Thursday, 15 August 2013

Book Review: Mr Darcy Broke My Heart - Beth Pattillo

Before this book, I read The Shakespeare Curse, which is about a lost manuscript of Macbeth. Mr Darcy Broke MyHeart by Beth Pattillo is about a lost manuscript of Pride and Prejudice – it’s the first of many Jane Austen retellings I borrowed from the public library as research for my novel.

This cover has nothing whatsoever to do with the book - and is therefore even worse than the cover my copy had!

After reading this novel, I was totally fed up with the trope of the lost manuscript – but I think that may just have been because of what I read before.

The other reaction that I had after finishing this book was to just feel very guilty – the protagonist did something which reminded me of what I’d done to someone. I didn’t expect the book to make me cry!

I did feel that the lost manuscript, which we get to read quite a bit of, read like a not-great fanfiction, to be honest – and to be brutally honest I don’t know if this novel was really worth reading or publishing. There were also some statements made by the first-person protagonist that really rankled with me – ‘as forward-thinking as any self-respecting American woman’ which made me angry that Oxford and England in general were represented in the book just as a quaint old fashioned place, almost a theme park. British women are just as forward-thinking and self-respecting as Americans, thank you very much!

So, in conclusion, definitely not a must-read - an example to me of how I don't want my novel to be - but still a fun afternoon's reading. 

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