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 favorite love story in a historical period that is very important for us Europeans.
I was positively surprised then, 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).
Elizabeth is a girl who, having felt neglected by his father, decides to become a doctor in order to provide alone for her own and feels a deep hate for captain Darcy. He, arrived in Hertfordshire, has used Longbourn for military purposes and was the reason of the separation of her sister Jane from Lieutenant Bingley. More 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 to grow and mature. Their change also served to explain the moral of the story, namely that is all men are equal, and this is an important concept especially in relation to the wars. Darcy, in fact, finds that all men are equal and that the only thing that differentiates them is the opportunity they have had in life. Similarly Elizabeth will understand that we must not always be true to the first impression one gets of a person but learn to give them a second chance knowing and asking them to explain their reasons.
The plot of the story is in fact well-developed, it is the right mix between mystery, historical fiction and romance. The author has succeeded in mixing these different genres with each other 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, but full of specific 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 the theme of war, this novel conveys many feelings, but the author, with her style, manages to mitigate the negative ones by inserting scenes that convey tenderness, laughter and also a lot of happiness for what happens to the characters, 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.
Ginger lives with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys dancing on the treadmill, watching period dramas, public speaking, and reading—a full-length novel every Sunday afternoon. Her WW1 flash fiction piece, Flanders field of grey, won Charlotte Mecklenburg library’s 2015 Picture this grand prize.