Duty and Desire
By Pamela Aidan
Simon & Schuster, 2006. 280 pgs. Fiction
After the ball at Netherfield, Austen’s Pride and Prejudice sends Darcy off into the world, heartlessly convincing his friend Bingley that no good will come from a connection to the Bennet family. Aidan takes us with Mr. Darcy to London and on to other adventures, though his heart, despite his best efforts, remains undeniably attached to Elizabeth. This middle book in her Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series takes us to a part of the story almost completely untouched by Austen’s narrative.
Most middle books in trilogies pale in comparison to the first and then the final installments. This series is no different. It is still fun to follow Darcy into London society and to learn more of Colonel Fitzwilliam and Darcy’s sister Georgiana, but Elizabeth’s absence is apparent and the reader is likely to press forward if only to read the third book and the events that are sure to come. I can still recommend the series to readers, though this is probably my least favorite of the three books in the series.