What I liked about this is that it wasn’t just a spin-off from the original Jane Austen novels, it was a novel based off of the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. The main character, Lizzie/Elizabeth (yes named after Elizabeth Bennet), becomes obsessed with Matthew McFadyen and finding her own version of Mr. Darcy who mirrors him exactly. So is it fan-fiction of the novel or the movie? It’s hard to say, but what really did it for me was the character’s appreciation of the score of the film.
The appreciation of Marianelli’s composition and Thibaudet’s performance made me appreciate this book more than I probably would have. When I need something to play in the background that doesn’t have lyrics 99% of the time I go to this score. If I just need to de-stress I go to this score. I’m sure a lot of it is how much I enjoyed this version of the film, but it’s also just an incredibly beautiful score. I’ve pasted it in after the recommendation. I should’ve been listening to it the whole time I read this book.
I mean sure there was this quote,
“And then they argued in the rain and they were so passionate and the place was so beautiful. I knew every daydream I’d ever dreamed would have to be re-imagined to include those giant, mossy pillars and that vast, green countryside. Even the rain was romantic…The mist, the sunrise, the trench coat, and the sweet declaration of his love melded into the most beautiful few minutes I’d ever seen and I was bewitched body and soul.” (5-6)
And I was like I get it I really do, but it was the music appreciation that sold me and kept me reading, even though she didn’t go back to it. The story was good and I enjoyed the tension between Chad and Matt, but got a little frustrated with Lizzie’s idiocy and limiting herself to such a specific idea of a husband/boyfriend. I get she’s young (23/24ish), but come on, no one is that truly idiotic are they?
I was happy with the ending and the growth Lizzie shows, but I honestly wasn’t sure it was going to happen. I think she showed more growth in her career than she did in her personal life. I’m still not convinced that she knew what she was doing even thought she did it. I think she “gets” it, but I’m not sure she actually understands it. The ending did make me smile though so I can’t really complain.
The biggest complaint I have about this book was the editing. I will say I was not aware it was self-published until I went back after to look at it, but it did explain a lot of the grammatical and copy editing mistakes. There weren’t an excessive amount, but there were enough for me to notice and to wonder how they got through the editing process like that. When there’s one or two, I’m looking at you Darby, it’s okay, but when it’s happening enough to highlight or it’s a sentence that has extra words in the middle that make no sense that’s problematic.
Recommendation: This is another one of those that gets lost in the middle of mediocre Jane Austen fanficiton novels. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. It was just good and could’ve used a better editor.
Opening Line: “The theater was nearly empty.”
Closing Line: “I wrapped my arms around Chad’s neck and kissed him again.” (Whited out to avoid spoilers. Highlight to read.)
Additional quotes from My Own Mr. Darcy
“You wanted to find someone just like the fictional man Jane Austen imagined in her mind?” (240)
“You have to decide. This won’t work. I can’t be your friend when every time I’m near you I want to kiss you. And I can’t be the guy who tries to steal you away. If you love him, go be happy. Live your dream. If you don’t love him, change your dream.” (242)
“Don’t mess up your future because you’re afraid to change your dream.” (260)
“And on behalf of at least half of the world, thank you Jane Austen!” (280, acknowledgments)