Molly Reviews and Guest Post: The Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson

Blurb:
When Lizzy Bennet first meets Darcy Williams, there is an instant dislike between them. As much as they try to avoid it their paths keep crossing, and they each start to see a different side to the other. Their tentative friendship is soon tested, but will they realise how they really feel?

The Story of Lizzy and Darcy is a modern day, same-sex adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Where To Buy:
Amazon

Review:
This story was completely lovely. I loved how Ms. Watson took a story that is treasured and made it completely her own. She kept all of the wonderful parts about the story and left them exactly as they were, if slightly changed to fit her story. You can see where she kept true to the story and where she added her own voice to work. It is seriously completely brilliant and I need everyone to read it. While the story is clearly based on characters, setting and some overall plot points of Pride and Prejudice, this is definitely its own story. The book wouldn’t be half as good as it is if Ms. Watson wasn’t able to create a work all her own with original places, people, and events. I can’t wait to read more works by Ms. Watson

Lizzy was spectacular. She had her prejudices throughout the story and yet she was also a woman that learned from her mistakes. She was a crusader for herself but also had bouts of self doubt. I loved how she wouldn’t allow anyone to put down her family. She loved fiercely and was deeply protective of those in her circle. The way she slowly came around to Darcy and truly thought about her feelings. I adored how she handled herself and how she grew through the whole book. She was very much Ms. Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet but at the same time, she was completely Ms. Watson’s Lizzy.

Oh Darcy. So many people hold Fitzwilliam Darcy up as a guide for what they look for in a partner. Whether it’s his actual attributes or just generally the way he loves Elizabeth Bennet with his whole self. This Darcy is exactly like that. She is a testament to what anyone would look for in a partner. She might be prickly at first and seemingly looking down her nose at people. But she’s really not. It takes you a while to see why she acts that way but you can’t help but love her more when you figure it out. Darcy loves Lizzy with her whole being and would genuinely do anything to help Lizzy in any way she is able. Darcy is protective to a fault and that trait got her in trouble a few times in the story. Darcy is unashamedly herself and doesn’t care what others think, but at the same time, she’s got a vulnerability about her that was endearing.

The Bennet family is just as quirky as ever with Mrs. Bennet being brash and focused on the wrong things despite her heart usually being in the right place. Mr. Bennet loves his children and only wants them all to be happy. Jane is her perfect self, but she has a love of helping that makes you like her more. Sander and Mark are wonderful. They have their own unique personalities and you can tell how much Lizzy loves her brothers. Mark makes me completely happy with how is presented in the story. I love the scene where he tells Lizzy his truth. So much emotion and so well written. George Wickham is a whole new kind of wicked that is completely different than in Pride and Prejudice. However he works his dark magic in the Bennet family all the same. I adored Will Fitts in this story. A character that, while his name comes from Fitzwilliam, he isn’t a direct correlation to any characters from the original story. He’s completely Ms. Watson’s creation. His backstory blended beautifully in the book and I loved his strength. Charles is so desperately in love with Jane and still a little bit clueless; but he was still a perfect match for  friends with Darcy. Charlotte is very much still Lizzy’s best friend, she takes a tiny bit of a backseat in the story. She is still unconcerned with what Lizzy thinks about her choices in life and supports Lizzy no matter what. Collins is such a wonderfully bumbling ball of weird you can’t help but be endeared by it. He is an oddly perfect fit f or Charlotte and clearly has deep feelings for her very quickly. I loved Lady de Bourgh here. She is just as bossy and snobby and the perfect voice of dissent but with a modernized twist. I absolutely loved the scene where Lizzy stands up for herself, her family, and her choices against Catherine de Bourgh. I was cheering for her by the end of the scene.

Just as Pride and Prejudice was a statement on class, love, and how women are viewed in Austen’s time, so is The Story of Lizzy and Darcy a statement on rights, LGBTQIA representation and a tiny poke at how that representation is dealt with in the publishing world. I love how the representation in this story of lesbian, bisexual, trans and ace characters is completely natural and almost as if it’s not a big deal. It wasn’t, but in the same way, it’s a huge deal to naturally have characters in a story just be who they are and it not be weird or a token effort.

I think what I loved most about this story is the same heart pounding courtship that happened throughout as in Pride and Prejudice. Romance has changed completely in the 204 years since it was published. But I still love a story that can give me tension, courtship, and romance while everyone has their clothes on, kind of sort of hate each other and like each other in equal parts, make my heart pound, and keep me turning the pages to find out what happens next. That kind of storytelling is wonderful to read. You can feel the sparks between Lizzy and Darcy right from the start. As they get to know each other and spend more time together you can feel the tension between them grow exponentially with each turn of the page. They are so well suited for each other and by the end their love for each other explodes off the page. Their happy ending is lovely. You are easily able to say they’re going to make it long term and love each other forever.
Stars:
Five

Guest Post:
I’m so excited to share a letter with you today. It’s a letter written by Lizzy that she addresses to a younger version of herself. She gives herself some pretty good advice, even if some of it spoils the surprise for herself. Read and enjoy!
Dear Lizzy-of-five-years-ago,

Hi there! It’s me, future-you. Things are tough right now – I remember it clearly! – but you can get through it. It’s going to be fine. No, more than fine. It’s going to be awesome.

In a few weeks, you’ll come out to Mum and Dad. It won’t be easy, and sitting down and saying those words will be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but also the most rewarding. It’s not that instant moment of relief that you see on TV, but you’ll be grateful for it the next time you want to casually mention a crush or buy new clothes without worrying that someone will suspect if you buy that flannel shirt. You deserve to be happy, and you will be. Mum and Dad will take it well. You already know that Dad will take it well, because you think he already knows and it’s not like he really cares about that sort of thing, but Mum will be a surprise. She won’t be as shocked as you think she will be, and within a matter of hours she’ll be throwing every queer girl she knows at you. Some things never change.

Jane already knows, of course, but after you tell Mum and Dad she’ll bake you a spectacular coming-out cake. Mark will give you a quiet hug and you’ll be able to tell that he doesn’t understand, but he wants to be there for you. Sander will be an ass, but you already knew that. I’m afraid to say that Lysander Bennet is no better at 18 than he was at 13, only now he can legally drink.

I know that coming out feels like the be-all and end-all, but it’s only the start of the adventure. In September you’ll start sixth form, and meet the wonderful Charlotte who will be the best friend you could have ever wished for. You’ll get into a really good university, you’ll get a good degree, and – this is where things get super exciting – I’m living in London!

That isn’t to say that it’s all easy. Sometimes you meet people who just… make you mad. The people you thought were your friends turn out to have been lying the whole time. As for the people that you – that I – instantly dislike…

Let’s just say that you can find friends in the most unexpected of people. I haven’t been very good with the ‘no spoilers’ here, but I’ll leave that one for you to find out on your own.

You are going to have an amazing life, Lizzy Bennet. Don’t doubt it for a second.

Lots of love,

Lizzy-of-today

About Grace:
Grace Watson is a music student and future cat lady with too many books and not enough bookshelves. She currently lives in Wales. The Story of Lizzy and Darcy is her debut novel.

Author Contact:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gracewatsonauthor/
Website: https://gracewatsonauthor.wixsite.com/home

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