So my latest book review is A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly.
Katherine Roberts is fed up with men. As a lecturer specialising in the works of Jane Austen, she knows that the ideal man only exists within the pages of Pride & Prejudice and that in real life there is no such thing. Determined to go it alone, she finds all the comfort she needs reading her guilty pleasure – regency romances from the pen of Lorna Warwick – with whom she has now struck up an intimate correspondence.
Austen fanatic, Robyn Love, is blessed with a name full of romance, but her love life is far from perfect. Stuck in a rut with a bonehead boyfriend, Jace, and a job she can do with her eyes shut – her life has hit a dead end. Robyn would love to escape from it all but wouldn’t know where to start.
They both decide to attend the annual Jane Austen Conference at sumptuous Purley Hall, overseen by the actress and national treasure, Dame Pamela Harcourt. Robyn is hoping to escape from Jace for the weekend and indulge in her passion for all things Austen. Katherine is hoping that Lorna Warwick will be in attendance and is desperate to meet her new best friend in the flesh.
But nothing goes according to plan and Robyn is aghast when Jace insists on accompanying her, whilst Katherine is disappointed to learn that Lorna won’t be coming.
However, an Austen weekend wouldn’t be the same without a little intrigue, and Robyn and Katherine are about to get much more than they bargained for. Because where Jane Austen is concerned, romance is never very far away… (Thanks Amazon)
As I have mentioned before, Pride & Prejudice is my favourite book. What’s not to love? Especially when it comes with one of the greatest tv adaptations ever! However I have only recently discovered fan fiction (Check out my review of The Austen Escape by Katherine Reay from last year – my first ever fan fiction)
So I picked up this novel with some excitement, and I was not disappointed! The novel focuses on Katherine Roberts, Robyn Love and Lorna Warwick, three individuals with very different backgrounds who decide to attend an Austen weekend where they can share their love of Jane Austen with like-minded people. I was sold as soon as it became clear that they were attending an Austen weekend – do such things really exist? Could I attend without my husband noticing and complaining that I am becoming more of a geek rather than less with age? So many questions! Anyway back to the novel…
Both Katherine and Robyn have suffered in their love lives and have struggled to move on. For both of them, the Austen weekend provides some escapism from the monotony of their lives, and it gives them both real pleasure to learn more about Austen, her life and the lives of her characters. They each have their own disappointments to face on this weekend – for Katherine it is the fact that her new penpal and potential best friend, author Lorna Warwick, has chosen not to attend. Lorna is notoriously private, never attending book signings or doing any face to face publicity, but Katherine has struck up such a close friendship with her via their letters that she is keen to meet her in person. For Robyn, her disappointment comes when boyfriend Jace decides to follow her to Hampshire, staying nearby. She had hoped for a weekend away from her life with him and their somewhat stale relationship, but he clearly has other ideas.
One weekend away really could change both of their lives – will they let it though?
This was such a lovely piece of escapism fiction. I am fast becoming a fan of fiction such as this, where you can read about much loved characters and find out just how much others love them too. After a quick google search I was very pleased to discover that Victoria Connelly has a number of novels based around Jane Austen. I very much doubt that it will be long before I read another! So, if you love Jane Austen then this is a novel that you should pick up with a glass of wine in front of a roaring fire!
Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