RATING: 4.5The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy offers a delightfully detailed background to the story and the characters of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, as well as interesting and accurate insight into the society of the time. That makes it a highly enjoyable read and a must-read for lovers of Austen’s characters.In this novel, Anne de Bourgh and Georgiana Darcy have more important roles. They come to the forefront as matchmakers, especially Anne, who first notices her cousin’s feelings for Miss Elizabeth and who first learns about Darcy’s failed proposal. This prompts her to act and bring the two lovers together as best as she can. I loved the expansion on the characters of Anne and Georgiana. In Austen’s original novel, they are minor characters who serve to more or less explain certain plot points. In this story, they become rounded, multi-dimensional characters with active roles and yearnings of their own. Although some significant changes were made to their characters, the changes are enjoyable and complement the two characters very well, giving them life.The story follows the plot of Austen’s original, but offers expanded backgrounds to the story, as well as the characters. I was so glad to read about Darcy’s thoughts and feelings that were very well delivered. In the original, the reader gets to see the events mostly through Elizabeth’s eyes, but in this story, all characters are given a chance to contribute in this respect – even the snotty Caroline Bingley and the charming, yet conniving Wickham. Their narrations are smooth, vivid and executed in the period lingo with great ease.There are some plot twists that are delightful and some that I needed some time getting used to, like the fact that Darcy had a mistress as a youth and the fact that Jane has a second suitor. However, this created some tension and uncertainty and I’m always happy when things become a little complicated. I was especially pleasantly surprised by Mary Bennett’s new fate and I hope that you will be, too, when you read the novel.I highly enjoyed period details. The workings of the society are explained, their rituals, the places they frequented, and the Napoleonic wars are mentioned on several occasions, giving the story a very firm historical frame and also reminding the reader that the militia was not there (only) to entertain ladies, but was at the ready for battle.This novel is a highly enjoyable and insightful story, and it is a fresh take on Austen’s beloved novel. I recommend it to all Austen enthusiasts – you shall not be disappointed.