The Story of Lizzie and Darcy by Grace Watson

Pride and Prejudice modern lesbian self-published rewrite. Romance of the they-hate-each-other-so-much-at-the-beginning-they-must-end-up-together-at-the-end variety. Writing of the surely-if-i-copy-someone-elses-tried-and-tested-formula-i-cant-lose variety. Well… we’ve all seen enough amateur Shakespeare plays to know that isn’t necessarily true. That said, if you loved the original, you will get something out of this adaptation.

Begins badly, and by ‘begins’ I mean I dragged myself kicking and screaming through the first hour or so and then to my surprise it shed its slavish line-by-line translation of the original and found its own voice and turned into a perfectly enjoyable tale of young people finding their way in the world, navigating the pitfalls of family relations and sudden disasters, all while enjoying lots of books and doing grown up things like moving to the big city and getting taxis.

There are holes in this book big enough to push a few interns through, but they boil down to my suspicion that the author is very young. This is a youthful romance; there are no plausible motives for Mrs Bennet, Mr Bennet or Mr Collins, because they are, like, old, innit. Lizzie is straight out of university and gorgeous-but-grumpy Darcy is a terribly sophisticated and world-weary 24 years old. No sex scenes keep it disappointingly true to the original (or is our author too young to feel confident with some good sex scenes yet?). However, this author really does do the Wickham-fucks-with-people thing with quite an edge.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young writer in possession of a manuscript  must be in want of a proper editor. Trust me, if you make Darcy a swanky editor for a huge swanky publishing company, Darcy needs to not have any grammatical errors.

Look out for Grace Watson though, she may go places.

I should say that the author did send us a free copy to review.

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