The third and final novel in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series, this book wraps up the story of Pride and Prejudice with Darcy as the central character. After a slightly bizarre turn of events in the second novel, we are now firmly back on track with the Austen plot, beginning with Darcy and Fitzwilliam’s visit to Rosings Park. There’s a lot to get through in this book, from the first failed proposal, the return to Pemberley, the Wickham elopement and the eventual understanding with Elizabeth. These events are all integral to understanding Darcy’s character and serve to highlight just how much he does actually change after meeting Elizabeth.
One strange element does stand out however, the infamous Colin Firth lake scene. Though it is quite clear that Aidan is drawing from the BBC mini series as source material, she coyly sidesteps this moment. Instead of the saucy plunge that led to every woman swooning after Colin Firth, for some reason Aidan cuts around this moment. Instead, Darcy sends his dog into the lake as he arrives home, but he himself simply marches onto the house, unkempt and dusty to be sure, but without the clingy white shirt.
Overall, this was a solid end to an uneven trilogy. Again, the Irish themes that are presented are one-dimensional and somewhat forced, but where the Austen plot is adhered to, I actually gained a greater understanding of the context that informed Darcy’s decisions and behaviour. Only of interest to Austen fans, I would nonetheless recommend this to completists looking to further flesh out Austen’s novel.