The Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa Adams

The Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa AdamsThe Madness of Mr. Darcy by Alexa Adams

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published on September 15, 2014
Pages: 308
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
    add to goodreads
four-half-stars  

I have enjoyed this author’s writing from her first book right along to this latest effort. While I did enjoy her Less Pride &Prejudice series based on Jane Austen’s original story for the direction she explored in that series of stories, I found this book to be so much more in background, plotting, characters, and tone. She went dark and deep and came up with something much richer for it. It was an amazing ‘what if’ variation sequel. It explored ‘what if’ in the original Pride and Prejudice tale Darcy had not succeeded in discovering his beloved Elizabeth’s sister, Lydia and restored the family’s good name and what if a chain of events followed that would leave all the characters in all, but unrecognizable places. Worst-case scenario stuff, a reunion romance and a truly shiver-worthy topic of madness and its treatment in a past era made for quite the engaging read. I read it in two sitting because I just could not put it down- not because it was particularly exciting, but just because it went some place so different.

It’s the 1830s and Fitzwilliam Darcy hasn’t been right for years. His family knows it, his servants know it, all of society knows it. Everyone knows of the horrid death of his beloved sister, but his issues began long before that. What was the cause? But now he has truly gone off the deep end. Darcy discovers an old enemy near a cottage fire on his estate. He assumes the worst and snaps when he throws the man into the flames. The witnesses are horrified, but no more than Darcy himself. As a result, he listens when his cousins beg him to seek treatment with a reputable doctor at his private home for the mentally afflicted. This leads him to encounter someone he never thought to see again.

Elizabeth Bennet has led a life of misery and misfortune from the moment she rejected the proposal of a truly good man whom she had wronged out of her own pride and blindness to his superior qualities. It is only in later years that she has found a good situation with Dr. Wilson as the matron of his home where he private treats the mental ailments of those from upstanding families. Into her calm, ordered world comes the one man she has never forgotten. She can’t imagine what would bring the proud, strong Mr. Darcy to his knees like this, but she sees this as her chance if she his brave enough to take it and with one everyone thinks of as mad.

The story takes place when Darcy and Elizabeth are middle age and care-worn from the lives they have lived. There is a certain amount of sadness about the whole story. Nobody is untouched by it and I just wanted to bundle all the characters up in a hug- even Wickham. *slow blink* Yep, you saw that right. I wanted to hug the villain. You’ll have to read it for yourself to find out why.

One unexpected and fun aspect of this story was to find a few more familiar faces than just the Pride & Prejudice crew of characters. I loved seeing characters from Emma, Mansfield Park and Persuasion there as minor characters with interesting sequel stories of their own going on in the background.

The romance is a gentle one and it is one that comes on quickly in this story, but that’s because it is a continuation from what went on twenty years before. It’s like they picked up right from the last time they encountered each other. It’s a sweet romance that is a bit blander than I would have liked, but still nice. I loved how things were wrapped up for all concerned.

All in all, I found this book had depth and emotion that challenged me from the start. I would definitely recommend it for Historical Romance fans that appreciate a gentle romance against the historical backdrop of madness and mad houses. It would work best for those familiar with the P&P storyline, but I think most people would get by fine. I would most definitely recommend this one to those who love Austenesque Historical Romance.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read her book in exchange for an honest review.

Yours Affectionately

The following two tabs change content below.
I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Ooh this sounds interesting. I like the unique twist on this one, and I definitely would love a chance to check this author out. Great review.

    • Thanks, Renee! I was totally fascinated by all the historical details relating to the mad house and treatment of mental health back then. It was just frosting on the cake that it involved P&P’s Darcy and Lizzy.

  • Love P&P Sophia..this looks so good and I love that it has plenty of historical deets..love that!

    • That stuff certainly was the hook for me, Kimba!

  • Love when authors do good what ifs/twists on stories, gives them such a different outlook! Glad you enjoyed this one 🙂

    • This was a creative twist and I liked it.