This book had my thumbs up before I had even read it!! Firstly because I had read the book that precedes it and secondly because I love P&P continuations, although this was the continuation to To have his cake (and eat it too) it still follows Darcy and Elizabeth through married life.
It was very realistic in its portrayal of the difficulties between Elizabeth and Darcy. Their worlds are very far apart and at times Elizabeth felt the full effects of it. Lady Matlock's acceptance of Elizabeth for instance, was as far as the acceptance went, it did not extend to Elizabeth's family. There were times Elizabeth was not happy with Darcy over the fact that Lady Matlock up held the class system. I was on Darcy's side because although I felt for Elizabeth she must realise they were brought up in totally different spheres. He may have gone against the norm in marring her but their immediate society was not going to change as a result and I felt Elizabeth was very naive in that respect . However Mrs Gardiner comes to the rescue and imparts to Elizabeth some very sound advise.
“You are asking me to change who I am— to turn my back on my own relatives, and for what? To appease those who are so wholly unconnected to me.” “No— that is not what I am asking of you. I am asking that you be more tolerant of the opinions of others, even those beliefs that contradict your own. My aunt is only trying to help you to navigate in this world that you have entered pursuant to our marriage. “There are expectations of you as my wife that are different from those had you married someone of lesser fortune and privilege. To do that which is outside of your comfort level is not to violate your principles, Elizabeth." - P.O.Dixon
This story brought up many of the particular struggles a couple such as themselves might encounter. Elizabeth and Jane's worlds are also so different and we see how Jane copes with the inevitability that Elizabeth would change slightly, as a result of her life with Darcy and moving in very different circles.
I did not like that Elizabeth and the Colonel did not always get along and I found Elizabeth to be quite unreasonable and demanding at times. But it did fit in with the premise of the first book and if you have read that then it will all make sense.
She stood much too close to Darcy as she simpered and cooed over the small animal. When she extended her hand to pat its head, the puppy snapped at her, causing her to back off so abruptly she nearly tumbled over. Neither Darcy nor Elizabeth had ever witnessed such an adverse reaction from the normally friendly puppy towards anyone. Whilst Bingley moved swiftly to save his sister from falling, Darcy attempted to hush the puppy, for he had become quite agitated. He whispered in the darling little puppy’s ear, “Where have you been all my life?” - P.O.Dixon
Richard meets his match in this delightful story and Dixon has written a book which follows the Colonel and his wife Lady Harriette, which I am now looking forward to reading!! Please do not hesitate to buy this book along with its predecessor as they will not disappoint!
“As it turns out, I require both your hands and your opinion.” She immediately started wrapping her knitting yarns about his extended hands. Richard was growing more and more annoyed by the second. Does she honestly expect me to go along with this? “Lady Harriette!” “Thank you kindly for offering me your services, sir. I think my work here will flow much more smoothly now that I have you beside me to keep the yarns from becoming one tangled mess. Whatever would I do without you?” “I have no time for this,” he whispered, “What do you wish to ask?” “Colonel Fitzwilliam, the ladies and I are engaged in a heated debate. We require your opinion to help us settle the matter.” She attracted everyone’s attention with that pronouncement. “We are simply unable to reach a consensus. Some say that the colour of this yarn is closest to that of the sky when the sun is at its highest. Others say the colour most closely matches that of the sky just hours before the sun sets. What say you?” Richard looked at her as if she were mad. What have I gotten myself into?" - P.O.Dixon
This story continues with Lady Harriette By P.O.Dixon