I don’t normally read romantic chick-lit fiction, but this book was a gift, described as a light easy read and it is. I didn’t expect too much from it but I quite enjoyed it. A Weekend with Mr Darcy takes place at a Jane Austen conference, attended by Katherine Roberts, a university lecturer who doesn’t want her colleagues to know she is a Jane Austen fan and Robyn Love, a Jane Austen fanatic who is stuck with Jace,a boyfriend from her childhood who dislikes anything to do with Jane Austen.
They meet at the conference at Purley Hall in Hampshire, not far from Jane Austen’s birthplace, Chawton Cottage. Katherine is hoping to meet the novelist Lorna Warwick, famous for her risquÃ© Regency romances, but Lorna who has been writing to Katherine is reluctant to go, not wanting Katherine to find out that she is in fact a man, Warwick Lawton. (This is not a spoiler as it’s revealed early on in the book.) But as Warwick he goes to Purley Hall and the inevitable conclusions follow. Robyn is desperately trying to ditch Jace, who has insisted on driving her to Hampshire and staying at a local pub. Chaos follows as Robyn falls in love with Dan, who she thinks is ‘totally beautiful’.
The attraction of the book for me is in the Jane Austen references and in particular the Jane Austen quiz. The book may not be entirely my cup of tea, but it has made me keen to re-read the Jane Austen novels I haven’t read for many years, such as Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility and in particular Northanger Abbey which I haven’t read since I was at school.
For a more detailed and enthusiastic review than mine see this post on the Austenprose blog.