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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Letters from Pemberley...Review

About the book:
In this continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, one of the best-loved novels in the English language, Elizabeth Bennet finds herself in a very different league of wealth and privilege, now as Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy and mistress of Pemberley. Writing to her sister, Jane, she confides her uncertainty and anxieties, and describes the everyday of her new life. Her first year at Pemberley is sometimes bewildering, but Lizzy's spirited sense of humor and satirical eye never desert her. Incorporating Jane Austen's own words and characters from her other works, the book is a literary patchwork quilt piecing together the story of Lizzy's first eventful year as Mrs. Darcy.

I liked this book, I didn't love it. I should have been able to read it in one setting as it's short enough, but it didn't completely capture my attention.

As far as sequels go, it was better than some. The premise is that after Elizabeth moves to Pemberley, she and Jane write to each other, sharing news and details of their lives. The problem is that we get Elizabeth's letters, but not Jane's. And while they were interesting, they were somewhat normal and mundane.

Jane Dawkins does a fair job of imitating Elizabeth's voice, but naturally, the Austen charm is lacking. I think this book could have been much richer if we'd read Jane's responses and been privy to their "conversations" with each other.

The other factor that was difficult, was that Dawkins included other Austen characters, but gave them different names. Eleanor and Marianne Dashwood are included but their name is Norland; Anne Elliot is included but her name is Eleanor Steventon. It was a cute idea but fell a bit flat.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow.  You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 9/08

* * 
2/5 Stars

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