Today’s review is about Amy D’Orazio’s The Best Part of Love where nothing is as it seems at first sight…
To be completely honest, when I started reading the book, I didn’t like the idea of Elizabeth having a husband other than Mr Darcy, but as I said: nothing as it seems- so by the time the author unravels all the knots, you will see that everything happened for a reason, and that reason is even though Elizabeth and Darcy have a different beginning as usual, but their love and their way to each other’s heart is entertaining, original and full of surprises.
Besides the characters, my favourite thing in this book is how Ms D’Orazio hides Nora Ephronesque essays into the story. If you have seen You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, you might know what I mean. (Youtube- You’ve got mail: Starbucks scene) In the film, there is a scene where Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) stands in the queue in a Starbucks and thinks about what Joe Fox wrote to her once about these chains. Basically “…for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.” Here, the author writes about marriage-remarriage, love at first sight, first impressions etc., without the reader realizing that actually it is the narrator’s point of view or way of thinking put into a character’s mouth. A little essay.
I’m not sure I have read a book where the characters were so deliberate. Because of the starting point (which is: Elizabeth is widowed with one child, member of the ton) there had to be some adjustments when it came to the original characters (like Mrs Bennet, Lydia, Kitty…) and plot (for e.g. Lady Catherine and Rosings) , but Ms D’Orazio has done a splendid job, especially with Mrs Bennet. It was a great pleasure to read the parts where she showed up. She is true to herself: annoying and embarassing as always, but at the same time very funny, and it is because the turn of events. However, Elizabeth is very rich now, the main events are still happening, but with reverse conversations. For example, Mr Bingley is not good enough for Jane according to Mrs Bennet, because he is coming from trade. Or Jane is still getting ill and stays at Netherfield, but her mother wants to remove her sooner rather than later. I think the best scene is Mrs Bennet and Caroline Bingley’s conversation in Netherfield. Hilarious! Besides Mrs Bennet, my other favourite characters are Mr Bingley and especially Darcy’s cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam’s older brother, Viscount Saye. Love his chats with Darcy.
Honestly, I didn’t like Darcy at the beginning (well, almost through half of the book). So many horrible thoughts -for way too long- about a person he doesn’t know AT ALL! In addition, I am really, really not fond of the idea that he doesn’t approve Elizabeth as Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but when he realizes that she is Lady Courtney, he wants to offer for her within a heartbeat. It fits to the era’s mindset (so in this sense it’s not strange), but who wants to read that our “mighty” Darcy would really think about it in that way. For a moment I considered the book was written by a man under pseudonym. 😀 Anyway, by the end of the book when everything makes sense, you can easily forgive Darcy for this tiny fault.
I would name the “bed scene” as the big scene of the book. (It’s somewhere halfway.) I started to like Darcy there. The two different kinds of love Elizabeth had; reveals here.
When a book questions your morals: namely you wish a nice guy to die, you stop for a moment, – but don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with you. 🙂
As I mentioned, it is an off canon variation, but the essence of Pride and Prejudice is there. The author understands the characters and they are adjusted to the new plot challenges, it is well written and first of all Lizzy and Darcy’s love is not damaged by the new events but contains everything (hate, love, understanding, fun) as originally thanks to the author’s sense and dedication to Austen. It’s a real page turner.
Amy D’Orazio is a former breast cancer researcher and current stay at home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in about equal measures. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh PA.
She has two daughters who are devoted to sports which require long practices and began writing her own stories as a way to pass the time she spent sitting in the lobbies of various gyms and studios. She is a firm believer that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses and happily ever afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker.
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook: Amy D’Orazio
Blog Tour Schedule
6 Jan My Jane Austen Book Club; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
7 Jan Just Jane 1813; Review
8 Jan Babblings of a Bookworm; Vignette, Giveaway
9 Jan Every Savage Can Dance; Guest Post, Excerpt, Giveaway
10 Jan Tomorrow is Another Day; Review
11 Jan Savvy Verse & Wit; Character Interview, Giveaway
12 Jan Half Agony, Half Hope; Review
13 Jan Austenesque Reviews; Vignette, Giveaway
14 Jan Darcyholic Diversions; Author Interview, Giveaway
15 Jan Delighted Reader; Review
16 Jan From Pemberley to Milton; Review
17 Jan A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life; Guest Post
18 Jan Obsessed with Mr. Darcy; Review
19 Jan My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice; Vignette, Giveaway
20 Jan Diary of an Eccentric; Review
21 Jan More Agreeably Engaged; Vignette, Giveaway