I liked this book and I’m not sure why. There wasn’t much angst, it had a more sad feel to it for most of the time. The premise is that after Darcy ‘saves’ Elizabeth in the river, he ruins his boots and is forced to wear his old worn out pair while staying in Netherfield. Wearing the boots humbles him and reminds him the people in the area are similar to the people near Pemberley. In this variation, Mrs. Bennett has passed and Darcy accidentally befriends the family (by himself and not with the Bingleys) while they are still in half-mourning. He and Elizabeth cross verbal swords regularly, giving Darcy food for thought about his opinions and behavior and he builds a close friendship with Mr. Bennett.
The majority of the book is literally just the building of relationships between Darcy and the individual Bennetts (including Mr. Bennett). The book is told entirely from Darcy’s point of view, which was done well. Usually one, particularly first person, point of view annoys me as I want to know what everyone is thinking, but the way Darcy is written keeps the reader involved and it didn’t occur to me to wonder what others were thinking.
The death of Mrs. Bennett before the book starts has a huge effect on the characters in the book, but not how you’d expect which surprised me. I liked the way the book handled it and how the different characters reacted. It was a great way to add interest to the rather mundane story line without there being a ton of unnecessary drama.
Overall a good variation that I will most likely read again. With the low angst and somewhat somber tone, it was a relaxing read but interesting. It kept the story moving along with Darcy’s different personal revelations and the missing information (from Darcy’s point of view) that is fed to him in bits and pieces from different family members. I’d recommend it to people who like a likable, growing Darcy, like books in which Mrs. Bennett passes, or like a particularly witty Elizabeth.