I was turned on to the P&P sequels a while back. I've tried to read every one written. I found this one on another Amazon customers listmania. I managed to borrow a copy from my library through an inter-library loan. It was worth the effort. This book was by far the BEST sequel I have read (and I have read dozens!). The characters were true, the plotlines well shaped. I recommend this book to any Austen enthusiast. I am trying to talk myself into spending $300 to have a copy of my own (I enjoyed it that much!).
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Happily ever after--?19 Feb 2001
- Published on Amazon.com
In the years since we all watched the splendid BBC/A&E production of Pride and Prejudice, have you ever wondered what might have happened after that gorgeous double wedding? You're not alone. This delightful book presents one such scenario, which takes place four years later. All is serene at Pemberley Great House, as it is referred to by the inhabitants of the area, until the night when Dr. Robinson, aged eighty-seven, who had been Rector of Pemberley for more than fifty years, passes on to his reward, peacefully, during his sleep. It is this traumatic event which opens the doors to a summer of upheaval in the lives of 'Fitz' and Elizabeth Darcy. Of course, a new rector must be found, as soon as possible; but first, poor Darcy must convince the two elderly, maiden daughters of the good reverend that they must find another place to live. But no! If he will only find a bachelor to fill the living, said bachelor can reside with them, and they will in turn keep up the house. From such a simple premise do great events transpire! The Darcys are now parents of a two-year old son, Richard; Jane and Bingley have two daughters. Nothing is said of Lydia and Wickham. Mr. Bennet and Kitty, still unmarried, come to visit, as does Aunt Gardiner. Uncle Gardiner is unavoidably detained in London, investigating for Darcy. Georgiana, also unmarried, still resides at Pemberley; indeed, she cannot imagine living anywhere else. Although we are not relieved of the company of Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter, Lady Anne, we are thankfully spared the presence of Mrs. Bennet and, except for a letter from him, Mr. Collins. After much behavior of the sort to be found in the Austen books, a happy resolution is achieved for nearly all. Kitty and Georgiana are no longer among the ranks of the unmarried, and even Lady Anne will find a spouse. (He even agrees to change his pedestrian name to de Bourgh, such is the lure of her vast inheritance.) If nothing else, this book, written nearly fifty years before the splendid film was even thought of, confirms the wonderfully appropriate casting of the film. Consider these lines: Darcy, speaking about his cousin, Francis Wakeford; "...although Wakeford spoke of his desire for solitude, I became convinced that his need is for companionship." Or, when Elizabeth opens the door to a room where Darcy has been awaiting her, "When she opened the door of his room, he was walking up and down as was his way if much perturbed. On seeing her he stood still and looked at her searchingly." Can't you picture it? And, what about Jane? "Jane's time never seemed to be her own. Either one of her children or her husband, required her attention." While Bingley: "...declared that for his part he never knew where he put anything and always had to ask Jane." And, lastly, of Lady de Bourgh herself: "Unfortunately, Lady Catherine's usual spirit of contrariety did not on this occasion assert itself." I've not yet read any of the other sequels to Pride and Prejudice, but I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the original book--or the film.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Best "Pride & Prejudice" Sequel24 Jun 2002
- Published on Amazon.com
If you loved "Pride and Prejudice" and have an open mind about reading the sequels to it, I enthusiastically encourage you to read this novel. It is, in my opinion, the best of the many sequels that have been written. What I didn't like about other sequels was what I felt to be an incorrect interpretation of the characters (in other words, they acted in ways I didn't think they would), and there was often very little emphasis put on Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship (most of the other sequels were more concerned with what were "supporting" characters in the original novel). However, in this book, the characters are perfectly represented, and it's not at all difficult to imagine the characters behaving and speaking as they do here. Elizabeth and Darcy's relationship is wonderfully represented and, while old and new characters are included in this story, the main plot involves both Darcy & Elizabeth, as opposed to a "secondary" characters. I would love to see this book, though older than the rest of the sequels, made into a movie or mini-series. The only fault is that it is not more widely available for purchase. I've searched through the Internet for years for this book and haven't yet found a single copy for sale. I wish they would reprint this book so more people could own it, as I hope to. Again, everyone, read this book!
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Best Austen sequel I've ever read!19 Sep 2003
Gypsi Phillips Bates
- Published on Amazon.com
It's a real pity that Pemberly Shades is out of print! To me it's the best Jane Austen continuation/imitation that I have read so far. And, being a Jane Austen-ophile, I've read a lot of them! This one has the humor, character depth and interesting plot, not to mention slow, rambling narration style, of Miss Austen herself. Ms. Bonavia-Hunt set the Austen style on the first page: "Who could have foretold that Dr. Robinson, who had done nothing of note in all his lifetime should, by the common and natural act of dying, set in motion a train of events so strange, so startling, so far removed from probability, as to emulate the riotous fancies of a disordered mind?" It takes place, as you might have guessed, at Pemberly three or four years after Darcy and Elizabeth wed. Lady Catherine makes an appearance, as does Mr. Bennet, and the conversations of both could have been lifted from Pride and Prejudice. Mr. Collins joins us by letter, sounding just as pompous and ridiculous as ever. Elizabeth and Darcy keep that same sparring attraction that they developed in Pride and Prejudice. Only Kitty has changed, and at first I found it a striking, drastic change. But after thinking about it, several years away from the terrible influence of Lydia (who is never even alluded to!) could easily make a major difference in Kitty's life. The new characters in Pemberly Shades have all the flavor of Austen originals. The Miss Robinson's remind me of all of Austen's gossipy old maids, Mr. Acworth is a cross between Wickham and Willoughby and Major Wakeford is an unluckier Colonel Brandon. If you love Austen and the Austen style, then I highly recommend this novel! Run down to your local library or used bookstores and see if you can come up with a copy of it. You'll thank me later.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic!17 Feb 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
I know it's been said before, but it really is unfortunate that this book is out of print. I found it at the local library though and am very glad I did! I couldn't put it down--even without the lovely Austen characters it would have been a fast, fun read. It's very true to the language of the original, and nearly all the characters are very consistent with Austen's. The plot is dramatic but not in soap opera fashion; discretion rather than open romance is always the watchword. I wish Bonavia-Hunt had written yet another sequel--it was truly fabulous. Try to find it--you won't regret it!