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The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy by Regina Jeffers

The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy by Regina Jeffers is a Pride & Prejudice mystery with heart and a devotion to Jane Austen’s characters as she envisioned them.  The beauty of this  novel is that it not only holds true to the original and what happened between the Bennets, the Darcys, and the Bingleys, but it also demonstrates that those characters can change and become more than Austen intended.

Georgiana has vanished among the moors in Scotland while she waits for her husband Major General Edward Fitzwilliam to return from fighting France at Waterloo, and her brother Mr. Darcy and his wife Elizabeth are preparing for the wedding of her younger sister Kitty.  The Darcys may be enjoying being new parents and building their small community of friends and family, but the Wickhams and Mrs. Bennet’s mischief are never too far away.

“For a brief second, Darcy’s brain told him that his vision had betrayed him.  It could not be George Wickham aiming one of the military’s best personal weapons at him, but he rejected that erroneous assumption immediately.  It was Wickham, and Darcy was the target.”  (Page 142)

Jeffers is true to the original characters, while intermingling the elements of gothic literature found in the prose of the Brontes.  She creates situations with new characters that generate serious suspense that will have readers on the edge of their seat about the safety of Georgiana.  Darcy is a loving husband, but he and his wife still have that back-and-forth banter that readers of Austen love.  But their relationship has matured, with an absence of misunderstandings and temper flare-ups that got them into hot water with one another in the first place.  Jeffers is at her best here with prose that keeps to the customs and diction of the past and mixes it seamlessly with modern sensibility.

“‘Elizabeth?’ Darcy asked eagerly as he stood mesmerized by his son’s antics.  ‘Have you seen what Bennet has accomplished?’

His wife joined him in his sitting room.  ‘What would that be?’ Her voice betrayed her amusement.

Darcy turned his head to glare at her.  ‘I suppose Bennet’s turning from his knees to his back is not a recent achievement?’

Although she attempted a sympathetic countenance, Elizabeth’s smile widened.  ‘If it is of any consequence, your son has only mastered the rotation in the last week.’

Darcy threw up his hands in frustration.  ‘That settles it! I refuse to be away from my family ever again.  Bennet grows too quickly as it is.  . . . ‘” (Page 394)

The novel pulls readers in easily, particularly with the mystery that leaves Georgiana’s captors and location a mystery until the latter quarter of the novel.  The technique of intermittently showing readers Georgiana’s thoughts and concerns about her location as her kin learn of the erroneous reports that reached her in Scotland and her subsequent disappearance are well done.  Jeffers also creates a set of villains that rival even Mr. Wickham, and the secrets revealed about the MacBethan family in Scotland will cause some readers to have nightmares or at least feel very uncomfortable.  The Disappearance of Georgiana Darcy shows that beloved characters can evolve, have adventures, and learn to forgive.

About the Author:

A teacher for nearly 40 years in the public school systems of three different states, Regina Jeffers is a Time Warner Star Teacher Award winner, a Martha Holden Jennings Scholar, a Columbus Educator Award winner, and a guest panelist for the Smithsonian. She served on various national educational committees and is often sought as a media literarcy consultant. Like many “snow birds,” Jeffers moved to the South several years ago. She is late to the publishing business, having written her first book on a dare from her students, who, literally said, “If you know all this, why do you not do it yourself?” On a whim, she self published her first book, and from there, everything happened at once. Now, writing for Ulysses Press in California, Jeffers is the author of several Jane Austen adaptations including Darcy’s Passions, Darcy’s Temptation, Vampire Darcy’s Desire, The Phantom of Pemberley, and Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion. She considers herself a Janeite – a member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and spends lots of her free time involved in such. Jeffers has now branched out into the Historical Romance genre. Her first book in the Realm series, The Scandal of Lady Eleanor, will be released in early 2011.

  • I have to read this one!!!!

    • I really liked the unique perspective on this one and the mystery thrown in. I think it keeps the characters fresh and new for a modern audience, though I always love visiting with Darcy and Lizzy and of course, all the rest.

  • Great review. I love the idea behind this book.
    Julie P.´s last blog post ..Review: Evel Knievel Days

  • Ti

    There are so many books inspired by Austen’s work and I still haven’t read an Austen. I vowed that I would this year. There’s still time, but the two that I picked up were not all that interesting to me (Emma and P&P).
    Ti´s last blog post ..Book Clubs

    • I love P&P! Have you tried Persuasion

  • This sounds wonderful — I so love the ‘darker’ aspect. I haven’t read any Jeffers yet although I really ought to — I hear nothing but praise for her and her books!
    Audra´s last blog post ..Oleanna by Julie K. Rose

    • I liked this one much more than Christmas at Pemberley!

  • Oh, an Austen mystery sounds really good! I love the cover of that book too!

    • I really loved the cover and the mystery was a great change of pace

  • I’m glad you loved this book, too. It was the darkest Austen-inspired novel I’ve read, and that made it really unique. You really need to read Persuasion so you can read Jeffers’ Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion. I loved that one too!
    Anna´s last blog post ..Mailbox Monday — August 13

    • Yes, darker than I expected, but I really liked it. I wonder how Austen would feel about those Gothic elements. LOL