Wandering through my local Borders last month, I couldn’t find any books in stock that I was looking for – all new releases that should definitely be on the shelves – but that’s the state of my local Borders these days. Determined to bring home a book, though, I stumbled upon Me and Mr. Darcy, a chick lit novel by Alexandra Potter, published about five years ago. So I decided to review this for “The Book Review Club” this month.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book – I just zipped through it, but I did have a few observations:

(1) I think I’ve finally outgrown chick lit – feeling a bit old every time I read “um…” in a book

(2) A book written by a Brit about an American in Britain is bound to have a few slip-ups with what an American would know or say

(3) Feeling out of step with everybody supposedly so enamored with Mr. Darcy. In my day, it was all about Rhett Butler – lol!

I searched online to see what others were saying about this book and found this interesting review here, posted two or three years ago. Most of the negative points were the fact that they felt it was better to actually read Pride & Prejudice, rather than a take-off of the book.

As one person pointed out, though, perhaps the book was targeted toward those who weren’t huge P&P fans, myself included, or at least, hadn’t read it in decades! I went through a whole “Gothic” moor-type romance phase when I was in my early twenties. But I left them behind long ago so I don’t quite get this obsession with Mr. Darcy and P&P outside of Bridget Jones’ Diary. That seemed to have started the whole Brit Lit/Chick Lit era. Whatever happened to Gone with the Wind? lol!

One commenter on that review site validated my point that Americans don’t say or know many of the phrases her character said or did. It would have been more believable had the character grown up in America but had British parents so she could have picked some of that through them.

But having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it was well-written, and I would definitely recommend it, unless you’d rather read P&P. But for those of us not overly exposed to P&P, it makes for a fun read.

What about you? Mr. Darcy or Rhett Butler?

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@Barrie Summy

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