Book Review: What Would Lizzy Bennet Do?

As winter begins to bear down with rain and snow, you’re probably already dreaming of summer reading by the beach (or pool). If you’re like me, you don’t want a heavy novel to peruse seaside. Instead you want something light and uncomplicated. Something with just enough drama to keep you guessing, and not so much romance that you feel nauseous just reading about the PDA.

If you’re that kind of reader then “What Would Lizzy Bennet Do?” by Katie Oliver is a good choice. The Darcys are hosting the cast and crew of an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice in their estate for the summer. Their neighbors, the Bennets, have always managed to intertwine their lives with the Darcy boys, and this summer won’t be any different, though the children are all adults and haven’t seen each other in awhile.

Hugh Darcy, heir to the Darcy estate, has come home and Lizzy couldn’t be more thrilled. Her hopes of finally confessing her love for him are halted when she finds out his reason for visiting is to introduce his fiancé, Holly, to his family. While this love triangle develops, Ciaran Duncan, who plays Wickham in the production and is essentially the same playboy off the set, begins a flirtation with the youngest Bennet sister, Charlotte.

There’s plenty of love, misunderstandings and drama (on the high seas, no less!), but the story frequently feels like major plot point were invented along the way. Revelations about Hugh’s past are plopped in and feel awkward with the pacing of the story.

Another flaw in the storytelling is that Jane Austen exists in their universe, with many characters referencing Austen or her works, but none of the characters seemed phased that their names, estates and boats all have names from her works. I feel like the story could have been just as entertaining without the heavy-handed nods to Austen.

There are a lot of unbelievable parts of the story (like any studio allowing one of the stars to participate in a race while still doing principal photography), but one of the worst comes at the end.

*spoilers ahead*

At the end of the book we are to believe that Holly and Hugh, though engaged and dating for a year, haven’t had sex. Ever. Ummmm. There are tons of little hints at some kind of sexual aspect of their relationship, even if it is mostly initiated by Holly, but it’s just too convenient that she’s magically had a dry spell for a year despite dating a man she intends to marry.

*spoilers over*

Who should read this: People who are ready for beach reading season

What you should drink with this: mimosas, bloody Mary’s and anything else acceptable to drink before noon

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: What Would Lizzy Bennet Do?

  1. I just got this from Netgalley. It sounded like a decent retelling. Nice review. I don’t have that much expectations for these retelling stuff, so I’m looking forward to reading it now.


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