A Remedy Against Sin
Author: Christina Morland
Publication Date: July 20th, 2016
Genre: Regency Era, Pride and Prejudice Variation, JAFF
A remedy against sin. That was the phrase the vicar had used to describe marriage during the wedding ceremony.
What a wonderful book! In A Remedy Against Sin, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth were forced to wed after getting caught in a compromising position at the Netherfield library during the ball. If you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, you’ll know that by this time, Elizabeth has no tender feelings for Darcy whereas Darcy tries to stop himself from falling for her but fails terribly.
The book opens with their wedding night, and although it was written explicitly, it was in good taste. It shows the readers how compatible the two are physically, and how it contrasts to how they interact with each other outside the marriage bed. In bed, they know what to do to enjoy each other’s company; outside, they are clueless, and most of the time, their interactions turn into arguments.
Elizabeth is as headstrong as ever, and oftentimes willfully misunderstands Mr. Darcy. She sees every comment as either a slight against her and her family or a reprimand. She also takes on the haute ton, and although she shows great courage in front of them, she still crumbles in the privacy of her bedchambers.
She and Georgiana become good friends, but Georgiana, in fear of losing Elizabeth’s good opinion, refuses to tell her anything about George Wickham and Ramsgate. She also tells her brother not to tell Elizabeth about the Ramsgate incident, so Elizabeth is left in the dark until Wickham elopes with Lydia.
In the first half, Darcy already harbors burgeoning feelings for Elizabeth, but he only realizes later how selfish his love for her is, and how he wants to treat her better and show her the love he feels without hurting her or suffocating her. And the Darcy in this story does not lead Charles to run away from Jane, and instead tells him that Charles does not need him to tell him how he should behave.
It was heartwarming to see how affectionate and open the two are when they’re in private. Elizabeth is quite touchy when she’s sleepy, and Darcy just… gah! I may have smashed my keyboard a while ago. I love affectionate Darcy!
In most forced marriage JAFF stories, the Fitzwilliams are often written as Elizabeth’s ally; Colonel Fitzwilliam especially. In this book, however, they are painted as the typical members of the ton, whose main concern is status and social standing. Colonel Fitzwilliam is still a friend of some sort of Darcy’s, but the camaraderie and loyalty shown between the two in the original is not as apparent here. I’m still not sure how I feel about this Colonel Fitzwilliam, but I’m sure I did not like his family members. His older brother, Cass, is a crass, obnoxious drunkard, while his wife and mother are teetering trolls not at all different to Caroline Bingley.
I love how gradual the build up was, and how, even in the end, they are still figuring out each other and their relationship the way everyone in relationships would theirs. There was a particular argument regarding Elizabeth’s allowance that made my heart ache. And there was a scene that made me cry. It wasn’t supposed to be sad or something that would make anyone cry, but for some reason I did anyway. Haha!
Others may have your riches or your good name, but give me your joy, Mr. Darcy, and I will be forever content.”
“You may have my riches, my name, and all my joy — everything I have to give, Elizabeth, is yours.”
I’ll give this book a five-star rating, but I do have one comment. Georgiana calls Darcy as “William”. It’s a little pet-peeve of mine since I’ve always imagined Darcy as the type of man who’d be proud of his name and would not want to shorten it. Other than that, I have no complaints.