The Last Man in the World

[openbook booknumber=”061514750X”]


This book is an alternate universe story written about Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. You almost need to have read Pride and Prejudice for any of these “alternate endings” written by Abigail Reynolds to make any sense.

In this one, right at the scene where Lizzie tells Darcy that he is the last man in the world she could be prevailed upon to marry, things take a split from the main plot. Darcy is so enamored with Lizzie, so convinced of his success and completely certain that Lizzie is totally in love with him that he compromises her and, before she could utter the damning phrase that is this novel’s title, kisses her. And, right at that moment his cousin, Fitzwilliam, and two groomsmen find them in the cinch and Lizzie is forced to accept Darcy’s proposal or face social ruin.

The premise seems to be a bit too archaic for the times. Just being caught kissing somebody, especially if it is against your will, shouldn’t mean you have to marry the guy, even during the regency. The entire novel being based on it has the story start off on shaky legs. Things progress from there through an at times uplifting and at times depressing book. But, mostly the depressing.

I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

Several people have complained that the entire book is a series of misunderstandings. Of course, Pride and Prejudice was also a series of misunderstandings. They also complained that a lot of the problems in the novel could have been solved through simple communication. The thing is, even though Lizzie and Darcy are now married (already at the end that Pride and Prejudice aimed for) they still have not overcome his pride or her prejudice. Throw in a thoroughly confused Georgiana and the novel is quite a tangle.

Even though there were good excuses for the mess in the book a lot of the problems came across as too fanfiction-y for me. They seemed to be in love and everything was all right and then suddenly they were back to square one for one reason or another and the constant going back and forth got tiring after the third and fourth time.

That being said, I did enjoy the book and I might even chance one more book by Abigail Reynolds. This book, as overly dramatic and at times petty as it was, still had well written (if not simple) dialog, interesting characters and premises, and did tug on the heart strings quite fiercely. I have to admit I did cry at one point in the book.

If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice sequels all ready and don’t mind a bit of an immature romance novel thrown in to the works then see if you can’t borrow a copy or better yet buy it off of kindle if you are lucky enough to have one. Don’t pay full price for it though.

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