REVIEW: The Passions of Dr. Darcy by Sharan LathanMonday, May 6, 2013 0:00
I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the books to date in Sharon Lathan’s Darcy Saga. A lot of that has to do with the journey of Ms. Lathan growing as an author, as evidenced with each book. With the latest addition to the series, she has written her very best. Her character of Dr. George Darcy has been fun since he was first introduced, and to now follow him through his exciting life is more than I ever expected.
I really like the inclusion of George’s journals as we go through the story. We begin with Fiztwilliam and Lizzy opening George’s traveling trunk his father had given him before his journey to India decades ago. What they discover is all of the doctor’s journals he’d written over the years. As they start their reading, we start to live a full and fascinating life along with the most outgoing Darcy of them all.
When his twin, Alex, died at a young age due to medical incompetence, George’s life took a much different turn. He eventually enrolled in medical school and at age 22 begins a career that will help multitudes and be respected by just as many. Writing in his journal, as all Darcys have done for years, we see George from his own POV as he discusses daily living with first his deceased brother, and then at different times of his life addressing each departed loved one as the years go on. When he leaves England for India as an employee of the East India Company, he is a man looking forward, anxious to learn a way of life and medicine so different from his own. He embraces everything he comes across, and a close personal and professional relationship begins with Dr. Ullas and his family.
We go with George and Dr. Ullas to nearly every part of India, meet every kind of person imaginable, and watch the good doctor do his magic. Along the way he has brushes with love. Yes, just brushes. George seems to be unlucky in love, though he has a wonderful time getting there. His first love, Sarah, is typically English and relies on her father for everything, including the man she’ll marry. George refuses to leave India and Sarah’s father wants her home where she’ll be safe, so he gives her to another. At first I figured George has a huge case of like for Sarah instead of love, but wanting to live life to its fullest and helping those in need shouldn’t have to compete with love. Then there’s Ruby, who’s a lot like George, loving something more than the person who can make you happy. She’s not on the up-and-up with him, her strings pulled by someone else as she goes to his bed night after night. Then she disappears without a word…until so many years later. And those are terrific scenes when the time comes.
So after two failed love affairs, George once again focuses on his medicine. In between all of this, he does go back to England. The first trip is to see his ailing father. Seeing George in action when diagnosing, which is a rare talent, and then comforting patients are particularly fascinating scenes because of Ms. Lathan’s own medical background. Those in which his family are involved are even more engaging. George does go through a lot of personal loss. After his father, it’s Dr. Ullas who succumbs, ironically, to an illness he treats others for all over India. As life is wont to do, the doctor then finds love again in the unlikeliest of places, Jharna, his best friend’s widow. The relationship works quite well, meshing two cultures together even better than before.
George and Jharna enjoy a number of years together, and it’s during this time, for the first time in this series, I was brought to tears. Their ultimate loss is full of emotion and one of the best scenes in the book. Then when his talent once again tells him he’s too late, there’s nothing to be done, George finds himself alone one more time. Losing Jharna seems to siphon the love of India out of George at his point, and when he goes home, this time when he hears of the death of his brother James, George knows it’s time to pick up his life in England, where everything began.
He’s such a charismatic character, easily making friends, teaching medical students, and loving life to the fullest extent. He’s so exuberant, besides arrogant, and that makes him all the more likable. Love finds George one last time, this time with Amanda, companion to Georgianna Darcy. Each relationship he enjoys is unique and full of emotion. The man has the largest capacity to love. We also get to see Fitzwilliam from a point of view we’ve not seen before. From a small tyke to a married man with children, and everything in between, George gives us a special look at his nephew as he grows into the man everyone knows and loves.
Dr. George Darcy is larger than life. Too perfect? Maybe. But that’s the way I like my heroes. That’s why I read romance. All the history and medical practices come in second to characters like this one. Having confidence and an adventurous spirit, George lives an exceptional life. I like that as he grows older throughout the book, he continues to enjoy that life, no matter what has been thrown his way. A lot of research went into this story, no doubt about that. Weaving that research in and around characters such as these has brought Ms. Lathan to a whole new level as an author. As much as I’ve looked forward to her books before, my anticipation is now double to see what she has coming next. I’ve no doubt it may rival my George.
While Fitzwilliam Darcy is enjoying an idyllic childhood at Pemberley, his vibrant and beloved uncle, Dr. George Darcy, becomes one of the most renowned young physicians of the day. Determined to do something more with his life than cater to a spoiled aristocracy, George accepts a post with the British East India Company and travels in search of a life of meaning and purpose.
When George Darcy returns to Pemberley after many years abroad, the drama and heartbreak of his travels offer a fascinating glimpse into a gentleman’s journey of self-discovery and romance.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: