I’ve decided to add book reviews occasionally—today being the first occasion. I’m in a book group, so I do read a variety of things. But one of the genres I read just for myself is Jane Austen Fan Fiction (JAFF), specifically, Pride and Prejudice variations. When I first started reading them, I looked for recommendations (aside from Amazon reviews), but didn’t find much. So I’ve decided that I’ll start my own Pride and Prejudice variations book reviews.
For my first book post, I’m providing a list of my favorite variations, so far. In future, I may have more complete reviews of individual books, both the good and the bad. But for this first one, it is just a list with a few words about why each one is one of my favorites. Inclusion on my list does not mean technical perfection, but rather a very enjoyable read.
My Favorite Pride and Prejudice Variations:
Haunting Mr. Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by KaraLynne Mackrory
Elizabeth’s spirit is tied to Mr. Darcy. He thinks he’s hallucinating, and she thinks she’s dreaming. It is altogether charming.
Mr. Darcy’s Enchantment: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Abigail Reynolds
Faeries and magic are real, but women are not allowed to use magic. Darcy is a powerful magician, and Elizabeth uses magic in secret. The combination of Reynolds’ research into existing faery lore and her own imagination made for a fun and creative variation.
Pulse and Prejudice: The Confession of Mr Darcy, Vampire By Colette L. Saucier
What if the whole time in the original Pride and Prejudice Darcy had been a vampire? Clever, and a little naughty.
A Witch for Mr. Darcy by Jessica L. Jackson
Apparently, I like my Pride and Prejudice with a supernatural twist. This one is a magical mystery. I was completely charmed—especially by Mr. Od.
On Equal Ground: A Pride and Prejudice Vagary by Elizabeth Adams
This was one of the first JAFF I ever read, and I really liked how Adams changed the dynamics between Darcy and Elizabeth by making them socially and financially equal without making Elizabeth the victim of a bad first marriage from which she needs rescuing.
The 26th of November: A Pride and Prejudice Comedy of Farcical Proportions by Elizabeth Adams
Another by Adams—this one is a lark: Pride and Prejudice meets Groundhog Day. Elizabeth gets stuck in the day of the Netherfield Ball, and it is fun to see what she does to try to get out of it and how she slowly comes to know the real Darcy.
The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West
This is another Groundhog Day variation, only this time it is Darcy who is stuck in the day he proposes to Elizabeth while visiting his aunt at Rosings. North and West came up with a clever device for keeping Darcy at Rosings. Though similar in premise to Adams’ book, the execution is quite different, but equally enjoyable.
Wild Goose Chase: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Sophie Lynbrook
Speaking of a lark, this story is a joyful one. Completely unrealistic, but so much fun it’s hard to care.
The Lady’s Jewels: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Perpetua Langley
This is not merely a variation, but a reimagining—this has a mystery, and Darcy and Bingley show up to aid in solving the mystery. There are delightful new characters here: Lady Castlereagh and Mr. Quinn.
Through Each Other’s Eyes: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Aleena Ashe
This is a body switch story, and it is a hoot! It’s worth reading just for the scenes where they have to try not to see themselves naked—I was laughing out loud.
Teaching Eliza by Riana Everly
This one is mash up of Pride and Prejudice and My Fair Lady. I wasn’t sure about it at first: Darcy as Professor Higgins was so stiff, and a little exaggerated, that I almost didn’t keep reading. I’m glad I did because it completely won me over. An amusing Wickham subplot and the addition of Freddy from My Fair Lady, made this a surprising enjoyable story.
Through Pemberley Woods: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Emily Russell
This variation has Elizabeth visiting Lambton with her aunt and uncle the summer before the original story does, so she meets Darcy earlier and throws a wrench in Wickham’s plans to elope with Georgiana. It’s not the best written variation (some editing issues), but it is cheerful (some of the variations get pretty heavy with angst), and the attraction between the leads feels genuine.
The Long Road to Longbourn: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Renata McMann and Summer Hanford
This is not the most believable premise—Darcy, Elizabeth and Wickham are kidnapped and held prisoner together on board a ship—but it is exciting. I liked how they come to understand one through adversity.
Hypothetically Married: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Renata McMann and Summer Hanford
In this variation, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have died, and the girls live with their Uncle Philips in London where she meets Darcy again. Again, the premise is not necessarily very believable, but it is so charmingly done, that I can’t mind. Here, Elizabeth and Darcy somehow end up giving love and romance advice to all of their mutual friends. It’s really cute.
The Widow Elizabeth: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Renata McMann and Summer Hanford
Here, Elizabeth had married Colonel Fitzwilliam. After his untimely death, Darcy appears again. The situations felt believable in this one, as well as the character’s actions and reactions. This version has my favorite Lady Catherine de Bourgh, too.
Consequences by C. P. Odom
This story is really a two for one—the first half shows what life might have been like for Elizabeth and Darcy if they had never met again after his botched proposal in the original. The second half shows what could have happened if instead of letting her temper get to her, she asks for more time.
Mr. Darcy and the Murder at Rosings by Mei Wei Lin
Wei did a great job of blending the mystery elements with the romance elements. The story’s pacing was so good I could hardly bare to put it down. And Wei excels at witty banter. Even the epilogue was charming!