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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.

Summer Winners…

Out of 32 entrants, the three winners of Chevy Stevens’ next book, Never Knowing, are:

Jessica of Jess Resides Here, who said, “Omg Still Missing was my fav book last year. Talk about a debut I am a fan for life now.”

Margie, who said, “Moonglass by Jessi Kirby and Hourglass by Myra McEntire have caught my eye, partly from reviews and partly from the lovely covers. I haven’t read either of them yet though.”

Uncle Sid of Dward Media, who said, “Still Missing – one of the best reads for me this past year. Looking forward to the new one.”

Out of 10 entrants, the winner of Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard by Belinda Roberts is:

Taffy, who said, “I Loved the series by Pamela Aiden! Well, the 1st & 3rd books were the best.”

 

Out of 16 entrants, the winner of Vlad: The Last Confession by C.C. Humphreys is:

Mary, who said, “RASPUTIN has always fascinated me. Such a dark figure in history during a dark time in Russia.”

The winner of The Mongoose Deception by Dr. Robert Greer is LuAnn of Reading Frenzy, who said, “It’s hard to pick just one favorite mystery writer, but I’d have to say two of the ones I really enjoy are David Baldacci and Erin Healy.”

 

Out of 14 entrants, the winner of Her Sister’s Shadow by Katharine Britton is Beth Hoffman, who said, “I’ve always enjoyed stories about sisters. There are so many I’ve read, but The Geometry of Sisters by Luanne Rice is one of my favorites.”

Guest Post & Giveaway: Belinda Roberts’ Writing Routines

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are two of my favorite classic characters, and I often enjoy reading retellings, sequels, and modern-day versions of the classic story, Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen.  Sourcebooks has become my go-to publisher for these types of novels, and they’ve got a slew of upcoming titles in this subgenre, including Belinda Roberts’ Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard.

According to the publisher’s summary:

The balmy seaside resort town of Salcombe boasts the best in bikinis, sandcastle contests, distance swims, and a fiercely competitive squad of buff local lifeguards as Regatta Week approaches.

And if that weren’t enough excitement, Mrs. Bennet hears that the splendid villa of Netherpollock has been rented by a young man of great fortune.  She is determined that he’ll go out with one of her daughters, until Mr. Darcy glides into the harbor on his stunning yacht Pemberley and she decides on the instant that he would be the better catch…

Jane Austen has never been so hilariously recreated as in this modern seaside retelling of Pride and Prejudice, complete with a Mr. Darcy you won’t soon forget!

Don’t take their word for it, though, check out reviews at Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell, Reflections of a Book Addict, and Library of Clean Reads.

Without further ado, here’s Belinda Roberts on writing:

My favourite writing time is late at night and into the early hours. Children in bed, husband in bed … there comes a point when either I go to bed or wonder into my office, start messing around on my Apple Mac and then I’m off. No interuptions. Fantastic. Creep into bed as daylight starts peep through the shutters.

I do of course write in the day. I sit down at my desk. Wonder why there is some lego lurking on my keyboard, a small lonesome sock on the scanner and a school reading book – which – oh dear – should have gone off to school today with the youngest. Check which older children are online on Skype. Try not to call them. Then just type ‘Hi’ to one of them. We fire a little correspondance back and forth, then one of us caves in and rings. Next half an hour is spent chatting. Skype over for now I sigh and really get started. Just check those emails. Lots of sorting out for our youngest – cricket club,  party, lost library book. All sorted. Now I will really get started. Musn’t forget to thank someone for something so write a quick card. (I write cards for thank you letters as I have designed some myself and have got loads of them if anyone wants any!) Now I really will get started. Quick cup of coffee. Now I really, really will get started. Head down, type away on my fantastic iMac and there’s no stopping me until … is that the time already? Got to dash. Pick up youngest from school. That’s it until perhaps tonight!

Thanks, Belinda.

About the Author:

Mr. Darcy Goes Overboard is Belinda Roberts’ first novel, although she has written twelve plays for children’s theater, which have been performed by groups throughout the world. She lives in England.

And now for the giveaway; 1 copy for US/Canada reader:

1. Leave a comment on this post about a Darcy-related or Austen-related retelling or sequel I should be reading.

2.  Spread the word about the giveaway via Twitter, Facebook, etc. and leave a link here for a second entry.

Deadline is June 30, 2011, at 11:59PM EST