Through Each Other’s Eyes represents historical romance at its best as it probes the life and times of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, who are frustrated with each other and uncertain about the course of their relationship.
Matters come to a head after a ball when a shooting star prompts a wish on each of their parts that comes all too true, in an ironic manner. Each wished to better understand the other; but the reality which transpires is that their minds switch bodies so that they literally must navigate the other’s perceptions, thoughts, and reactions to life.
Other books have centered around mind/body exchanges; but few hold the connected romantic element already in play. This provides a comic and pointed sentiment to conflicts that evolve from this switch as two very different people attempt to understand not only their new selves, but each other.
It should be pointed out that switching genders comes with its own special demands in describing the different bodies and minds of each character. Aleena Ashe does a fine job of emphasizing this in descriptions which give pause for thought, but quickly make sense: “Why Lizzy, I may have to frame this and place it in my study to add a sense of decorum.” Though he teased, Darcy knew Mr. Bennet would likely do just that because his Lizzy had made it. For a brief moment remembering how his father had been much the same with him pained him but he quickly shook it off to enjoy the reverie.”
There are also dilemmas created by experiences and knowledge that don’t automatically stem from a given gender role: “Suddenly Darcy realized that he was utterly incapable of trimming a bonnet. Perhaps he could sneak some of the needed materials out with him on his walks and then Elizabeth could teach him some basics when they met.”
Through Each Other’s Eyes excels in crafting a Regency-style romance remake of Pride and Prejudice which is easier to digest than the original, making it more accessible to audiences who might balk at the original classic, but who will find this take-off compelling.
The characters are nicely drawn and stay true to the original creation and the scenes are fun and equally well crafted, designed to intrigue prior readers of Pride and Prejudice as well as newcomers less familiar with the classic.
Historical romance fans receive an unusual approach and treat with this romp through the very different minds of individuals who confront both their attractions and their ultimate life goals.