Can't Stop Reading P&P Variations…

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Archive for the month “February, 2019”

Practical Engagements // by Sophie Rae

Type: Variation

Setting:  Regency

Read Via: Kindle Unlimited

Overall Rating:  3.0/5.0

Characters True-to-Original Rating:  3.7/5.0

Copyright:  2017

Pages: 285

Clean Rating: Clean (although there are some more serious thematic conversations)

Synopsis (via Goodreads): 

This variation begins at Rosings, but veers off course when Elizabeth decides to accept Darcy’s Hunsford proposal, thanks in large part to the unwitting influence of Colonel Fitzwilliam. This story is as much about Elizabeth and Darcy’s torturous road to love, as it is about Colonel Fitzwilliam’s parallel, purgative journey. It is a tale about falling in love, falling out of love, and just falling.


So this version begins at Hunsford, right before Darcy proposes.  Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam are on a walk, and the Colonel reveals the story about Darcy splitting up Bingley and Jane.  At the same time, he also tells Elizabeth a story about Darcy rescuing a woman who was left widowed and penniless because the estate was entailed away from her when her husband died.  Elizabeth is having a lot of feelings, being both super aggravated with Darcy over the Jane/Bingley thing, but also thinking about how the scenario involving the penniless widow could well be the future for her and her sisters.  She stays home from dinner at Rosings because of all the feels, but of course is interrupted by Darcy coming to propose.  However, she hesitates before giving him a piece of her mind, as he so justly deserves, as a picture of her sisters all dressed in rags, begging for a living, flashes into her mind.  And in that moment, she says yes to Darcy’s proposal instead of no.

I think this version did a really good job making Elizabeth acceptance of Darcy’s proposal feel natural without making it feel like Elizabeth is only marrying him for his money.  Like she kind of is, but not for herself as much as her family, so it doesn’t feel like she’s just money-grubbing.  Of course, Darcy thinks that Elizabeth is actually in love with him, and ignores a lot of the little warning signs that she may not be quite as enthusiastic as he would prefer.

The problem with this version is that during that whole initial conversation that Elizabeth the Colonel were having, the Colonel also basically said that he would never be able to marry Elizabeth because he needs money.  But then after Elizabeth accepts Darcy’s proposal, the Colonel realizes that he made a mistake because he actually is in love with Elizabeth hardcore.

So while I enjoyed the journey between Elizabeth and Darcy and watching them work through their differences and find love and respect, I really could have done without the whole weird love triangle aspect with the Colonel pining away.  There was also this weird rich widow who is trying to ensnare the Colonel as well, and every time she appeared my enjoyment of the story plummeted.  She was SO obnoxious.

There were also a few weird differences between this variation and the original (I think).  For instance, I’m 100% positive that it’s Mrs. Younge in the original, yet here it was Mrs. Young.  I’m 80% positive that Charlotte Lucas’s sister’s name is Maria, but here it was Mariah.  And I’m not at all sure that Darcy’s home in London is called Darcy House (although I really think it is) but here it was Darcy Manor, which made no sense since it was in the middle of the city and thus not at all manor-like.  There were weird things like that throughout and I couldn’t tell if Rae was purposely trying to make little differences, or just was really lazy at editing.

A few spoilers below, although nothing too crazy this time.

Spoiler Review:  (complete with capital letters, exclamation points, and question marks)…

So yes the thing with the Colonel was super annoying!  I really like the Colonel a lot, so I get aggravated with versions that either severely change his character into a Bad Guy, or versions that make him just a catspaw to give Darcy and Elizabeth So Much Drama. Here he was very likable, but was also just basically there so Elizabeth could wish that Darcy was more like him until she falls in love with Darcy.  The rest of the time, the Colonel is pining for Elizabeth, almost-courting this annoying woman, and then rescue-marrying another character!  The whoooooollle story would have been significantly better if the Colonel had never been in love with Elizabeth, and instead had fallen in love with the person he ended up marrying.

Side note: I was also confused because basically the woman he ends up marrying he first recues from getting almost-raped by another character.  At that point she says that he didn’t actually rape her. Yet later she’s pregnant??????  There were continuity issues like that throughout this book that lowered my overall enjoyment of the story for sure.

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