ACCOMPLISHED: A GEORGIE DARCY NOVEL, by Amanda Quain, Wednesday Books, July 26, 2022, Hardcover, $18.99 (young adult)
Georgiana Darcy gets to have her own say in Accomplished, a Pride & Prejudice retelling by Amanda Quain.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year — at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.
But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone — Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself — that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:
– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy ― helicopter-sibling extraordinaire ― by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)
Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently ― including the one guy who sees her for who she really is. —Synopsis provided by Wednesday Books
Author Amanda Quain embraces a contemporary background in order to reimagine Georgiana’s story. Told from Georgie’s point-of-view, readers gain a different view of Fitzwilliam Darcy, Elizabeth Bennett, Charles Bingley (a frat boy) and Wickham. Their motives are all similar to source material, but told with a real behind-the-scenes point of view.
And, of course, the story’s main player is Georgie. And because there’s not a whole lot of background material on her, Quain gets to really make Georgie her own. In many ways, Quain sticks to the presumed — Georgie’s sheltered and naïve and much loved by her brother. She’s also a band geek — she loves playing the trombone — bright, but not exactly book smart, and defiant.
Georgie learns that she can’t depend on her brother to fix everything — she’s got to make up for her own mistakes.
Accomplished is a successful foray into Jane Austen’s world that can be read with or without reading the original. (Although knowing the story makes for some inside elements that just won’t be as fun without prior knowledge.)
Quain has created a unique narrative that remains true to the heart, wit and romance fans have come to know and love. While not my favorite retelling, Accomplished is still enjoyable and features a few “swoon worthy” moments.
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