Book Review- Engaging Mr. Darcy: an Austen Inspired Romantic Comedy by Rachel John

Cute and Sweet rom-rom takes cues from Pride and Prejudice.

Rachel John gives a delightful modern-day spin on the Pride and Prejudice story, setting it in the fictitious town of Meryton, CA, and casting Elizabeth "Elsie" as a pizza shop employee and custom T-shirt entrepreneur opposite Fitzwilliam "Will" as a real-estate investor and philanthropist. It's hard to make many aspects of a historical novel translate to present-day, but Rachel does this by giving Charles "Charlie" Bingley a career that requires him to move frequently, making Catherine de Bourgh a financial advisor (and advisor of everything else!), and turning the Netherfield ball into a birthday party for Jane Bennet. There were a few times I found myself expecting the major events to follow the progression of the novel, and finding them to be slightly our of order or absent (proof I've read P&P too many times!), but these were made up by additional scenes of humor, including Elsie spilling lemonade all over Will's pants and Will stepping in dog poop deliberately left on his doorstep by Lydia and Wickham! There were plenty of sweet romantic moments too, such as the library scene and the basketball scene (don't worry, I won't spoil them for you!) The book had a fun, spunky feel that reminded me of the Lizzy Bennet Diaries, and an adorable conclusion that would fit Jane Austen's mandate that all her characters should "after a little trouble, have all that they desire".


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