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An Arranged Marriage (English Edition) Format Kindle
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Le père de Lizzy meurt peu après la 1ère demande en mariage de Darcy, laissant la famille dans une situation financière dramatique. Lizzy se retrouve mariée contre son gré à Mr Darcy. Commence alors une aventure où se montrent à la fois l'entêtement d'Elizabeth et le caractère fier, obscure et peu loquace de son mari.
Intéressant donc, et assez divertissant. On a quand même envie, à certains moments au début, de donner une bonne fessée à l'héroïne ! ;-)
Pour le moment, c'est, à mes yeux, le meilleur roman alternatif de P&P !
Ce que j'aime : le soin apporté par l'auteur pour coller le plus possible à l'original :) . Son Darcy
Ce que j'aime moins : une Lizzy parfois un peu trop sentimentale/gnangnan
En bref : Un what if très divertissant et travaillé. Toujours moins bien que l'original mais très agréable à lire !
The characters are faithful to their original description, Mr Darcy being as charming as ever, Elizabeth witty and quite angry at times...
Most of all, I absolutely loved the twist in the plot "forcing" them to be married even if she strongly disliked him at first.
I also would like to thank the author for her marvellous ideas when it came to bring them close to each other by "mistake", how funny, sweet and delightful! The wedding night being one of my favorites, along with their reunion at the harvest ball! (WON-DER-FUL!)
So in a few words, if you love Pride & Prejudice as much as I do, there are 99,9% of chances you will absolutely fall for An Arranged Marriage!! :)
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The first-person narration is probably the source of much of my discomfort with the story. Elizabeth kept thinking things that seemed jarring or out of character. It occurred to me that we never really hear Elizabeth's thoughts in P&P, so it's possible she had such insecure thoughts that weren't apparent from the outside. But I hated to see Elizabeth so insecure and willing to believe idiotic things! And yet in a way that's what P&P was about--jumping to conclusions and believing things that weren't true.
I was highly annoyed by most of the nicknames the characters used. Fitzwilliam calling Darcy "Darce" was the worst of them. On the other hand, I thought Fitzwilliam's nickname for Georgiana was believable and added to both of their characterizations.
One thing I loved about this book is how the author portrays Elizabeth's sexual awakening under the influence of Darcy. It's not explicit, but it's pretty convincing as well as making the story more enjoyable.
Overall, I think this story mostly suffers from the fact that I, the reader, had rigid expectations for Jane Austen's characters. It will always be challenging for an author to challenge those expectations. Huge credit to the author for writing a literate book. The language was pretty much impeccable.
That's why I'm giving this book the benefit of the doubt with 3 stars, instead of 2. After all, what if this had been the first P&P retelling I'd read in years? Would I like it better? See, there are "what-if's" in my life as well as in Darcy's and Elizabeth's.
The author of this book seems to try to keep her writing and her characters true to Austen's, but I wasn't super happy, especially with Lizzie. Too many headaches, too stubborn and uncompromising and not witty enough. Then there was the plot itself that went all over the place with an illegitimate child and suspicions about the father, to blackmail, to a romance for Georgiana (Who cares? I'm in this for Darcy and Elizabeth), and an unsatisfactory Bingley/Jane connection. (Yes, they get together, of course, but I wasn't thrilled with Bingley here and Jane was pretty much a nonentity.)
Maybe this is better than I think. After all, I'd already had enough "what-if" P&P when I started reading it.
This novel begins after Mr Bennet's death and an uncertain future for the Bennet ladies. Mr Darcy proposes marriage to Elizabeth, offering to protect her family and safeguard their future in return for her hand. I am sure he came to regret this decision immediately because he was met with the angriest, cattiest and most disdainful Elizabeth Bennet of all the many incarnations that exist. Her characterisation was even more surprising in that she had already read his letter from Hunsford, and knew that she had greatly mistaken his character and actions. Somehow it all meant very little to her, and believing him no longer in love with her, she didn’t care about the way she acted towards a man she still harboured great resentment for. I couldn't understand why she had such disdain for him, especially after he says he wouldn't claim his marriage rights until she agrees to it. Whilst this spares the sensibilities of modern readers, Elizabeth would certainly have understood that he did not have to do this and this act alone should have raised him in her esteem. It did not. Darcy too was a lot angrier and far more tempestuous that I have come to expect him. I suppose in that way, these two were perfect for each other, and they bickered their way through the first third of the novel.
The storyline and plot was very good. Because of the lack of understanding between Mr and Mrs Darcy, there was much mistaking of actions and character, but it didn't feel contrived or belabored. Because Elizabeth didn't believe in the goodness of Darcy, she was prone to believing the worst of him at all times but, to her credit, she progressed throughout the novel, coming to realise her own shortcomings. This was all very well done. Darcy, likewise, was still too proud in his dealings with his contemptuous wife to give her much credit initially and he too came to trust in her more. I really did enjoy this slow progression of understanding that developed between the two.
Likewise, the antagonists and conflicts were unique and contributed greatly to the story. Elizabeth's position in Darcy's household and family were well developed and I liked her interactions and growing friendship with Georgiana greatly. And the Regency holiday traditions were very well-researched and represented superbly. The antiquated customs were smoothly incorporated into the storyline and I found it fascinating reading. Honestly, given how many P&P variations can't even get the most basic Regency customs straight, this novel should be commended on that alone!
The underlying sexual tension between the couple was easily some of the best I've read in P&P variations, perhaps because some liberties were allowed as we had a married couple who hadn't yet consummated the union. Readers who avoid explicit sex scenes should be reassured that there aren't any in this book. There were however some masterfully written scenes of wanting and desire between the two before they act on it. At least Elizabeth's subconscious knew what she was about far earlier than Elizabeth did herself!
Jan Hahn is a wonderful author; 'A Peculiar Connection' and 'The Journey' are both truly superb. Fortunately, although 'An Arranged Marriage' isn't up to her lofty standards, it is still a very good book and I look forward to reading more from this author. I would also highly recommend 'Suddenly Mrs Darcy' by Jenetta James and 'Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy' by Abigail Reynolds to those that want to read more of this storyline.
However, it doesn't stop me from fully recommending this to any pride and prejudice fan. It took me only a day to finish and I am very happy I got it. Jan Hahn is now one that I definitely have to watch out for.