Review & Giveaway: A Most Civil Proposal

May 6, 2013 by

A proposal is that crucial episode in a couple’s relationship where one person makes their argument for why they want to spend the rest of their life with the other.  The answer is usually based on how good of an argument the person makes in their proposal.  But what if you have notoriously bad luck properly communicating with the person you want to marry?  That gets you Mr. Darcy’s infamously terrible first proposal.  But what if Mr. Darcy had thought out his proposal, would it have changed the outcome?

That is the premise of C. P. Odom’s book, A Most Civil Proposal.  In this book, Mr. Darcy decides to write out his proposal beforehand and revise it until he has a proposal that effectively communicates his feelings.  But, despite putting so much thought and effort into his proposal, he did not have a plan for a negative outcome.  Because, why would anyone turn down such a love-filled proposal from Mr. Darcy?

 

 

In the process of the altered proposal, we get a better understanding of Mr. Darcy’s feelings towards Elizabeth and then the heartbreak when she still turns him down.  He could not have foreseen that Lizzy would have reasons for turning him down besides his manner of proposing.  The poor thing put all his love and hope for a beautiful new life together into his proposal and had his dreams crushed.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh plays a critical role in ensuring the marriage of these two individuals and in this alternate version, she does not lose that role which she must have cherished playing.  Lady Catherine’s servants end up, in their own way, destroying her dreams for a union between Darcy and his cousin Anne.  Not a heartbreak for Anne, who admits to being physically unsuitable for the role as mistress of Pemberley.  And this is something I liked about this book, the supreme irony between Lady Catherine’s wishes, her actions, and the results she gets in the end.
My issue with the book was the difference in the relationship between Elizabeth and her father in this version.  Due to the altered circumstances surrounding Mr. Darcy and Lizzy’s engagement, Mr. Bennet does not get to see that they will be marrying for love.  But the effect of his opinions on the marriage changes how he treats his once favorite daughter and soon to be son-in-law.  I do not agree with this interpretation of how Mr. Bennet would have reacted because I do not believe that Mr. Bennet could have allowed a letter from Mr. Collins to estrange his relationship with his daughter to that extent.  I feel that it goes against his character.

However, I found A Most Civil Proposal to be a fun read for those who love to read alternate versions of Pride & Prejudice.  I personally love reading alternate versions because the possibilities are limitless.

I am excited to see what C. P. Odom’s second book, Consequences, will bring.

Four out of five stars.

*****

Born in 1947, Colin’s man credentials are firmly in place.   He played football and served in the US Marines.  After graduation, he spent thirty-five years as a software engineer and about seven years before that as an electronics tech. he did a lot of technical writing on the job, and, like most jobs, when you do a task half-way decently, you get assigned more of them. Plus, for many years, he’d had an itch to actually write some kind of fiction but had always imagined doing so in the science fiction field.

His interest in Jane Austen began after his first wife passed away from cancer. She discovered the JA novels when she was recuperating from surgery, and she really recommended them to Colin. He didn’t actually take her up on that suggestion until several years after her passing. It was an accidental viewing of the last half of the 1995 Pride & Prejudice miniseries that started it all. He wanted to find out what he had missed and what had motivated all the furor that went on in the video, and the simplest way he knew was to dig out Margaret’s copy of P&P. He quite enjoyed it, and gradually picked up various videos of other Jane Austen movies and watched them and read several of the books. Pride & Prejudice remains his favorite, but he is also partial to Sense & Sensibility, Persuasion, and Emma.  You can find Colin online on his website.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Ceri

    It always amazes me that people can come up with fresh variations on Pride and Prejudice. This one definitely sounds worth reading.

    • Patty Marq

      I love different variations. Also love reading the guy’s point of view.

  2. Haha! I, too, enjoyed the irony of how Lady Catherine’s dreams of a union between Darcy and Anne were crushed practically by her own hand.

    Great review!

    • Patty Marq

      Thank you!
      Lady C loves to be useful, she just may have regretted being that useful in helping the lovely couple marry.

  3. Vesper

    Love reading alternate versions of any of Jane Austen books but Pride and Prejudice is my favourite

  4. This sounds like a fun read. Thanks for the review, Patty!

  5. tgruy

    I think I would love to read this book after this review. I hope I get it!

  6. Mr Darcy pouring out his love for Elizabeth by writing out the marriage proposal. I think I have not read of this scenario until I found this book.

    eBook for me please since I am international.

  7. I’m pretty sure I have this on my Kindle, but as a serial book buyer, I count on reviews to push books onto the TBR. Thanks for your great review, Patty.

  8. I read this story on-line, and I loved it. Congratulations, Mr. Odom.

  9. Michelle Fidler

    A re-written proposal sounds like it would be interesting. With so many P & P sequels, a new angle is always good. I do like hearing that there are a few men writing Austenesque sequels. I also read cozy mysteries and most of them are written by women.

    If I win, I’d like the printed copy because I don’t have a computer or e-reader.

  10. Margaret

    I love Lady C actually even though she is so nasty. As she plays a bigger role in this story…I must read it!

  11. Stephanie Carrico

    Always enjoy a good P&P alternate….this one sounds interesting….

  12. tgruy

    I got it!!! Thank you so very much!!!!

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