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Mr Darcy's Secret - Reviews

Mr. Darcy's Secret - Reviews

Jane Odiwe's third Jane Austen Sequel, Mr. Darcy's Secret
Jane Odiwe seems to have cornered the market in elegantly written, intelligent and thoroughly entertaining Jane Austen sequels. After the successful publication of Lydia Bennet's Story and Willoughby's Return, she refocuses her attention on Pride and Prejudice to bring us Mr. Darcy's Secret.
It is, of course, a theme beloved of contemporary Austen-inspired writers: Darcy's initial brooding presence, his dark good looks and suggestions of a hidden past clearly lead to the conclusion that there simply must be some skeletons concealed in his aristocratic closet.
So it comes to pass: Elizabeth, settling in to her new role as mistress of Pemberley, becomes aware of local gossip concerning her new husband, but chooses to ignore the stories - until she discovers a bundle of love letters, hidden in the library. At the same time, Darcy appears to be pressuring his still somewhat bruised and vulnerable little sister, Georgiana, into a marriage that she has doubts about. Elizabeth's husband is severely tested as she attempts to unravel his mysterious past.
Jane Odiwe writes with skill and charm, and her latest novel will delight the thousands of readers for whom just one book about the Bennet sisters is not enough.
Joceline Bury - Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine

Continuing a novel like Pride and Prejudice is a daring enterprise, and Jane Odiwe comes to it steeped in Austen, in all her renditions; Odiwe’s sentences often glint with reflections of the great Jane, and she has a full command of all the connections of the new Mr. and Mrs. Darcy as they begin married life at enjoyable read.
Historical Novels Society Review

Odiwe picks things up where Austen left off in Pride and Prejudice, in an impeccably crafted tale of Elizabeth and Darcy after the wedding.
John Charles Booklist

With two plots churning, Jane Odiwe has crafted an intriguing and unique continuation of Austen’s classic that will charm and delight Janeites and historical romance readers. As we travel from Hertfordshire to Derbyshire to the Lake District of Cumberland, we enjoy the awe inspiring picturesque scenery and equally jaw dropping characterizations. Be prepared to see romantic icon Mr. Darcy knocked off his pedestal and conceitedly independent Elizabeth Bennet passively submit to her doubts. Is that a bad thing? Only, if you are determined that these characters should not change, grow and evolve beyond the last page of Pride and Prejudice.
Laurel Ann Nattress Austenprose

Jane Odiwe with Mr. Darcy's Secret, a Pride and Prejudice sequel 
From the sitting rooms of Hertfordshire, to the delights of a Christmas Ball in Derbyshire and a jaunt to the Lake District, the stage is set for another foray into Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, continuing to play with the ‘what ifs’ and ‘why nots’, that linger on after “the day on which Mrs Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters.” A dream come true for all those wishing there were just a few more pages, one more glimpse into the lives of Austen’s most beloved power couple. The title is Mr. Darcy’s Secret, and mystery and drama abound--- after all, who is Master Tissington? Local tittle-tattle suggests he is an heir to Pemberley, but by whom? Someone is determined not to let the past die. Long forgotten letters, the remnants of a love gone by, may hold the answer, but it is not until a blackmailer threatens to tell all that the key to Mr. Darcy’s Secret is discovered, the truth arising from the most unexpected source. In reality, however, the book might be titled Miss Darcy’s Secret, for it is Georgiana’s story, as well. Lizzy may be our heroine, but with an artist’s delicate skill for revealing detail, one brush stroke at a time, Ms. Odiwe crafts a compelling tale of love and betrayal. New characters are introduced, including the bold landowner, Mr. Calladine and the young Thomas Butler, a brash young landscape designer, son of Mrs. Gardiner’s old school friend. Who will win the hand of Georgiana, a young woman determined not to let her heart lead her astray a second time? Old friends are not forgotten, either. Mr. Collins and Charlotte appear frequently, along with their olive branch, young Catherine (a bonny babe, and as unlike her noble namesake as December is to May) Mr. Bingley’s sisters play pivotal roles as do Elizabeth’s sister and brother in law, Lydia and George Wickham. The Gardiners appear several times to steady the Darcy’s in their new life and bring common sense and counsel to the young couple. Perhaps the most delightful character is Mrs. Bennet, for here, Ms. Odiwe’s ear for Jane Austen’s writing is impeccable. One can simply hear Mrs. Bennet (and her longsuffering husband) speak her lines as she comes alive on the pages. A scholar of the Regency period, as well as an artist herself, Ms Odiwe is able to paint a picture of Jane Austen’s era with deft strokes that bring the customs and manners of the day to life. Her descriptions of the Lake District are conveyed with an enthusiasm and familiarity that make you feel as though you were there in the midst of the wild crags and misty peaks. As with her past books, I tore through this novel (to the detriment of not a few household projects!) and eagerly look forward to the day when I can share her works with my own small daughters. It is a delight to find an author whose work is not only well crafted but tastefully executed, modest enough for even the youngest reader.
Jane Austen Centre – Online Magazine
The Peak District, Derbyshire
Jane Odiwe crafted two compelling and absorbing plot-lines in this Pride and Prejudice sequel. One about Elizabeth, Darcy, and Darcy's secret, and the other one about Georgiana, the man she is engaged to, and the man she loves. I was equally engrossed in both stories, and the added tension and drama Ms. Odiwe generated made this novel hard to put down! ...Similar to Ms. Odiwe's previous novel, Willoughby's Return, Mr. Darcy's Secret is a beautiful and well-written continuation that captures the spirit of Jane Austen's original. Even though the story focuses on the Darcy family, there are many appearances by Jane Austen's comical and lovable minor characters. Ms. Odiwe accurately represents all these minor characters and gives a few of them some diverting side-stories. I especially enjoyed witnessing the conversations between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, Ms. Odiwe's portrayal of them was flawless!
  Jane Austen Reviews

