The single good tiding (to which Elizabeth clung tenaciously) in this time of dreadful sadness was that with Napoleon’s defeat, the fighting had ended and her husband had survived it.
…I thought she was also clinging to the happiness that Jane wouldn’t have to worry about the baby seeing Darcy’s naughtius maximus?
Lydia is upset because she has to wear black for Wickham and she doesn’t like the way she looks in black. She’s also upset that she doesn’t get to flirt with the many officers who come to pay their respects. So, as I thought, Lydia doesn’t really care that Wickham is dead. I wonder, then, why she swooned at hearing the news one chapter ago. Consistency? What’s that?
Elizabeth goes outside to escape her mother and Lydia and suddenly realizes that she cannot recall her husband’s face. This happens commonly after five years of marriage, I’ve heard. She decides to immediately return to Pemberley and gaze at Darcy’s portrait every day until the baby is born. Yes! Fuck her father’s mourning period!
She goes inside and lets everyone know. Jane points out that it’s not safe for Elizabeth to have even traveled here several weeks ago, let alone travel home now. Elizabeth doesn’t care. She intends to have the kid in Pemberley and therefore they have to leave now. Yes! Who cares about endangering your unborn child’s life? Let’s get back home!
Bingley and Jane accompany her. They stop for lunch at midday and Elizabeth begins to feel pain. She says that they’ve lost too much time and need to get going.
When everyone sat and looked at her dumbly, she ordered, “Do not fart about!”
I’m trying really hard to visualize that sentence coming out of Elizabeth Bennet’s mouth. For some reason I keep getting “image not found”.
They take off and Elizabeth goes into labor. Jane and Bingley periodically try to stop the coach but Elizabeth orders them to keep going, threatening violence if they stop it.
Juliette Clisson has been waiting at the docks in London each day for Darcy to return. While she waits, she thinks about Elizabeth and what a wonderful and awesome person she is, a lady in every sense of the word, fully deserving of Darcy and perhaps the most delightful and worthwhile creature to ever walk the face of the earth. And while you could theoretically say that about Jane Austen’s Elizabeth, it’s not even remotely plausible for Berdoll’s Elizabeth.
She then spends another three pages thinking about how wonderful Darcy is and what a honorable, upright, morally principled man he is, and, furthermore, just how wet his manly, muscular, Colin Firth-like body makes her. This goes on until Darcy arrives. They exchange a few pleasantries and finally Juliette realizes that Darcy doesn’t know that Elizabeth is pregnant. She tells him. Darcy is astonished. He grabs a horse, leaps aboard, and takes off.
Darcy gets to Pemberley. He sees a carriage parked out front and looks inside. The interior is covered in blood. He demands to know who traveled in it, but Hardin, for some reason, just stares at him dumbly. I think he has a case of author-trying-to-build-tension-itis. Darcy then runs inside and meets Bingley, who’s covered in blood and also randomly mute. He races up the stairs and bursts into Elizabeth’s room where she’s lying. No baby in sight.
Elizabeth wakes up. Darcy is there. She’s…well, I’m assuming she’s happy, but there’s no textual evidence. Instead, she points at Hannah, holding a baby, and then over at Jane, also holding a baby. Holy crap they’re twins! If it wasn’t for the two hundred-odd sentences describing how huge she was, I never would have seen this coming!
The babies look a lot alike, so the easiest way to tell them apart is the different gender. They haven’t been named yet, or if they have, Berdoll doesn’t bother to tell us.
Georgiana and Fitzwilliam get to Pemberley a bit later and Georgiana heads in to chat with Elizabeth. Afterward, Elizabeth tells Darcy that as soon as she’s well again, there’ll be a wedding to plan. Wait. They’re getting married? Darcy isn’t surprised, but I admit that I am. When was there ever a reference to Georgiana having the hots for her cousin, or vice versa? I mean, she has been sponging down Fitzwilliam’s glorious naked body pretty much every day, but even so…
Darcy says that it should be postponed until Fitzwilliam’s better. Elizabeth says that’s not possible. That might take a year. Yeah. Georgiana has a bun in the oven. That’s, um…delightful. Truly in-character for both Fitzwilliam and Georgiana. Fitzwilliam totally strikes me as the guy who would fornicate with his cousin, the person that he’s a guardian over. That makes sense.
