Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy, by Elizabeth Aston

Title: The Exploits and Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy
Author: Elizabeth Aston
Format: Paperback
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Austen Fan Fiction
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I love books that should be terrible. Like this one. They are my guilty pleasure. Mediocre sappy romance austen-eque fan fiction makes me feel all gooey and simultaneously gives me the LOLs. This book, is in my top 5 secret guilty pleasures, even though I know it is totally ridiculous.... Ok, AGES ago I reviewed Mr. Darcy's Daughters, by Elizabeth Aston, which is the first in Elizabeth Aston's follow up on Pride and Prejudice. Alethea was introduced as the youngest of Mr and Mrs Darcy's five daughters, and she was given a fairly secondary role in the book, and she still managed to get into a fair amount of trouble.

There is a fairly sizeable leap between the two books, but Aston uses flashbacks and the internal angst/monologue of past memories to fill the reader in pretty well, without having to sit through the Looonng version. So Alethea married a man whilst she was on the rebound from her first love (who embarrassed her socially after they hopped on the good foot and did the bad thing). Husband is a jerk, and kills her spirit through continued mental and physical abuse. (This is not just bad, but terrible, as Alethea is usually full of not just any spirit, but the True Darcy Spirit). So the reader begins the book with Alethea running away from her husband in the middle of the night with her old maid Figgins (who made an appearance in the first book too), whilst both dressed as men. The plan is to go to Venice, where her favourite sister, Camilla, is living with Wytton, her new husband, because it will be harder for douchebag-hubby to track her down and drag her home again.

Naturally her plan to be reunited with her sister goes all tits up, and chaos ensues, where every plot line ever gets squished into the book. There is the whole cross dressing thing, and snowstorms/treacherous alps crossings, a creepy sodomite, people getting mugged, a far fetched yacht trip and international chases... Seriously, there is so much going on, and it is all fantastically ridiculous, but I think that is why I love this book. I also remember having a big ol' literary crush on the love interest, Titus, when I first read it (although this was a fair few years ago now), and I doubt I would kick him out of bed for eating crackers. Titus even gets a storyline of his own for Alethea to distract him from. I was just glad that he realised straight away that she wasn't a man, because else the romantic relationship between the two of them would be just awkward. "I'm a girl..." "Are you? That's a shame, as I preferred it when you were a vaguely effeminate man-child."

Alethea is my favourite of the Darcy girls, because she manages to get into such scrapes. It really helps to have read Mr. Darcy's daughters first, because then its much easier for the reader to empathise with Alethea, having seen how fantastic she was before various men cocked up her life. A nice bit of Austen-inspired, drama filled romance, with lots of goo and fluff. 7 stars!


  1. I tend to avoid these books, probably because of what I'm afraid it'll to the original classic and the characters inside them. This does sound kind of ridiculous, but in such a fun way! Glad you enjoyed this, fab review, Rachel. :)

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. Death comes to Pemberly was like that for me as it directly involved the characters from Pride and Prejudice. This however only uses secondary characters in the first book of the series, and everyone in this book is a creation of the author. Darcy and Elizabeth are off page somewhere on a diplomatic mission, so it doesn't really have a chance to ruin any of the original P&P characters. Glad you enjoyed it! x


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