Again, I am late on my Pride and Prejudice post. In celebration of two hundredth anniversary of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I’m taking part in the Austenprose Bicentenary Challenge for 2013. Here is the original blog post if you are interested. The idea is to pick a challenge level (Ie: how many Pride and Prejudice inspired books, be they prequels, sequels, non-fiction, fan-fiction, etc., or movies or miniseries) then post our review on your blog. This month’s review is The Darcy’s of Pemberly by Shannon Winslow. Below is the blurb and here is the link to Goodreads.
A sequel true to Jane Austen’s beloved masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice.
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have been married for almost a year, and their heated arguments are a thing of the past. All that passion is now directed into more satisfying pursuits. But how long can the honeymoon last? The couple’s idyllic life together at Pemberley is jeopardized by secrets they begin keeping from each other, the troubles of their closest friends, and the threat of a villain in their midst.
Layers of seemingly innocent deception are building between Darcy and Elizabeth, threatening their relationship. He is conducting some covert business dealings that he’s unwilling to share with his wife, and she likewise begins keeping things from him against her own better judgment. The couple also becomes embroiled in the tribulations of Mr. Darcy’s younger sister, Georgiana, and his friend and cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam.
Fitzwilliam falls victim to their aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, as the object of her latest scheme to make a noble match for her daughter. Georgiana runs the gamut of emotions as she comes of age and learns the pain of unrequited love. Meanwhile, the menacing shadow of Mr. Darcy’s life-long nemesis, Mr. Wickham, looms ever larger.
The Darcys of Pemberley is the tale of two romances: the continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth’s story, and the courtship of Miss Georgiana. For those who didn’t want Pride and Prejudice to end, this novel gives the opportunity to learn what happens after the wedding, to revisit old friends and foes, and to share the next chapter of their lives.
Well. That blurb might have taken some of the wind out of my review sails, as it pretty much tells you the whole story. So I will give you my impressions.
I really enjoyed this – and like most of the people I would recommend it to, I’m a HUGE fan of the original book and others of its time. Ms. Winslow successfully mimics that pace – slow, gentle, lots of visiting, dinners, letter writing and polite greetings. Ah, politeness. Decorum must be maintained at all times – even when you would prefer to take the nearest silver turreen from the sideboard and bash the visitor in the head with it. This is something I love, and wish was more common in historicals, which so often take on the modern pace rather than following the real-and-for-true Regency romance as it was written back in th’ day. Old school, if you will. The author seems to know her stuff where social behavior is concerned – which is refreshing The only place I think it strays is when a gentleman visits a woman in a sick room, which I do not believe would ever happen. But let us not pick nits.
Where it strays from the formula of the old novel, and in a good way, is the obvious affection and good-sex vibes from our main characters. Elizabeth and Darcy are an affectionate and passionate couple – behind closed doors as is proper (ie: not in front of the servants), and just as we would have them be. Please note, there are no sex scenes, just obvious randiness is clearly taking place between the principles “off page”. The author avoids excess of sap, which I appreciate, and the Darcy’s do have little spats, as two people of such different character should be prone to.
All our old friends are here and behave just as they should – even the odious Mr. Wickham and his dipstick wife. Lady Catherine resides over her court and ever gives advice that is not wanted. Mrs. Bennet is in full flutter at all times and Mr. Bennet is as droll as ever.
Please don’t think that things don’t happen. There is plenty of diversion on hand: Georgianna’s coming out, babies being born and as we approach the end (where all the good stuff always happened in those good old novels) larceny, kidnap, revenge! It’s great! If you didn’t want Pride and Prejudice to end, I would strongly recommend this one.