True confession: Ive never really understood all the fuss over Mr. Darcy. He was just so stuffy and overbearing and snobbish. Thats why I couldnt resist the lure of a heroine who doesnt understand Mr. Darcys appeal.Its clear that Beth Pattillo drew on her own personal experiences living and traveling in England to bring authenticity to Claires week long stay at Oxford. I felt like a wide-eyed tourist as I saw England through Claires eyes.I loved the whole concept of a lost Jane Austen manuscript and the excerpts Claire got to read. Pattillo did a great job of interweaving the problems in Claires life with the passages from First Impressions. Very cleverly done. The whole concept is genius.A fresh, whimsical, heart-tugging story that captured my fancy and had me reading it from cover to cover in one sitting.
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Patillo is a fascinating look at an old treasure. Claire Prescott has never been enthralled with Jane Austen and Mr. Darcy the way her sister is, but when the sister is too ill to attend an important seminar about Pride and Prejudice at Oxford University, Claire fills in. She could use some romance in her life, especially after the loss of her job and her boyfriend's minimal acknowledging of her leaving the country. A handsome classmate fits the bill perfectly and soon sweeps her off her feet, but then she is caught up in a confusing whirlwind of Austen's lost papers, conspiracy, and deception. Patillo takes the Pride and Prejudice and turns it on its ear through the various papers presented throughout as studies of the famous novel, as well as her own remarkably well done version of Austen's writing. This story is a completely unexpected surprise in that the narrative never goes where the reader anticipates, making it an enjoyable ride. The author does a superb job of making Austen's work come alive through the eyes of Claire as she closely examines the work in relation to her own life, causing deep introspection. I was thoroughly entertained and hope that Patillo writes more in this vein.