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Fiction Review – Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

 

Review by Mirah W. (mwelday)

 

I decided to take a different approach with this review.  A lot of books now have readers’ group guides included but most of the time I’m not reading with a book group.  So for this blog post I decided to answer some questions in the readers’ guide.  If you’ve read Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart and have a different opinion on how to answer these, please share your thoughts! I’d love to have a dialogue with you about this novel or Jane Austen’s original novels.

1-      Claire Prescott realizes that she has put her sister first in everything because she has been afraid to live her own life.  At what point does sacrifice for the people we love become more hurtful than helpful? How do we know when we have crossed that line? How can we restore those relationships to a healthier balance?

This is a tough one for me.  Sometimes in my life I think because I love someone it might not really be a sacrifice to give up something for him/her.  But I suppose once someone becomes aware he/she is not living a happy, true, fulfilling life and it is because of sacrificing for someone else, then things have crossed a line.  The glitch is how someone could actually realize and accept that this has happened.  People often don’t want to listen when things are difficult to hear.  It can take a big event happening to be willing to listen to another person’s opinion.  It’s hard to say ‘no’ but sometimes that is what it really takes to regain control and restore a healthy balance to a relationship.

2-      The plot of the novel revolves around the keeping of secrets. How do you know when to keep a secret and when to share it? What are the risks of keeping secrets?  What are the benefits?

I think it’s ok to keep secrets if no one is going to be hurt because of the secret.  It can be a lot of pressure on a relationship to keep some secrets but in being able to do so a relationship can be strengthened.

3-      When she arrives in Oxford, Claire decides to recreate herself. To do so, she must deceive the people she meets.  Do you think it’s understandable that she would fall prey to this temptation? What price does she pay for her duplicity?

Yes, it’s understandable that Claire wants a chance to be someone new.  She has come to the realization she is not living her life the way she truly wants.  She sees an opportunity to not hurt others in her deception because she doesn’t plan on developing any long-term relationships with the people she encounters in Oxford.  However, this plan backfires when new relationships are forged.

4-      In the end, do you think Claire gave Harriet the right advice about what to do with the manuscript? Why or why not? If you had been in Harriet’s place, what decision would you have made?

I don’t think I would have made the same decision as Claire.  But I don’t want to say what my decision would have been because I don’t want to give away the ending for those who haven’t read the book yet!

5-      In recent years, Mr. Darcy has truly become an iconic romantic hero. Do you think he is a true hero? Why or why not? If you had been Claire, would you have chosen James or Neil? In your estimation, what makes a man a hero?

In my opinion, Mr. Darcy is a hero.  He can admit his own mistakes and wants to be a protector.  I think true heroes have flaws and find ways to get past them.  And in Pride and Prejudice he did sweep Elizabeth off her feet in the end and that’s the quintessential romantic hero move.  I hope I would not have chosen either James or Neil and recognized I needed time to grow in my own way.

These are my thoughts on the book. Now that you know where I stand, I hope you’ll share your opinions.  I enjoyed the book, even though some aspects seemed a little underdeveloped or delivered too quickly. I would recommend it to my fellow Jane-ites out there. If you have read a book related to Jane Austen’s memorable characters and novels that you would recommend, please share in the comments below!

 

 

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