 The delightful author Jane Odiwe has done it again – created a novel using Jane Austen’s characters that leaves you turning the pages to find out how the story will end...In so many ways, Ms. Odiwe gets the characters right, which makes reading her books so enjoyable... In short, devotees of Jane Austen sequels will not be disappointed with Jane Odiwe’s latest venture in Austen territory.
Jane Austen Today

A friend of mine commented recently that sequels featuring Darcy and Elizabeth must be hard to write, since their relationship wraps up so neatly. After all, plot requires conflict, and the picture of perfect domestic felicity we find at the end Pride and Prejudice might seem, at first look, to negate the possibility of the lovers ever suffering discord. To get past that, the sequel author needs to remember that Jane Austen painted a realistic picture of people and life. People are not perfect, even when their love story has the perfect ending. For instance, I imagine that Emma continued to meddle and Knightley did not stop chastising her for it. Both were improved by the events of the book, but neither were perfected. It is the task of the Austenesque author to find which foibles of personality would carry on into marriage, and how that might affect the couple's future happiness. In Mr. Darcy's Secret, Jane Odiwe excels at this. Her Darcy and Elizabeth are every bit as much in love with each other as we imagine them to be from Pride and Prejudice's conclusion. However, like all newlyweds, there are things they don't know about each other. Elizabeth in particular is troubled by letters she's found that indicate Darcy might once have loved another lady. At the same time, his decision that Georgiana must make a good match disturbs Elizabeth. She knows her sister-in-law has formed a tendre for a landscape artist, and the marriage Darcy has in mind for her will not make her happy. Darcy's insistence on an alliance of equal fortune and importance seems hypocritical to her, given that he gave up both to marry her. Both of these plots are very true to the characters. The story progresses in a manner that allows us to learn more of all our favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice, as well as getting to know Georgiana better yet. By the end, of course, all the misunderstandings are resolved. Life at Pemberley is happy once more. And that is the true art of an Austen sequel: It takes our characters from the happily ever after we see at the end of the book, through another conflict, and brings them back to a happiness made more complete by a greater understanding of one another. If you wish to see this in practice, I highly recommend Mr. Darcy's Secret by Jane Odiwe.
Nancy Kelley

Winandermere in the Lake District
This sequel to Pride and Prejudice is a smashing hit of wit and poise and a loyal tribute to the voice of Jane Austen. Jane Odiwe; author of Mr. Darcy's Secret, has managed to stay true to the voice of Jane Austen and created a magnificent work of art that does not stray from the original cast forth in the classic. With new characters, and a very surprising plot line, Jane Odiwe has created a literary work of art that is worthy of everyone's book shelf.
Jessica Hastings, Suite 101

Full of the manners and mores so dear to Regency readers, Mr. Darcy's Secret is another fine addition to the Jane Austen universe...Young love, old sins, characters we love, villains we love to hate, and a mystery threading through the whole--Mr. Darcy's Secret has it all.
Linda Banche

Mr. Darcy’s Secret is the first book that I have read by author, Jane Odiwe, and I have to say she has captured the essence of Jane Austen’s writing...filled with remarkable plot twists, and sub-stories, I could not help but to fall in love with this book. Graceful writing fills each page, and I loved the way she has captured the characters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. If you are looking for a Pride & Prejudice continuation that stays true to the original, then Mr. Darcy’s Secret is the perfect book for you.
Royal Reviews

