Story: Amour Propre
Story URL: Story Link
Word count: 70,500
Summary: In a P&P altered reality, Mrs. Bennet is deceased, and Elizabeth & Darcy find themselves drawn to each other by a series of eerie premonitions…but a conspiracy lurks in the shadows.
This is an unusual rec for me, because it’s not actually the type of story I generally like or read. Gothic novels are simply not to my taste – even when they’re written by talented authors such as Louisa May Alcott, or, in this case, Qwara! However, this well-written story really deserves a rec, even if it’s not the style of novel you’ll usually find on my bookshelf. I couldn’t stand not to rec it when there is so much talent obvious in its creation.
The well-written fic is completely AU, with Mrs. Bennet dead and a new Mrs. Bennet (one with wealth and business sense) causing the Bennet girls to grow up on a more prosperous estate outside of Hertfordshire, where they meet the Darcys just after Ramsgate. The story fits in with the genre of gothic romance/mystery novels which were popular in the 19th century. Its style reminded me of the aforementioned Louisa May Alcott novel, A Modern Mephistopheles: Or, A Love Fatal Love Chase, though truthfully there’s a bit more of Brontë in Qwara’s story than anything that similar to Alcott’s plot.
Elizabeth was a bit OOC due to her changed circumstances, but was still recognizable, and I like the way well-written AU fics like this allow us to examine how a change in circumstances affects canon characterizations. I think it’s fascinating to play the “what-if” game with both the characters and the plots of a fanfic. This story does a great job of that, asking us how the characters would have turned out if certain things were different in their backgrounds – not just how the plot would have changed. For that reason, I never consider such characterization changes to be a negative thing, and you’ll see that I tag such stories accordingly so that other interested readers can find them.
My only critique: As I mentioned, the story is very rec-able, though not exactly to my tastes simply because I’m not a fan of this type of gothic tale. Even so, it was worth reading, and I strongly recommend it to anyone who enjoys this style of book.