My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In the film Groundhog Day, the character played by Bill Murray wakes each morning to realize he is reliving the same day over and over again. There is a lesson to be learned here, and it is not until the lesson is learned that he life can get back on track and move on to another day.
Well, Fitzwilliam Darcy has some lessons to be learned! We know from reading Pride and Prejudice that when he takes to heart what Elizabeth has said about him during his horrendous proposal at Hunsford and mends his ways, Mr. Darcy finds love and a happy ending. But, his evolution from the stiff, taciturn, and superior being who arrived at the assembly to the kind, accepting and loving man who returns to Longbourn to woo Elizabeth takes several months. What would have happened if Darcy learned the lessons and was able to prevent Elizabeth's anger during the proposal by fixing the problems and misunderstandings in advance?
In The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy, he is able to just that, with one major caveat. He does evolve, and he does correct everything, but only after replaying that same day over and over and over again, Groundhog Day style. Seriously, it takes him a long time! But, for the other characters in the story, no time has gone by at all.
This concept has been used before. I recall reading one where Darcy relived the assembly day over and over and over again. (I apologize to that author, as I cannot recall the title or author...) In that case Darcy had a chance to correct the original bad impression. Here, Darcy has much more to overcome. First, he needs to decide if Elizabeth is really what he wants. He then must identify what caused her great dislike of him and find a way to correct the impression. Then he must find a way to get her to consider him as a suitor.
This version by Beau North is very entertaining. Darcy has a lot of experiences and plays a lot of mischief that luckily disappears the next day when the day is repeated. But, he does learn, and he does change. Slowly, over time, he begins to see what it will take to become the man worthy of a woman like Elizabeth, and what changes he needs to make in his life to win her.
I very much enjoyed this story and highly recommend it to other JAFF lovers.
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