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Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson

C. Allyn Pierson‘s Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister is full of intrigue and societal maneuvering as Georgiana, Mr. Darcy’s sister, prepares for her presentation and first Season.  The novel begins just as Georgiana learns of her brother’s engagement to Elizabeth, and she worries that her new sister will not like her.  In Pierson’s novel, Georgiana is full of teen worries about who will like her and how she will be judged for her actions — no matter how mundane.

Coupled with a few shifts in point of view by the omniscient narrator, accomplished through breaks in the chapters or through diary entries from Georgiana, readers not only experience Miss Darcy’s anxieties, but also the concern her new sister, Elizabeth, and her brother feel as she nears adulthood and possible marriage.

“He looked over at his sister, who was across the room talking to Jane by the fireplace, and his expression softened.  Elizabeth’s eyes followed his gaze.  Georgiana’s light brown hair glowed golden in the firelight and her eyes looked as green and limpid as water.  They twinkled at the outer corners when she smiled, as she did now at something Jane was saying.”  (Page 44 of ARC)

Pierson wonderfully sets each scene with detailed imagery of the characters, their dress, and their homes.  Each detail serves to create an atmosphere of regency society, and the expectations of that society on young women.  However, in some cases, the narrative gets bogged down in flowery details of gowns and other elements, which can detract from the action and intrigue in the later portions of the novel.

Readers spend a good third of the novel getting to know Georgiana and her role in as Mr. Darcy’s sister, and her new role as sister-in-law to Elizabeth.  While Pierson does well examining these relationships given what little is seen of Georgiana in Jane Austen’s original work, her Georgiana is often a petulant child in a young woman’s body.  Readers may find her anxieties and reactions to events over the top or out of character with the Georgiana they remember from Austen’s novel.  However, the author does an excellent job evolving her character into a strong and decisive young woman.

Overall, Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister is about the societal expectations placed on wealthy and lower class, young women during the regency period.  Whether upholding their honor or engaging in activities out of a sense of duty, these women steeled themselves against prying and disproving eyes and held their heads high in times of adversity.  Georgiana may not start off as the young woman that readers expect, but she sure blossoms into a refined and dignified young lady.

About the Author:

C. Allyn Pierson is the nom-de-plume of a physician, who has combined her many years of interest in the works of Jane Austen and the history of Regency England into this sequel to Pride and Prejudice. She lives with her family and three dogs in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Special thanks to the author and Sourcebooks for sending me a copy of the book for review.

***If you’ve missed the giveaway for this novel, please check out Pierson’s guest post and the giveaway details for US/Canada readers. ***

This is my 43rd book for the 2010 New Authors Reading Challenge.

This is my 6th book for the Jane Austen Challenge 2010.

This is my 2nd book for the Everything Austen II Challenge.