Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Review: Christmas with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly


Spend Christmas at Purley Hall with all its splendor! 

Victoria Connelly brings her readers a delightfully entertaining holiday novella. Our favorite Austen Addicts are reunited at Purley Hall for Dame Pamela Harcourt’s first annual Christmas conference.

Sparing no expense, Dame Pamela has created an atmosphere to rival any grand house party. I couldn’t help but wish I were in attendance. Between diverting parlor games, friendly competitions and dancing, along with a surprise guaranteed to render fellow Janeites speechless, this is promising to be a Christmas to remember for many of the guests. After dinner cocktails, aptly named Fitzwilliam Fizzer and Pink Bingley, sparked much dialog amongst the ladies of the group, who added their own suggestions of Wicked Wickham and Tickling Tilney. I found myself becoming thirsty for a nice glass of punch, as the merriment in the story is contagious.

In addition to the holiday mirth, Connelly weaves in a little mystery. When her first edition of Pride and Prejudice goes missing, Dame Pamela is nonplussed. Who would have taken a most beloved novel? Surely no Janeite would commit such an act. After all, Janeites are a most amiable group, almost like family. Adding to the mystery is a list of personal belongings that have gone missing from fellow conference goers. Is the culprit Pamela’s brother Benedict, the black sheep of the family who only comes around when he needs money? He has been sizing up the cost of several items at Purley Hall. What about the new Janeite in attendance, the taciturn Jackson Moore? He does strike one as being a little peculiar.

Connelly creates an idyllic setting, laden with picturesque imagery, allowing me to experience Purley Hall’s Christmas splendor first hand: freshly fallen snow, holly, ribbon, trimmed trees, and crackling fires. The atmosphere summoned my Midwestern roots. Having always enjoyed a good snowstorm, I was reveling in the thought of being snowed in with those dear to me, just like our friends at Purley Hall.

What’s even better is that one does not need to have read the previous Austen Addicts books to enjoy this holiday tale. Having done so, may offer you a better understanding of the characters’ personalities, such as Mrs. Soames, but it does not affect the reader’s enjoyment or understanding. Connelly creates characters that readers feel they know. In the same way Austen lovers feel connected to Fitzwilliam Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Captain Wentworth, through her marvelous characterization, that same familiarity is felt with Connelly’s beloved characters, Katherine Roberts, Warwick Lawton, Dan Harcourt, Robyn Love, Doris Noris, and, yes, even the tartar Mrs. Soames. Because Connelly also draws parallels between her characters and Austen’s, the novella was even more enjoyable as I attempted to pick out all of the Austen references and quotes.
 
Whether you are an Austen Addicts follower or newbie, if you are looking for an enjoyable and quick holiday read that will fill you with Christmas cheer, then Christmas with Mr. Darcy is just the thing. As always, Victoria Connelly has left me wanting more, particularly more of Katherine Roberts and Warwick Lawton from A Weekend with Mr. Darcy.




Connect with Victoria Connelly
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Disclaimer: Review copy provided by author

12 comments:

  1. Oh yes - I want to go to Purely again for that special occasion! Please!
    I read it last week in two days and loved it! Such a fund, christmassy read.

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    1. It is a fun, quick Christmassy read, Katrin! So glad you enjoyed it! I hope Connelly takes us back to Purley Hall again!

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    1. Hi Ella! Yes, it was such a fun read, I truly wished I was there with the characters!

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  3. I read the first one in the series, but haven't had a chance to finish the rest. This sounds like a fun read.

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. My pleasure, Sophia Rose! :) A Weekend with Mr. Darcy is still my favorite out of all 4 books. Hope you get around to reading the others. Since it's a novella, Christmas with Mr. Darcy is a rather quick read, perfect for the holidays.

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  4. Great Review! I think I'd keep my first edition P & P in a vault somewhere!

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    1. Me too, Angie! Thanks for stopping by! I think I would also try getting my first edition insured as well.

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  5. Lovely review, Jakki! I just finshed reading Christmas with Mr Darcy and I loved it! I just can't seem to get enough of these Austen Addicts!!=)

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    1. Me either, Kelli! I really enjoy them...even Mrs. Soames! ;)

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  6. Thanks so much for hosting, Jakki, and for your lovely review. I loved writing Christmas with Mr Darcy so much and maybe there will be one or two more Austen Addict stories in the near future ...

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    1. My pleasure, Victoria! :) And I will be looking forward to more from the Austen Addicts! :) Thanks!

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