Mr. Darcy has a secret and Elizabeth is torn about wanting to know the truth and pretending that nothing is amiss. This story line captured me from the very first page and kept me turning the pages excited to find out what Darcy was hiding from Lizzy. I felt as if the author had the spirit of Jane Austen residing within her because the language, tempo, flavor, and the actions of the characters so closely resembled Austen's. I also really enjoyed the inclusion of Georgiana's own love story and how it made Darcy really stop and wonder if his pride was something of the past or not. This book felt very cohesive and put me right into the spirit of Pemberley and what "may" have happened after Darcy and Elizabeth married. This book will make any Austen fan happy and I feel that it takes the variations of P&P to a new level.
Life in the Thumb

Mr. Darcy’s Secret was a pleasure to read because Odiwe breathes new life into Austen’s characters without altering their personalities too much. Elizabeth and Darcy, like all couples, encounter some bumps in the marital journey, and the way they deal with such strife seems true to who they are. Darcy was a changed man in Pride and Prejudice, and Odiwe makes his alteration feel authentic with some slip ups here and there. Mr. Darcy’s Secret is one of the most seamless Austen sequels I’ve ever read. Odiwe’s love for all-things-Austen shines through. A must-read if you love the Austen variations as much as I do.
Diary of an Eccentric

I love Jane Odiwe’s style of writing. Her writing has a lively wit that makes the scenes come alive. Odiwe writes the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice in the same style as Jane Austen. I had many times throughout the novel that I laughed at something Mrs. Bennet, Lydia Wickham, Caroline Bingley, etc. said or did that was so in character and so clever of Odiwe’s writing. Overall, Mr. Darcy’s Secret was a witty novel with an intriguing premise and great love story that kept me reading too long into the night. I recommend it for all lovers of Pride and Prejudice.
Laura's Reviews

Mr. Darcy’s Secret was not only an enjoyable narrative, but Jane Odiwe’s prose is incredibly well-crafted. This is not just a fun Austenesque novel. Jane’s skill with language and knowledge of the period are very apparent. There were many times when I found myself purposefully going back to re-read a paragraph because of the richness of the writing. I also appreciated her talent for conveying love and passion in a way that didn’t rely on graphic intimate scenes to make their points. Less is more in my opinion, and Odiwe strikes the perfect tone in this regard. There are moments when Odiwe employs a few Austen quotes, but the vast majority of the writing is all her own, and it flows seamlessly with the Austen style. Jane has done her homework, and it shows—all without sounding too stilted or affected. Let it be no Secret—Jane Odiwe is a welcome addition to my list of preferred Austenesque writers. Calico Critic
A view over Coniston Water, Lake District
Her newest book, Mr. Darcy's Secret, treats the reader to not only an apt display of her literary ability, but also of the aesthetic vision she draws upon in her paintings. As I read the novel, I experienced the same kind of wanderlust I am overcome by when I look at the pictures from her travels on her blog, she paints the scenery of Derbyshire and the Lake District in beautifully descriptive language. Indeed, the entire book is like a portrait of the Darcy's after their marriage - a glimpse into the joys and challenges they are likely to experience as they get to know each other and learn to communicate as husband and wife. Like all great paintings, it is not a perfectly pristine image, but one that challenges the mind and questions our assumptions. He newest book, Mr. Darcy's Secret, treats the reader to not only an apt display of her literary ability, but also of the aesthetic vision she draws upon in her paintings. As I read the novel, I experienced the same kind of wanderlust I am overcome by when I look at the pictures from her travels on her blog,, as she paints the scenery of Derbyshire and the Lake District in beautifully descriptive language. Indeed, the entire book is like a portrait of the Darcy's after their marriage - a glimpse into the joys and challenges they are likely to experience as they get to know each other and learn to communicate as husband and wife. Like all great paintings, it is not a perfectly pristine image, but one that challenges the mind and questions our assumptions.
Alexa Adams Blogspot

