Story Title: Crossed in Love
Author Name: catie (catharsis, catie56)
Story Url: Story Link 1
Alternate Url: Story Link 2
Content Rating: All Ages
Length: 14,700 words
Story Summary: Jane has still not recovered from the loss of Bingley and travels to Kent to try to forget him. Instead, she discovers Mr. Darcy’s involvement in the affair. When he comes to propose, instead of meeting Elizabeth, he meets Jane. How will this change the outcome at Hunsford, let alone the rest of the novel?
In “Crossed in Love,” Mr. Darcy faces the unsettling surprise of finding Jane Bennet awaiting him in the parlor of Hunsford cottage on the night he comes to propose to Elizabeth. Before his arrival, Jane has conducted some soul-searching regarding her disappointed hopes, as well as having had a conversation with Lizzy (following Col. Fitzwilliam’s distressing disclosure) which resulted in Jane promising Elizabeth to be forthright in expressing herself should such an opportunity as this arise. Thus, Mr. Darcy is greeted not by the docile, indifferent Miss Bennet he remembers from November, but by an angry, hurt, passionate woman who wants some answers.
I’ve returned to this story multiple times, probably because there is something extremely satisfying about seeing sweet-tempered, ever-patient Jane Bennet telling off Mr. Darcy, albeit in her own gentle way. For while I adore Mr. Darcy and am quite happy with Jane Austen’s method of redressing his arrogant behavior at Hunsford, this story remains quite gratifying to what is likely the more petty side to my personality. It isn’t that the story is vengeful or catty in its tone, nor do I think that the author was remotely operating from such a mindset when writing “Crossed in Love.” Quite the contrary! The entire tone of this story is as thoughtful, loving, and as heart-felt as is Jane Bennet herself.
Instead, it is the seemingly uncharacteristic behavior of Jane which makes this story so gripping, even though it is quickly apparent that her behavior isn’t actually uncharacteristic at all. For when Jane occasionally behaves in ways which might later shame or distress her, such as in rarely displayed moments of ill temper or impatience, we come to better understand her character precisely because of the contrasts created by these ostensible lapses in what many perceive to be Jane’s perfect façade. In fact, I will go so far as to say that in a way this story is largely about contrasts. We learn to better understand all of the protagonists not only by contrasting Jane with Elizabeth or Jane with Mr. Darcy, but by contrasting Jane’s own conflicting thoughts, instincts and behaviors.
Therefore, in spite of some of my less admirable reasons for enjoying this fic, what remains with me at the end of each reading is a better understand of Jane’s character, and of the solid, genuine foundation which supports her warm and compassionate personality. For even when she is at her most confrontational, it seems that Jane is incapable of being less than inspiring. And the same could be said for this story.
My Only Critique: I caught perhaps one or two typos, but there was nothing to detract from one’s enjoyment of this extremely well-written story. I’m confident that you will find more errors within the writing of this short rec than within “Crossed in Love.”