I remember the first time I read Pride and Prejudice and chuckled to myself at the little tongue-in-cheek humor that Austen used. Elizabeth’s observations and statements (especially about Mr. Collins) regarding those around her were always sure to get a rise out of me. It’s this memory that makes me so happy that there is an author in the Austen fan fiction world that can continue to make me laugh with these characters. Karen Wasylowski is this author and it was her first book, Darcy and Fitzwilliam, that really got me laughing. Between the over-the-top (in a good way) personality of Lady Catherine and the hysterical brotherly relationship between Fitzwilliam and Darcy, I was hooked. When offered the chance to review book two in the series Sons and Daughters I immediately said yes! For who would ever turn down a chance to add humor to one’s life?
Sons and Daughters, a sequel to Karen V. Wasylowski’s Darcy and Fitzwilliam (which was itself a continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice), again follows the iconic Fitzwilliam Darcy and his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. Now we see the two battling best friends as loving husbands and doting fathers, older and a bit wiser, making the sacrifices, the difficult (and frequently unpopular) decisions that men must make for the good of their families and we see their large brood of offspring – the ‘Fitzwilliam Mob’ – grow from childhood to adolescence then on into adulthood. Along the way, Darcy and Fitzwilliam are viewed by their children first as heroes, then as the enemy, but eventually as mortal human beings and the children’s adored champions once again.
I knew from reading book one of this series that I was in for some seriously funny stuff. Wasylowski is a master at writing humor. It’s obvious from the title that the Fitzwilliam and Darcy children play a large part in the plot. Getting the opportunity to see Darcy and Fitz in parental roles was hilarious. Especially Fitzwilliam! His brood runs roughshod all over him, especially his twin sons who are major practical jokers. The only detraction I would have to list is the fact that there were so many characters, which caused some of the story lines to feel rushed and incomplete. It was a little difficult to keep everything straight because of all the new characters, but once I got the hang of it all was well again. I have to say that this was easy enough to overlook because of how well Wasylowski was able to hold my attention. The combination of abundant humor and unique storylines was a delight to read and has cemented my interest in this series as a whole. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store for us in the future!
4 out of 5 Stars
This is my eighth completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
This is my third completed review for the Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge
Sons and Daughters by Karen Wasylowski
Paperback 416 pages
Special thanks to Ms. Wasylowski for my review copy!