Chaos Comes to Longbourn
Author: Victoria Kincaid
Publication Date: June 29th, 2016
Genre: Regency Era, Pride and Prejudice Variation, JAFF, Humor
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What a book! I was quite apprehensive to start this book since I could never imagine dear Mr. Darcy with anyone other than Elizabeth. I couldn’t even imagine myself with him! Nevertheless, I’m happy I read this book. ‘Chaos’ wouldn’t be enough to describe the events in this book. What could possibly have happened for four mismatched betrothals to occur??? Mr. Darcy and Lydia, Mr. Wickham and Charlotte Lucas, Mr. Collins and Jane, and Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth.
I’ll give a quick summary of the four betrothals. Darcy was forced to propose to Lydia Bennet after he found her almost half-naked in the library, and in an attempt to help her, he instead tripped on her. A few seconds later, Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet arrived and saw them, and Mrs. Bennet cried that he ruined Lydia. Left with no choice, Darcy proposed. Still with me? We have three couples to go.
Mr. Wickham was forced to propose to Charlotte Lucas because he was blackmailed by Sir William Lucas. Apparently, Sir Lucas saw Wickham flee the library moments before Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet discovered Lydia with Mr. Darcy. He supposed Charlotte had a good enough dowry, and so he proposed. And what a scene it was! I think it was my favorite proposal among the four. Charlotte was hilarious! Two couples to go!
Jane was forced to accept Mr. Collins‘ suit when he proposed to her just moments after proposing to––and getting rejected by–– Elizabeth. Despondent because of Bingley’s retreat, she figured that she might as well accept Mr. Collins to make her family happy. One couple left!
Mr. Bingley and Elizabeth were forced to enter an engagement due to two reasons. When Bingley went to London, his mother arrived ill from Italy. She feared she didn’t have long to live, but she asked Bingley if he was finally engaged to the ‘Miss Bennet’ he mentioned. Bingley equally feared for his mother’s health, and thinking it was for her sake, he said that he indeed was engaged. He planned to grovel for Jane’s forgiveness, and eventually he would proposal. Alas, when he arrived in Longbourn, he bumped into Elizabeth, who then told him that Jane and Mr. Collins were engaged. He realized he could still propose to a different Bennet and stay in an engagement long enough to appease his dying mother, and so he proposed to Elizabeth. Elizabeth figured that if she refused, he would have no reason to stay in Netherfield. She wanted to give Jane and Bingley a chance, and if Bingley were near, they might find their way into each others’ arms. So, Elizabeth said yes.
It’s as hilarious as it sounds, folks. There were a lot of funny parts in the book that made me laugh out loud, but I would have to say the Engagement Ball scene was by far the funniest in the book! It reminded me a little of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant’s catfights in Bridget Jones’ Diary 1 and 2, but that’s all I’m going to say about it.
From what you’ve read above, we are instead left with four unhappy couples, all mismatched. As funny as the circumstances were, I still pitied Bingley, Jane, and Darcy. Wickham and Collins? Not so much.
For me, the characters acted as they should when thrust in that circumstance. Jane had not-so-kind thoughts about Collins, but I guess if anyone as kind as Jane was forced to endure Collins’ droll proposal, they wouldn’t be thinking of kind thoughts, too.
I wanted to slap three woman throughout this book––Lydia, Caroline Bingley, and Mrs. Bennet. Lydia is somehow more petulant than usual, Caroline was an emotionally manipulative woman, and Mrs. Bennet was as annoying as she usually was. I don’t condone violence, but I have never been tempted to slap someone as much as I wanted to hurt these three. My palm is still itching. Haha.
Charlotte was portrayed differently, but wow. Go, Charlotte Lucas! I was laughing so much when Mr. Wickham proposed to her. It was quite amusing to see Mr. Wickham try to seduce Charlotte; unfortunately for him, Charlotte just didn’t find him handsome enough to tempt her.