy to the Regency life of the privileged upper class with the trials of shopping, theatre, formal dinners, Balls, and London society. With the assistance of Colonel Fitzwilliam’s mother Lady Whitwell and Elizabeth Darcy, Georgiana has every advantage a young girl needs, so why is she so nervous, and what man will ever want her from more than her dowry?
Originally self-published in 2008 as And This Our Life: Chronicles of the Darcy Family, this sequel has had a major rewrite from its original release. Overall this debut novel is still the sweet story that I had remembered due to Pierson’s affable, easy-going style and choice of chaste material. Besides Austen’s canon characters, the Darcy’s social sphere has expanded to include Colonel Fitzwilliam’s parents Lord and Lady Whitwell, a new amiable neighbor Sir Robert Blake, and a few villains thrown in for good measure, ner’ do well Jonathan Walker, dissolute George Lewis Winslow Fitzwilliam, Viscount St. George, and the gold-digging Comte de Tourney. The pacing was still sluggish through the first 125 pages as not much conflict was presented beyond Georgiana’s internal struggles. I would like to have seen more development of the antagonists throughout the entire novel and not just presented in the second half of the story. However, it was rewarding to see Georgiana develop from an anxious teen to a confident young woman with a lovely romance of her own. As gentle natured and accomplished as Miss Darcy herself, his new novel will charm Austen purists and leave them craving more.
4 out of 5 Regency Stars
Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister, by C. Allyn Pierson
Trade paperback (448)
© 2007 – 2010 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose