Story: Love and Other Accidents
Story URL: Story Link
Word count: 197,800
Summary: A modern P and P. Darcy and Bingley are musicians trying to find material for their new album in a rural college town…where they meet the Bennet twins who are surviving college together. Lizzy’s a photographer, and Jane’s a med student.
This is one of the rare modern P&P adaptations that I’m recommending. One thing I struggle with in the case of many modern versions of the classic tale is that the characters feel so terribly out-of-character to me when placed in a modern context. It helps when, as with this story, the author isn’t trying to meticulously mimic the plot of Pride & Prejudice, but instead tells his/her own story, merely using P&P as a template for the character development (and, to some degree, the plot development) which occurs.
One thing I really loved in this story was the relationship between Lydia and Lizzy. I’ll confess I have always struggled with their relationship in Jane Austen’s book. This is probably a condemnation of my own character, but had I been in canon-Elizabeth’s shoes, I would not have been quite so grieved about Lydia throwing her life away; I’d have been primarily ticked at how she was knowingly yet indifferently destroying the lives of her entire family through her selfishness. Lydia wasn’t stupid – she was fully cognizant of the repercussions of her actions – she just didn’t care.
I’ve always chalked up the differences between how canon-Elizabeth reacted and how I would’ve reacted to cultural differences. So it’s been hard for me to deal with modern adaptations in which Lydia’s behavior and her relationship with Lizzy are mimicked, still with that same sense of “Oh, Lydia doesn’t realize how much she’s hurting herself and destroying her future.” Forget it; I’m even less likely to buy that excuse in a modern context than in the Regency setting. So I was very happy that attitude is not present in this fic. I actually like Lydia in this story, as I can better understand both Lydia herself, her actions, and her relationship with Lizzy.
Also, as a former concert promoter (aka producer) and booking agent, I can say with some authority that those aspects of the story are very accurate. I’m rather delighted by how much the author got right in that regard.
My one critique: There are a handful of typos and other minor errors in this story (not very many, truly), and the group’s juvenile playfulness got on my nerves one or two times, but even then there was nothing that felt OOC for young adults of that age in this century. I remember behaving much the same among close friends at that age. I think the only reason I reacted to it was because of my lingering hang-ups about modern adaptations, since it really is hard for me to let go of the refined image of canon-Elizabeth in my head. But I want to be very clear that this is almost certainly my problem; not a reflection of any weakness in the story. Had this been a random chick-lit novel I picked up off the shelf, I would never occur to me to be startled by this type of age-appropriate behavior.
Finally, please note that “Out-of-character behavior” is listed in the story tags, but as always, this is not a criticism of the characterizations. I always use this tag when OOC characterizations are a deliberate plot point. In this case, because the story is a modern-adaptation, of course the characterizations don’t match canon.