First Impressions

by Debra White Smith

Paperback -350 pages   ISBN 0743243978
Harvest House Publishers
(February 2004)
(February 1, 2004)
(January 2004)

        Written by Tuija (3/8/2004 )
It's a modernisation of the P&P story, set in London, Texas. "Elizabeth" is a lawyer starting her own business there, and "Darcy" is a somewhat mysterious local guy, in possession of a good fortune and duly chased by all the single females except for "Elizabeth". "Lady Catherine" is producing a community play and - yes you guessed it - they're doing Pride and Prejudice and the two leads get cast as Darcy and Elizabeth.

This one's "Christian fiction". I was a bit dubious of how this would turn out. Jane Austen meets Christian fiction meets Mills&Boon romances? (Mind you, I haven't really read any "Christian fiction romances" before, so I cannot compare and I didn't have any specific expectations. I just had some impressions from discussions on "typical" Christian fiction at our Library board.)

When reading this I thought that the "Christian fiction" label shows mostly in that the protagonists attend church, have certain kinds of values and are occasionally shown as praying. No sermonizing and no radical conversions etc. as far as I can recollect. And I was actually a bit surprised by how much and how often the mutual (physical) attraction of the Darcy and Elizabeth characters was described, and right from the start - though they're both fighting the attraction for various reasons (pride, prejudice, fear of commitment, misunderstandings, whatnot). A lot less subtle than Austen, certainly...

This definitely isn't Jane Austen, but IMHO it's pleasant and fun enough for a light reading. I'd love to hear other people's opinions as well?

       Review by Linda Waldemar, 10 February 2005
This s a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. It is set in London, Texas, a small town with a population of just over 6000. Eddi Boswick has opened a one-person law office and Dave Davidson owns a very large ranch nearby. Dave's Aunt, Mrs. Madelynne DeBloom starts a dinner theatre. The first performance is Pride and Prejudice, the play. Eddi and Dave play Elizabeth and Darcy.

The author tells us right up front which characters correspond to Jane Austen's and most of the main ones are present. Her plot follows JA's very closely and she uses many of Austen's lines; which is easy since they are rehearsing that play.

Ms White is writes Christian fiction and this story fits into that genre. The characters go to church and pray a lot and have rather old-fashioned moral values. However, I did not find the book to be overly preachy. In fact, I enjoyed it a great deal. It is a very quick and pleasant read.

I suggest that  you give it a try.

      Review by Chantel, 11 October 2005
It was fun to read! Eddie (the main character, the equivalent of Lizzy) is not as great as Lizzy, but it is such fun to see what the author does with the plot and events of P+P and the relationship between Darcy and Lizzy/Dave and Eddie. One thing I really disliked about First Impressions, though it is rather minor I guess, is that when Mrs. Smith converted Georgiana, she made Georgiana a male: George or Georgie who ****SPOILER WARNING***is dead.***END SPOILER***. Kitty and Mary are also left out, but the characters there are very easy to identify. I especially like the relationship b/w Eddie and Jenny(Jane).