The next adventure of the Darcy family from the author of Mr. Darcy's Daughters - the story of a reluctant heiress who has been left a widow by Darcy's cousin Christopher.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband. So say the friends and family of impoverished widow Octavia Darcy when she unexpectedly inherits a fortune, but she has a different view and looks forward to a new life of independence. Escaping from the efforts of her half brothers and sisters to marry her off, Octavia goes to Yorkshire to find out more about the family she never knew, and while she is there she meets and crosses swords with landowner and politician Sholto Rutherford.
When she returns to London to share a house with the dashing Lady Susan, Octavia, now secure in her new life, becomes caught up in the romantic problems of her niece. Then, the shadow of George Warren, the old nemesis of the Darcy family, falls over her, and she is threatened with the loss of both inheritance and reputation.
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This was the first of the Darcy series that I listened to and I just loved it! There is something really wonderful about a spirited smart woman who is treated badly by her family who manages to turn the tables on them in such fantastic style. The performances by Phyllida Nash are wonderful - from the brothers and sisters (the worst pack of bullies) to the interesting social contacts such as the Wyttons, Pagoda, the Rutherfords (mother, sister and brother) and the servants, she really gets the whole array of people and performs them perfectly. There were a number of laugh-out loud moments along with the cringe-making moments provided by the nastiness of the members of the heroine's family, Carolyn Bingley and her horrible stepson George Warren (glad to see his nasty plans scuppered in the book).
Can someone please organise for Phyllida to perform the story of Alethea as it's the only one missing out of the audio series. The book is utterly wonderful and I'd love to hear it performed.
- Kathie Ward