Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard by Belinda Roberts

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard by Belinda Roberts reads like a campy “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” with its posh boutiques and yachts, and it is a parody of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.  In the seaside resort town of Salcombe, the Bennets are on vacation and their mother is thrilled to learn that Netherpollock has been bought by Mr. Bingley, an eligible bachelor.  The quest to marry off one of her daughters has begun, though the appearance of Mr. Darcy on the yacht, Pemberley, sours the first meeting as he considers Lizzy only tolerable.  All of this should very familiar to those who love Austen’s classic, but the story is more modern in its sensibilities and humor.

Roberts characterizations of Kitty and Lydia as in competition over dresses and boys, and Lydia’s “valley girl” attitude and use of “like” and “whatever” in conversation are welcome updates to the classic.  Humorously, the soldiers are now lifeguards in this story, and naturally, Lydia and Kitty are eager to become the “victims” in their training exercises.  Unlike the classic where their catty and flirtatious nature are subdued, Lydia and Kitty are more over the top as they become streakers at one gathering.

“The ordeal of a near drowning for the second time in one day had so shocked Mr. Collins that he was unable to stand, so Darcy was forced to carry him, in his arms, up the steps.  Physically, Mr. Collins succumbed like a baby to this mode of transport.  Mentally, however, he was quite alert and was not one to miss an opportunity.  Recovering slightly, he could see the closeness of the situation was the perfect moment for a little intimate conversation and proceeded to wrap his arms fondly around Darcy’s neck and to introduce himself.”  (page 84 of ARC)

There are moments of utter ridiculousness, and Roberts stays as true to the characters as she can in her wild rendition.  However, readers will note that her characterization of Mr. Bingley as a bit dim is outside the mark.  He cannot remember Mr. Bennet”s name correctly, and he continues to dig himself a hole when he talks of Jane’s various body parts in traction and how he will miss them, but she is still beautiful, though he doesn’t want her inconvenienced.

Readers looking for a story that is closer to the original will be disappointed, but if they are seeking a fun, parody of the classic, Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard is for them.  A quick light read to pick you up when you need it.

This is my 49th book for the 2011 New Authors Reading Challenge.


  1. I’m not an Austen purist and I do enjoy a fun light romance every now and then. I’m thinking that this might be a fun book to jump into if the chance presents itself.

  2. Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books says

    Fun flirty cover!

    I’m not a Janite, I wonder if this would be a good fit for me … sounds perfect for an Austen fan with a sense of humor!

  3. This one actually sounds like a fun read. I know what I’m getting into with this one and wouldn’t expect it to sound like Austen. I love that cover!

  4. I was thinking the same thing as Kathy. This would be perfect for sitting on the beach over the holiday weekend!

  5. This sounds like a fun beach read!

  6. I thought this book was hilarious and I loved the ridiculousness of it! Lydia and Kitty streaking, Lady Catherine described as a Dolly Parton of sorts, and Mr. Collins shoving himself into a wet suit made me nearly die from laughing so hard.