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Excellent Tale... but 'IT WILL NOT DO' as a P&P sequel!
on 24 May 2002
Loving 'Pride & Prejudice' and dying to know what married life will hold for the newly-wed Mr and Mrs Darcy. I, like other P&P fans, have searched high and low for a worthy sequel to that classical piece of literature...
To tell the truth, at first glance over 400 pages, this book seemed a heavy read. However, once you start, you will find it hard to actually put it down. There's something new happening on every page, there was events after events, which intertwine and link on. There's a great deal of tension and suspense as well as romance and passion.
The story has an excellent plot. I think Linda Berdoll had skilfully invented some convincing history for some of the characters, this gives them more depth, and gives us more insight into their lives. As well as enhancing the original storyline and characters from 'Pride & Prejudice', Berdoll had created new characters that are believable and vivid.
I appreciate the fact that it is virtually impossible to produce a seamless sequel to this amazing literature classic, especially if you're not Jane Austen (even if she's alive now, I'm sure she'll find 'Pride & Prejudice' a hard one to follow), but there are some horrific mistakes!!
The most unforgivable being ,'Elizabeth Bennet' spelt 'Elisabeth' and 'Pemberley' spelt 'Pemberly'. Some bizarre names given to the existing characters gave away the fact that the author had obviously NOT read the original novel and had based the book entirely on the (Excellent) BBC 1995 adaptation of the story. Mr William Collins, 'Thaddeus'? Old Mr George Darcy, 'Gerald'? And dear Lady Anne Darcy, 'Elinor'? - 'Capital Crime' to a true Austen fan. The spelling hadn't bothered me at first, but after time, it was irritating. Thank goodness she didn't spell Darcy 'Darsy'.
Berdoll had made an effort to imitate Jane Austen's language, this was often successful. However, most of the time, I failed to understand the odd bits of French or Latin she's included in the text. Long sentences inside brackets also proved to be very annoying.
So much for being a sequel for 'Pride & Prejudice', Berdoll had steamed up the story a considerable amount with a more open view towards sex and love. It sometimes made the marriage bond in the Regency period seemed dark and unstable, easily broken by temptation of prostitutes and 'mistresses'. Though credit must be given to this fresh, less obvious and slightly modern approach.
Although I did enjoy reading about the more intimate and passionate side of the Darcy/Elizabeth relationship and about their ever growing regard for one another. At times, I felt that the characters were not true to their nature, Elizabeth had lost some of her lively spirits and wit that we all loved her for, Darcy had lost the aloofness and the hidden righteousness that made him sexy.
This book should be regarded as a fantasy-fulfiller to those who couldn't get enough of Mr Darcy in 'Pride & Prejudice' and not so much as a sequel to it. Nevertheless, worth reading if you have the spare time or is never tired of P&P.
I regret to be able to offer it 3- stars. As it sold itself as a 'Pride & Prejudice' sequel, I guess I had to judge it as one, though I may have given it more if I was judging it as a new story.
In summary, the story is fantastic in its own right, but as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice- Fairly Hopeless.