Title: Four Days in April
Series: Sweet Tea Short Stories
Author: Maria Grace
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: White Soup Press
Release Date: September 8th, 2015
Full of hope and ripe with possibility, beginnings and new beginnings refresh the spirit with optimism and anticipation.
Two letters. Four Days. Everything changes.
After offering a most disastrous proposal of marriage and receiving a rebuke he will never forget, Fitzwilliam Darcy writes Elizabeth Bennet an equally memorable letter.
What if she answers it with one of her own?
I don’t often read novellas or Austen variations- the first because they usually leave me wanting more (although I appreciate the low commitment they require), and the second because they’re so often wish-fulfillment silliness with recycled plot.
I can say this one doesn’t read as wish fulfillment, however it gets me no closer to wanting to read more Austen variations. Mostly this is because it reads like it was penned hastily, with nothing really thought out or actually edited. And I do mean grammatical errors, missing words, the kinds of things that would make me abandon it if it weren’t so short anyway.
The good bits are that she stuck to the original Pride and Prejudice concept for the plot- this is filling in the missing time between Darcy’s first (insulting) proposal and Elizabeth learning the truth about him and Wickham. I feel like the bones of Elizabeth are there, but often rushed past or oddly fixated on a guilt she clearly feels more keenly than Darcy (and I’ve never been big on a woman’s greatest asset being shame).
Darcy doesn’t feel at all accurate to me, more like a caricature than a character. She did soften Lady Catherine de Bourgh a wee bit, as the four days take place at Rosings. The characters don’t do anything badly out of period. It was just too flawed and rushed for me to really enjoy.