Story: A New Beginning
Author: Maisedoat (aka MaxineB)
Story URL: Story Link 1 as Maisedoat
Story URL: Story Link 2 as MaxineB
Word count: 62,600
Summary: What if Darcy and Elizabeth met under entirely different circumstance? Naturally, “The course of love does not run smooth” but I hope it runs interestingly.
This is an extremely good story which features a different set of circumstances but similar journeys of self-discovery as compared to P&P. It begins with Elizabeth meeting Darcy on his way to Netherfield when a gravel cart overturns, injuring the driver. As a result of that opening scene, Lizzy and the rest of Meryton have the opportunity to see in Mr. Darcy the same goodness which Mrs. Reynolds praised during Lizzy’s tour of Pemberley.
The story is unique enough in its plot to easily hold my interest (as oppose to merely feeling like a rehashing of the same old P&P plot), while the characterizations are so similar to their canon counterparts that I still am drawn to the protagonists and do not at all feel as if the characters have lost their flavor in the transition to a fanfic. “A New Beginning” is told largely from Darcy’s POV, and his loneliness really touches the heart. I was teary-eyed on more than one occasion at the tangible way in which the author depicts his depression and emotional exhaustion. Maisedoat has such a heart-felt, sympathetic way of conveying Darcy’s emotions that it seems reflective of the author’s own wisdom and experience. (In my personal experience, that sort of true sympathy cannot be faked by those who have not yet experienced enough of life to fully understand suffering.)
I recently read this story for the third time and just reveled in the deliciously rich characterizations and beautifully worded sentence structure. The author has a very lyrical style of writing prose, which greatly adds to the classical, even poetic, feel of this lovely tale. It is so very rare to find contemporary authors who are able to write natural-feeling 19th century-style speech patterns. It is even more unusual to find those who can do so in an approachable and truly charming way. In addition, although there is about the same level of angst as in canon, it was greatly lessened for me by the fact that we see those moments through Mr. Darcy’s POV, so we always know the condition of his heart and what his goals are. As a result of all of the above, this story is quickly becoming the literary equivalent of comfort food or a warm blanket to me!
My only critique:
There’s no sequel! Happily, I stand corrected! There’s a one-part sequel (Adult content, regarding the wedding night) which I somehow missed. What a treat!
Dec. 22, 2010 post was edited, greatly expanded, and reposted on April 11, 2011 after another read-through.