Mr. Darcy & Mr. Collins’s Widow // by Timothy Underwood
Read Via: Kindle
Overall Rating: 3.0/5.0
Characters True-to-Original Rating: 2.5/5.0
Clean Rating: G, other than flashbacks to Mr. Collins being abusive (nothing explicit)
Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Elizabeth was only fifteen when Mr. Bennet died. His heir, Mr. Collins was an awful, ugly man who mistreated the servants. Elizabeth would never let her dear Jane marry him. Never. Jane was beautiful, kind, and good. She deserved to marry someone she loved.
Elizabeth convinced Mr. Collins to choose her instead. His character was far worse than she had imagined it could be, and her marriage seemed an unending nightmare. Elizabeth only felt joy when he died.
Years later Mr. Bingley took Netherfield, and Elizabeth met his haughty and handsome friend, Mr. Darcy. Even though he saw himself as superior to most of the local gentry, Elizabeth and Darcy quickly became fast friends. But as they grew closer Elizabeth’s terrifying memories of Mr. Collins began to return…
Mr. Collins dies in the first chapter, leaving the young Elizabeth (Bennet) Collins a widow at the age of 16. By the time Bingley and Darcy show up five years later, Elizabeth is settled in as one of the largest land-owners in the area, and is disinterested in marrying and putting herself back under the authority of any man, since Collins was manipulative and abusive.
Darcy is immediately attracted to this intelligent, clever, beautiful woman, and instead of slighting her at the assembly, he talks with her. From there, their friendship develops naturally, although both of them are fighting against falling in love.
The main problem with this story was that it was boring. Because Elizabeth already likes Darcy, she isn’t manipulated by Wickham’s lies. Because Lydia was also abused by Collins, she and Elizabeth bonded and Lydia isn’t the bratty character like she is in the original – but it doesn’t really matter, because Kitty becomes Lydia instead. While Darcy doesn’t want to marry into the family, he doesn’t find them as objectionable as before, and so he doesn’t try to separate Jane and Bingley. There is some mild drama, but it’s mostly due to Elizabeth’s terror of being married again.
There is also a long and rambling epilogue that goes into great detail about how every single character’s life plays out – including characters that belong in the original, but weren’t even in this version! All in all, while this wasn’t terrible for a one-time read, it just wasn’t interesting enough to be worth picking up a second time.
No spoilers today… this book is that boring.