Il club di Jane Austen – Darcy’s hope: beauty from ashes
Darcy’s hope – Beauty from Ashes is a novel by Ginger Monette that sets the story of Pride and Prejudice at the time of the World War the First.
When I was asked to read this variation I was very happy, because it sets one of my favourite love story in a historical period that is very important for us Europeans.
I was positively surprised when reading the book, I found it was the perfect union of two variations that I love very much: Undeceived by Karen M. Cox (a variation set in the world of spies during the Cold War) and The three colonels by Jack Caldwell (a variation set at the time of the Napoleonic Wars).
Darcy’s hope – Beauty from ashes: plot
Elizabeth is a girl who, neglected by her father, decides to become a doctor in order to provide for herself and feels a deep hate for captain Darcy. He arrived in Hertfordshire, has used Longbourn for military purposes and was the reason for the separation of her sister Jane from Lieutenant Bingley.
Then there is the unexpected flight of Lydia and the madness of her mother, that bring down the world as she knew it.
Both our heroes grow up thanks to their experiences and especially because of the war that makes them mature faster. Their change also served to explain the moral of the story, that is all men are equal. This is an important concept especially in relation to the wars. Darcy finds that all men are equal and the only thing that differs them is the opportunity they have had in life. Similarly, Elizabeth will understand that we must not always be faithful to the first impression but learn to give a second chance and ask them to explain their reasons.
The plot of the story is well-developed, it is the right mix of mystery, historical fiction and romance. Ginger has succeeded in mixing them without diminishing anyone and giving each of them the importance that is due. This is the great strength of this book.
For an Italian reader, the author’s style is simple. It is full of words related to the world of war that one does not always know in another language. Even so, I’m glad I read this book: what is a book if it does not teach us something? In addition, the smooth writing, combined with the beautiful story, make sure that the reader will devour the book in one breath.
Because of the theme of the war, this novel conveys many feelings, but the author, with her style, manages to mitigate the negative ones. There are scenes that convey tenderness, laughter and also a lot of happiness for what happens. As if to say that the ugliness of the war makes people understand the true beauty of things.
For this and many other reasons, I loved this book and I can not wait to read the next volume. This volume, in fact, despite having a proper end, leaves open questions – What really happened to Lydia? What does Wickham still want from Darcy? – that will be answered in the next novel: Darcy’s hope at Donwell Abbey.