Picking up where Pride and Prejudice left off, Jane Odiwe’s Mr. Darcy’s Secret explores the possibilities of Lizzie and Darcy’s life after the wedding. While there is certainly no dearth of Pride and Prejudice“sequels,” Odiwe’s book stands out for being both original and highly Austen-ish. Reading this book, you can almost imagine that Austen herself is continuing her story. While familiar faces continue to grow and evolve, they still resemble the people we know and love from the original. Add in an intriguing and intricate plot with new characters, secrets to discover and mysteries to unravel and you have a thoroughly enjoyable story. As with Pride and Prejudice, everyone’s favorite literary couple are front and center. Odiwe’s Lizzie and Darcy are very much like Austen’s – Lizzie is still spirited, quick-witted and intelligent, while Darcy can still be arrogant and conceited. But they also learn from each other, changing over time. Lizzie is determined to fit into her husband’s world and prove the naysayers wrong, so she begins to bite her tongue and passively accept the things she cannot change. Darcy, meanwhile, realizes the benefit of tempering his pride and admitting his mistakes. Any Austen fan wants a happily-ever-after for Lizzie and Darcy, of course, and while Odiwe does give it to them, she makes them work for it. The Lizzie and Darcy of Mr. Darcy’s Secret don’t have a perfect marriage. It’s flawed, but it’s also completely realistic and watching them stand up and fight for one another is my favorite part of this book. A handful of subplots include Georgiana discovering her own strength and a certain talent for rebellion, a still-bitter Caroline Bingley falling for an artist and hilariously attempting to impress him, and near-perfect representations of Austen’s most outrageous characters, including Mrs. Bennett and Lady Catherine. The eponymous secret of the title keeps you guessing right up to the end of the novel and, to her credit, Odiwe doesn’t necessarily resolve the mystery neatly. There’s still just a hint of ambiguity, leaving the smallest seed of doubt in readers’ minds. Jane Odiwe’s Mr. Darcy’s Secret is a beautifully written and well-told story that echoes Austen’s original and then takes off in a new and creative direction. It’s a great addition to the ever-growing world of Pride and Prejudice inspired literature – a must-read for any Austen fan or even anyone who has ever wondered what happened after Lizzie and Darcy said, “I do.”
The Librarian Next Door

Jane Odiwe does a fantastic job at making Darcy and Lizzy’s marriage realistic. What I mean by realistic is that it wasn’t perfect. There are little arguments here and there that make it a more believable sequel than others; it stands out above the rest because it’s unafraid to delve into the challenges of Darcy overcoming his brooding personality and Lizzy becoming less impertinent to become a respected woman in society. Odiwe gives us faithful representations of Austen’s characters as well as infusing the story with new characters that could have come from the mind of Austen herself. Most of the sequels that I have read portray Lizzy and Darcy’s marriage as one without conflict and filled with perfection, happiness, and love. And while it is believable that their marriage really could be happy, there is no way it could have been this extreme. The attention paid to Georgiana has made this one my favorite sequels. Georgiana’s story in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is so sad due to what befalls her at Wickham’s expense. It’s nice to see fan fiction authors give her the opportunity to grow into herself as a woman and as an individual. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this to those of you who love continuation pieces to Austen’s masterful classic.
Life and 100 Books
A view from the river of Chatsworth
Mr. Darcy's Secret is a pleasant tale full of clever lines, irony, wit, chance meetings and a bit of a mystery. In a sea of Pride and Prejudice sequels, Jane Odiwe has managed to make Darcy and Elizabeth feel familiar but not redundant. Get your copy because summer reading is on the way. For those of you who are looking for romance without sex scenes, this is the book you have been waiting for. Language: Not Austen, but a lovely flow and words like nonpareil, enjambment, august company. I really like Ms. Odiwe's phrasing: [he was] "rather too sure of himself for her liking." Characterization: At first, I felt like Lizzy and Darcy were not as vibrantly represented as I would have hoped. I kept thinking, where is her impertinence? Why doesn't she just ask Darcy her questions? Upon my second reading, I realized that I always expect Darcy to change once married but never Elizabeth. I think Odiwe is one of the few authors to address Lizzy's nature in this way. (My husband might have a theory or two as to why I think Darcy should do all the changing, but that is a thread that is best not pulled). Darcy is a bit of an enigma, just as he is in Pride and Prejudice. There are many things about him and his point of view that the reader is not meant to understand. (Whether Odiwe meant for this to be the case or not, I credit her with the choice.) And one of the choices he made that I really didn't understand on my first reading, actually makes perfect sense on my second time through, because it mirrors choices he made in Pride and Prejudice. (How was that for vague?) I also like that Darcy is still a brooder and a bit moody post marriage. Isn't it the way that the brooding can feel intense and sexy before marriage but seem a bit hard to deal with afterward? And Miss Bingly is still very much Caroline. For that, I was delighted. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are just as Jane Austen gave them to us and then some. I loved and recognized them right away... Wonderful Little Moments: Many great lines, The Bennets, Caroline, To A Fly by Fitzwilliam Darcy, Mrs. B's "sense of occasion." And Odiwe's description of the Lakes. It made this inside girl actually want to visit those outside lakes. Originality: Great. There have been other books with mysterious pieces of the past, but this felt fresh to me. And I've read A LOT of Pride and Prejudice follow ups. The Moment I was Hooked: The first page: the Bennet's conversation. The last half of the book made me want to steal away throughout the day to read "just a little more. If this book was a movie - it would be rated PG- 13 or maybe even PG, for discussion of ardent moments.
Kelli Crowe