By Beth Pattillo
From the back of the book:
“Claire Prescott doesn’t understand Mr. Darcy’s appeal. She’s been comfortably dating Neil, a nice – if a bit negligent – sports fanatic. But when she agrees to stand in for her sister at a Jane Austen seminar in Oxford, England … And when a tall, dark, and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner Lizzie Bennet?”
There have been quite a few books written as take offs of Jane Austen’s novels. This was the first one I’d read and it was a good one to start with.
Beth Pattillo told a really fun story of a missing first book written by Austen 20 years prior to the publication of Pride and Prejudice. The owner of the papers (an eccentric elderly woman) takes a liking to Claire and offers to let her read it.
At first, she’s skeptical, but she comes to believe in the book, as well as the woman. They become friends and she spends much of her free time with her.
Then there is the handsome man who reminds her of the famous – or infamous – Mr. Darcy and she becomes quite taken with him. She begins to think she’s falling for him when her boyfriend shows up to surprise her.
Now, she has a dilemma on her hands. Should she give up the comfort of Neil for the danger of the tall, dark stranger?
I really enjoyed reading this book. Beth did a wonderful job of blending the past (Jane Austen) and the present (Claire) into a story that is easy and fun to read. She also brought out the characters’ personalities so you really felt you knew them.
She also did a great job with describing the setting and tying everything together.