The Plight of the Darcy Brothers: A tale of the Darcys & the Bingleys
by Marsha Altman
Paperback, 368 Pages
List Price: $14.99
Published in 2009
Read my review here.
In this lively second installment, the Darcys and Bingleys are plunged into married life and its many accompanying challenges presented by family and friends.
With Jane and Elizabeth away, Darcy and Bingley take on the daunting task of managing their two-year- old children. Mary Bennet returns from the Continent pregnant by an Italian student promised to the church; Darcy and Elizabeth travel to find the father, and discover previously unknown – and shocking – Darcy relations. By the time Darcy discovers that there’s more than one sibling of questionable birth in the family, the ever-dastardly Wickham arrives on the scene to try to seize the Darcy fortune once and for all.
*** Begin Guest Post ***
My name is Marsha Altman, and I’ve written The Plight of the Darcy Brothers, a sequel to The Darcys and the Bingleys. If you have not read the first book, you can pick up the second, as what happened in the first book is pretty self-explanatory. If you’re picking up book 2 without having read book 1 or Pride and Prejudice, then you either really like a challenge or you are one of my relatives.
My bio on Amazon also says I work in publishing. You may wonder, how is it, working in publishing and also being a published writer?
Awesome. It’s awesome.
Granted the reason my first book was published was not related to my job. I’m still treated like every other author, but knowing the intricacies in publishing is key to understanding my contract and knowing what to expect and what not to expect every step of the way. You don’t just submit a book and it pops out in paperback a few months later. It’s a year long process from signing the contract after extensive negotiations to the books reaching the shelves. There’s huge editorial, then copyediting, cover revision, promotional writing (like this thing here), and then anxiously awaiting reviews while checking your Amazon rank every half hour even though they only update the rankings every hour. A ton of people are involved in the making of a book, and though it’s my book and I sign off on it, I don’t control every step of the process. Publishing is a maddening process for an author, which is why it’s good to work in publishing and get a chance to watch other authors go mad. You get some perspective.
This is a series, so I encourage you to read book 1 and hey, maybe Pride and Prejudice while you’re at it – the key difference in this book is that it has one major plot arc, not two as in the first book (some reviewers felt it had three). The driving arc is Darcy and Elizabeth’s journey to the Continent to save Mary’s reputation by finding her wayward suitor. With the large cast that I have, it’s not entirely about that, but that is the axis on which the book turns.
I want to say that the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth is tested, but it isn’t. It’s tempting in sequels to drive them apart, usually by some massive misunderstanding, so that the author has a chance to bring about a joyful reunion. It happens a lot in other stories, but I’ve really never wanted to do that. The way in which they are tested is not about their approval of each other, but how they learn to lean on each other and support each other as partners in marriage. Darcy is Darcy, which means he’s reluctant to rely on anyone in a crisis, and after digging up some Darcy family skeletons in the form of an illegitimate brother, he goes into crisis mode. Elizabeth has miscarriage early in the book, and Darcy is unsure of how to comfort her on such a womanly issue. They’re both heading into areas they’ve never dealt with before, certainly not as a married couple, and how they come to support each other is the crux of the story.
The other major subplot is with Dr. Maddox, who has to choose between his integrity and his career. In the past he’s always chosen his integrity, which is pretty much why he’s destitute when introduced in book 1, but now he’s married to Caroline Bingley, and he has to support her. His own reputation he can ruin, but not hers. Again, the sacrifices we make in marriage is a key issue.
Also, there’s another swordfight. Yay!
What are key issues you, as a reader, would want to see in a sequel to Pride and Prejudice?
About the Author:
Marsha Altman is a historian specializing in Rabbinic literature in late antiquity, and an author. She is also an expert on Jane Austen sequels, having read nearly every single one that’s been written, whether published or unpublished. She has worked in the publishing industry with a literary agency and is writing a series continuing the story of the Darcys and the Bingleys. She lives in New York.
*** End Guest Post ***
Deadline: August 20. (really 20th, I put 10 by accident – edited 8-14)
1 set of The Darcys & the Bingleys and The Plight of the Darcy Brothers for 1 winner—US and Canada only. No PO Boxes please.
Tell me your favorite Mr. Darcy actor?
How many Pride and Prejudice versions have you seen?
I have seen a few myself: Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Garvie and David Rintoul, and Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
July 23: Jane Austen Today http://janitesonthejames.blogspot.com/
July 24: Fresh Fiction http://freshfiction.com/pages.php?id=blog
July 28 J. Kaye’s Book Blog http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/
July 29: This Book For Free http://thisbookforfree.com/
July 30: Debbie’s World http://j-kaye-book-blog.blogspot.com/
July 31: Grace’s Book Blog http://bibliophile23.wordpress.com/
August 3: Jenny Loves to Read http://bibliophile23.wordpress.com/
August 4: Stephanie’s Written World http://thewrittenword.wordpress.com/
August 5: A Bibliophile’s Bookshelf http://www.abibliophile.com/
August 10: Everything Victorian http://myvictorianbooks.blogspot.com/
August 12: A Curious Statistical Anomaly http://amperzen.com/blog/