Darcy is not particularly happy about this and mutters to himself for awhile. Elizabeth points out that Fitzwilliam has been bedridden for sometime, which means that Georgiana was neither overpowered or seduced. In fact, she probably had to do most of the work. Darcy grudgingly admits that she might have a point.
Mrs. Reynolds dies. For no real reason. I’m guessing that Berdoll figures you kill a few characters off at the end of the book. While she’s laying there wasting away, Darcy sits with her. All of the sudden she says “But what of Wickham?” Darcy is surprised, since Mrs. Reynolds hates Wickham. His surprise is interrupted by her dying, and Darcy heads upstairs. Suddenly he freezes and remembers what Roux said about Darcy’s father having a bastard child. Darcy’s blood runs cold, and I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
Darcy thinks about what he would have done if he had an illegitimate kid. Most likely, he’d take him in at Pemberley, give him an education and a living, but not admit to being his father. Exactly what his father did for Wickham, in other words.
Darcy angsts for awhile, until he ends up with this:
For Darcy knew that he would not deny Wickham. He would never trust him with any part of Pemberley, but would be honour-bound to give him another living, and when that was squandered, another after that. Thinking of having to readmit Wickham to the family was abhorrent and he reminded himself that Wickham was reported dead, not deserted. Yet Darcy felt that strange sick feeling of uncertainty, which stayed with him for some time.
I guess we know what the sequel’s going to be about. More sexual indiscretions and mysterious parentage. Hooray, hooray.
Also, after seducing your sister and murdering your nephew, I think even “honour” wouldn’t keep you from keeping Wickham completely out of your life.
Darcy has a long and private conversation with Lady Millhouse, that wonderful mistress of exposition. We don’t learn what was said. However, he does set up a trust for Wickham’s children, making sure that Lydia has no access to it.
He tells Elizabeth that he has arranged things so she would be mistress of Pemberley for the rest of her life, even if he dies, and Lady Catherine has no rights to the place. He then goes to see Lady Catherine, and informs her that if she ever bothers Elizabeth again, he’ll have her locked up in the Lyme Institute for the Indigent Insane.
The twins’ names are Gerard Geoffrey and Jane Georgiana. Hideous, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Awhile later Elizabeth decides to seduce her husband. They haven’t been bumping uglies for awhile, while Elizabeth’s feminus pudendum healed up, but finally she’s ready. She dresses herself in some of Darcy’s trousers (which fit…I suppose) and they ride off into the woods together and have sex.
Summary time! (This is Berdoll summarizing, not me. Okay. Mostly her.)
Lady Millhouse didn’t confirm whether or not Wickham was the elder Darcy’s bastard. So that remains an unknown.
Lydia has a lot of lovers and produces a kid of uncertain parentages. Finally she marries again, to a guy who’s very devoted to her.
Kitty marries a vicar. Mary lives with Mrs. Bennet. Darcy has made arrangements with Charlotte Collins to let Mrs. Bennet live out her live at Longbourn (mostly to keep her from moving in at Pemberley).
Some random chap from the war comes home a hero and is later elected Prime Minister, with his very hot French wife on his arm – some chick named Juliette.
Boots (Elizabeth’s horse) has a foal. Um. Right.
Darcy finally comes to terms and is happy about Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam hooking up.
Wickham rides along heading towards Belgium. Scheming. Then, he thinks of a scheme. We’re not told what it is, but I’m guessing it’s not really important.
Wow. That was a really exciting book. I mean, seriously. Page after page of tantalizing descriptions of characters pacing and thinking about things. Long and torrid scenes of angst. A random plotline thrown in at the end where a character’s life is endangered. Holy crap, I just realized that this book has the same basic plotline as Twilight!
…and that’s never a good thing.