Friday, July 27, 2007

Me and Mr Darcy

Do not read Me and Mr Darcy because it will make you laugh, giggle and miss a train station. You’ll be so engrossed in the story and not notice you’ve overshot. That’s what happened to me.

Alexandra Potter did a wonderful job telling the story of Emily Albright, a die-hard romantic, manager of a small, family-owned bookstore. She has read Pride and Prejudice an umpteenth times since she’s 12 years old and still, never gets bored. In fact, her love and admiration for Mr Darcy seem to grow even deeper. You can expect lots of witty dialogues, Emily-thinking-to-herself bits, and poignant moments.

She has a co-worker named Stella, a fashion horse. Stella has not a clue of the literary world, but still, Emily hires her to assist in the shop mainly because of her honesty and amiability. Their relationship then blooms into that of best buddies.

The story takes a dramatic turn when she chooses not to follow Stella to Mexico for Christmas holiday, but instead books a guided literary tour of Jane Austen country. So off she goes to England, on a luxury coach full of pensioners. All but one and he is Spike Hargreaves. Spike is about her age and he’s a journalist with The Daily Times assigned to interview the participants for an article on why most women would love to date Mr Darcy. He sacrifices his Christmas holiday (not by choice) with her sexy French girlfriend to do the assignment. Emily and Spike did not get off on the right footing. She doesn’t like him but she can’t help thinking he’s cute though.

Magical things happen (no, not with Spike, at least not in the beginning). Emily actually meets face-to-face with Mr Darcy! And guess what, Mr Darcy actually fancies her! Will she change the history of Mr Darcy with Elizabeth Bennett? There is also the mysterious tour guide, Ms Steane whom Emily thought looks strangely familiar but she can’t quite put her finger to it.

I love the other developments in the story. Over the course of the tour, she bonds with the elderly ladies, especially with Maeve even though in the beginning, she is not too keen to mingle with them. As she reads through Pride and Prejudice again, it dawns on her the similarity of her situation with Spike and that of Elizabeth Bennett with Mr Darcy. Ms Potter cleverly weaves this together. There are some pretty interesting twists and turns.

I’ve enjoyed this very much. It makes me want to watch Colin Firth in the movie version of Pride and Prejudice. I like him as Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Ahh… that British accent…