Inquiring Readers, According to a review in Publishers Weekly, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan is the hottest Austen sequel yet. Available this month at Sourcebooks, the novel begins moments after Elizabeth's and Darcy's wedding. "It's Darcy and Elizabeth's wedding day, and the journey is just beginning as Jane Austen's beloved Pride and Prejudice characters embark on the greatest adventure of all: marriage and a life together filled with surprising passion, tender self-discovery, and the simple joys of every day. As their love story unfolds in this most romantic of Jane Austen sequels, Darcy and Elizabeth reveal to each other how their relationship blossomed. From misunderstanding to perfect understanding and harmony, theirs is a marriage filled with romance, sensuality, and the beauty of a deep, abiding love."
The author of this novel, Sharon Lathan, has graciously stopped by our blog to share her thoughts about her book and discuss why she was compelled to continue Lizzy's and Darcy's story:
There is nothing as wonderful as being in love.
The novels that comprise The Darcy Saga are intentionally focused on the theme of profound and fresh love between Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy. The tone is romantic. The plot does not center on conflict and trauma, but is a leisurely scrutiny of marital affinity and realistic life in an English estate during the Regency Era. Their love is the binding thread throughout my series.
However, this is not the only reference of my introductory sentence. I also want to discuss my love for Jane Austen.
By some mystery I passed forty years of my life with minimal knowledge of Austen. That ignorance was radically diminished when I walked into a movie theater. Joe Wright’s passionate, beautiful cinematic masterpiece Pride & Prejudice transported my soul and deeply affected me. I was a P&P virgin and my first time was amazing! My ardor was fanned into action by every aspect of the movie from the drama to the actors to the music to the landscape to the costumes to the….well, you get the idea. It was my awakening and the doorway that lead me to Austen. I left the theater and instantly began a search that would change my life.
For months I devoured everything remotely Jane and Regency that I could get my hands on. My infant love grew exponentially with each passing day. I could wax eloquent about my feelings for this classic author and the world she lived in, but I have an imposed word count limit! Since most of you are here at Jane Austen Today because you possess that same devotion, I’ll leave it to your imaginations.
Yet, while I studied the book, sifted through dozens of websites, entered into discussions, and watched other adaptations, I could not shake the images sparked by the movie. I watched it over and over while visions of what-happens-next danced through my mind. I adored learning more of Jane’s world, but I simply could not let go of the urgent hunger for more. Lizzy and Darcy had grown in my consciousness. In what I now comprehend is the gift of a writer, inspiration had struck and the story burning within me had to be written down.
Even after all this time and much reflection I still cannot adequately explain why this story became my provocation into a novelist’s world. Indeed much of it has to do with the movie’s presentation of this timeless love story and I make no apologies to the fact. But the romance, the beautiful relationships, and the captivating characters – those are created by Austen and I have never ignored this. And as a life-long lover of history, the constant research into the era further stirred my zeal.
So I began to write. I wanted to give Lizzy and Fitzwilliam the wonderful life that I think we all would want for them, and what I believe Jane would have desired for them. I wanted to carry on the passionate atmosphere dramatized in the 2005 movie while staying true to Jane’s original. I wanted to present a realistic rendering of life in the early 1800s. I wanted to tell an evolving tale of two people maturing together. I wanted to take the reader on a journey through England and Regency society. I wanted to discover my own voice and style as an artist. And always, more than anything, I wanted to send a positive message of marital happiness in a humorously entertaining way.
Whenever I talk to people about Jane Austen – whether newer inductees like myself or the long term enthusiast – the commonality is love. One may be so devoted as to quote novel passages verbatim. Another may never have picked up the book and only know her stories via cinema. Some vigorously dissect every last nuance in an effort to discover greater depths to the text. Others just want to feel good, have a great laugh, and cheer at the triumph of true love. In all cases Jane Austen’s legacy is in touching lives. Her words have touched mine in a profound way and through my love I hope to continue spreading that joy.
I invite you to come to my website where I talk at length about my inspiration and my Saga. Read the numerous excerpts, essays, and reviews to see if this happily-ever-after tale is for you. And finally, thank you Jane Austen Today for inviting me to share my love with your readers.
Sharon Lathan's blog: The Darcy Saga
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