Review: An Arranged Marriage by Jan Hahn
Author: Jan Hahn
Publisher: Meryton Press
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
paperback, 230 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Pride and Prejudice Variation
Source: From Publisher
Summary (from goodreads):
Can a marriage of convenience ever lead to true love? Immediately after Elizabeth Bennet refuses Mr. Darcy's proposal at Hunsford, her father dies, leaving Longbourn entailed away and little fortune to sustain his widow and daughters. Six months later, the Bennet family receives a visitor with a most unusual offer that promises to save the family from financial and social ruin. Elizabeth's sense of duty forces her to enter into an arranged marriage with a man she does not even like. Told from Elizabeth's point of view, An Arranged Marriage is a compelling twist on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Can Elizabeth overcome her feelings of anger, resentment, and suspicion toward her new husband and - the most bewildering sensation of all - a growing attraction for the last man in the world she ever wished to marry?
An Arranged Marriage by Jan Hahn is a 'Pride and Prejudice Alternate Path' book. It is based on the original Pride and Prejudice but picks up after Mr. Darcy proposes for the first time. Mr. Bennett dies unexpectedly and Elizabeth is forced to return home immediately. I was sad about this fact because he is one of my favorite characters in Pride and Prejudice. However his untimely death has some foreseen consequences. For example, the house is entailed to Mr. Collins and the Bennetts will have to not only find a place to live but also live on a very moderate income. Mr. Darcy comes to the rescue and lays an arrangement on the table that is hard to refuse. If Lizzy agrees to marry Darcy then he will provide for her family. At first Lizzy refuses but after consideration she agrees to sacrifice her happiness for the sake of her family. Thus the story begins.
I was a little taken aback by Lizzy's character in this book. She is not her usually charming, witty self, instead she's angry and leery at Mr. Darcy. I could understand her feeling though. She recently lost her beloved father and she is married to a man she doesn't really know or like. After all he did ruin the happiness of her sister, Jane. Mr. Darcy's character is a bit hard and unrelenting as well. He's used to having his will be done all the time and without question. He's not used to showing emotion or talking about his feelings. These two characters interact like oil and vinegar.
The story line to this book is good. I enjoyed reading every bit of it. Both Lizzy and Darcy's characters transform over each page. They both have a lot to learn about each other as being a married couple. I love that Hahn included most of the characters from the original book, especially Lady Catherine and Caroline Bingley. They are great characters that add adversity to Elizabeth and Darcy's happiness. Jan Hahn did a great job with the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice. Fans of Jane Austen will love this book.