Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart
Author: Beth Pattillo
Publisher: Guide Post Books
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
paperback, 263 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Chick-Lit
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Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead.
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is another fabulous book by Beth Pattillo. The story takes place in England at a symposium of Jane Austen. The main character of this novel is Claire Prescott. Claire is a hard working woman who has given up a lot to raise her sister after their parents death. Claire is practical, rational and devoted to her sister, Missy. In fact she's so devoted to Missy, Claire travels to Oxford in order to present a paper her sister had written to a Pride and Prejudice summer seminar. However Claire is not happy about this. She does not understand why everyone falls head over hills for Mr. Darcy. She's not excited to be at this conference until she meets James Beaufort. James is the embodiment of Mr. Darcy. He's debonairly handsome, not very friendly but has gentlemanly manners. James turns Claire's world upside down especially since she's been in a relationship with Neil for years. Neil is an okay guy who is a bit of a sports fanatic.Claire is not even sure that he knows she left for England. Claire does her best to try to fit in with the people of the seminar but she finds herself caught up in a lie and part of an evolving intrigue that once again involves no other than Jane Austen.
Claire is a martyr. I don't think she means to be but she is. She's given up her life and dreams to raise her sister. Claire only wants the best for her sister but it's at the cost of her relationships and life. Claire doesn't realize what she's doing and how the people in her life feel about it until she reads her sisters paper. Claire feels lost and unappreciated. She turns to an endearing woman she just met, Harriet Dalrymple. Harriet is a sweet elderly woman who seems to be on the cuff of dementia . She is a bit of an eccentric with an interesting filing system. Harriet is in possession of Jane Austen's first draft of Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions. Harriet allows Claire to read the manuscript and implores her to help make a decision that could disrupt the image of Jane Austen.
This book made me want to go and read Pride and Prejudice again. Claire and Elisabeth have a lot in common. They both have a preconceived notion about the people in their lives. I really enjoyed reading Beth Pattillo's version of First Impressions. This story within a story really helped set the tone and help the main character Claire realize that love is sometimes subtle and not what you'd expect and sometimes the answers are not the obvious ones. I really like that the Formidables make an appearance in this book as well. They add quirkiness to the book.
Overall I really liked this book. The characters are great and well written. This book was hard for me to put down once I started it. If you haven't checked out any books by this author yet, I encourage you to. Beth Pattillo has a great writing style. Her novels are fun and inspiring.
To Find out more about the author visit her:
Other books by Beth Pattillo
The Dashwood Sisters Tell All
*My thanks to Beth Pattillo and Guidepost Books for providing me with a copy for review purposes. This in no way influenced my opinion.