Thursday, December 22, 2011

Novelist Karen Doornebos to appear at Women and Children First Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012, 4:00 pm

“Definitely Not Mr. Darcy” to be featured at Andersonville’s revered independent book store.

Acclaimed for being one of the country’s longest running and important independent bookstores, Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL. will journey from the Regency world of Jane Austen to contemporary television reality shows when the store hosts a reading and signing for author Karen Doornebos and her debut novel, “Definitely Not Mr. Darcy,” Sun., Jan. 8, 2012, 4 pm.

Doornebos’ novel tells the story of Chloe Parker who auditions for a Jane Austen-inspired public television documentary set in Derbyshire, England. Important to this 39-year-old divorced mother with a struggling business, there's a $100,000 prize to be awarded to the contestant who can successfully answer trivia questions about Austen's “Pride and Prejudice.”

But the documentary is a sham, and the filming is actually a reality dating show set in 1812 where eight competitors vie to win the money and the heart of Mr. Wrightman, the heir to a fabulous estate. To further distress Chloe, contestants must dress and behave as if they were in the Regency year depicted in Austen's book -- with no cell phones, indoor plumbing, or deodorant. It’s time for Chloe to tighten her corset and flash some ankle to beat out women younger, more cutthroat, and less clumsy than herself.

“Definitely Not Mr. Darcy” was published in September of this year by Berkley, Penguin Group, and is garnering rave reviews from across the country. “Publishers Weekly” in its starred review, said, “Doornebos gives the historical romance novel a hilarious update in this delightful debut.” And “RT Book Reviews” added, "...this tale combines a fun plot with witty dialogue, charming characters and a strong-willed heroine. It will leave you laughing in delight and reluctant to put it down until the last page is read."

Doornebos, of Riverside, IL., said she hopes the event will attract not only Austen fans, “but readers who are curious about Austen’s enduring popularity.” For her part, Doornebos points to fast-paced action, humor, overcoming odds, a powerful heroine, and an escape from daily life as reasons Austen’s works have gathered hundreds of thousands of fans around the world and on Facebook.

For more information about the reading and signing, call Women and Children First at 773-769-9299, or go to its website, And, to learn more about Karen Doornebos, visit


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