This is the first long-form non-published fanfiction that I have bothered to read, and I really enjoyed myself. After running into it interestedly over at ‘Mrs. Darcy’s Story Site’ I ended up ploughing quickly through the first few chapters, and then organising time in my mind to read the rest. It’s called ‘Ebb and Flow’, written by a contributer called Ayden in 2007 (she also wrote ‘The Great Game’). The way it is written is prosaic, with nice embellishments here and there to describe different emotions and for scenic value, which makes it a very easy read that suits this retelling style of fiction very well. It does not require an intimate knowledge of Pride and Prejudice itself as the storyline is modernized and very altered, but the characters remain organic and fresh, despite being obvious representations of their Regency counterparts.
This fanfiction is dedicated to all the taller girls who have wished to be Lizzy. Unfortunately, I’m completely short. But I sympathise either way. You can view it using the above link, or you can download it via the Meryton website (3.6 MB).
Set in Elizabeth’s holiday spot- Miami, USA, the culture is extremely different. This is really obvious as the piece continues, and extensive flirting appears. It can also be quite explicit at points, and it is highly sexualised, but this makes sense for an updated 21st Century piece. Dr. Elizabeth Bennet is the “director of Mood Disorders at the Barnes Institute” and an expert of PTSD, and Darcy is a bigtime lawyer. As is expected, that clash incredibly at the beginning despite being attracted to each other, before coming around and admitting that they are infatuated (which takes a long time of accidental dating, interesting interludes between Charlotte Lucas and Charles Bingley, Jane arriving et cetera)… but then the story takes a bit of a twist.
Wickham arrives on the scene, as Elizabeth’s ex-lover. He heads the Bennet family’s legal firm, and organises to meet her for a ‘business lunch’. He plants a few seeds of doubt in her mind, and lets them spring up. Unfortunately, after returning home, Elizabeth finds out she is accidentally pregnant with Darcy’s baby (but don’t roll your eyes yet, it gets interesting). After attempting to contact him, she receives a call back that he no longer wants to talk and to stop harassing him with calls. What happens next is an emotional twisting and turning maze of confusion that pans out into a pretty decent 28 chapter e-book that kept me up for hours reading.
It has had some rave reviews on the site forum, and I have to agree with most of what is said on there. Lucy6526 said: “Thank you for portraying how difficult it is going to be… delightful & sensual treats”, while Christina said: “Makes my heart go pitter-patter just to think about their chemistry”. It is definitely a more mature piece, and gets pretty steamy, but it isn’t written crudely or in such a way to make you blush, thought it is R-rated by some readers. I would have to say that certain characters (Jane for instance) in this version don’t suit my own opinions of the book particularly well, and it doesn’t offer anything particularly enlightening or groundbreaking about the original but it was definitely fun and entertaining to read, which is the main point! Georgiana’s new character, however, is a fantastic alteration from the original.
Towards the end, the true meaning of the title ‘Ebb and Flow’ becomes apparent. It seems a little cliche to start with, but it definitely grew on me. Although there are plenty of sea-aspects to this piece (including some very saucy moments on a boat) that no doubt add to the symbolism, it truly refers to the “give and take” and the balance of life. This is a great read to curl up with, clutching a hot cup of tea, in the Winter evenings. Read, enjoy, and let me know what you think!
Honourable mentions: the beverage suggestions before each chapter. Ceylon Orange Pekoe Tea (Sri Lanka) is definitely high on my reading-drinking list and it really helps set the mood even if you don’t have every single cocktail and drink suggested. And the lovely literary allusions and quotes in there (even a throwback to Bridget Jones at some point if I remember correctly).