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on 29 April 2016
Having recently come back to P & P variations I decided to re-reread this one (buying it on Kindle as the paperback is quite large).
I love this book. I appreciate that Austen purists are not keen - the language can grate ('howbeit' and 'gotten' the main miscreants), her geographical knowledge of England is dubious to say the least (following their marriage, travelling from Hertfordshire back to Pemberley, stopping at Darcy's London house on the way!!) and she can ramble on: hence the removal of 1 star, but there is much to enjoy here. The book covers about 5 years and Berdoll does cram a lot in. All of the original characters are back (and most of their story lines do move on) along with a few new ones, I particularly liked Lady Millhouse.
Yes there is plenty of 'bedroom action' sometimes passionate, other times quite light-hearted but never course. They are newly weds after all and Elizabeth's original refusal has left Darcy with a lot of pent up testosterone! I have found similar Abigail Reynolds' scenarios quite jarring.
There are also laugh out loud lines - one of my favourite being Lydia giving Jane and Elizabeth the benefit of her (as well as Mrs Bennet's) marital experience prior to their own weddings "You cannot imagine anything so frightening as the sight of Wickham's excited member!" Brilliant!
This is a book of fiction, not a travel guide or history lesson and should be read as such. I think the wealth of 1 star reviews are from avid JA fans who maybe shouldn't be reading variations in the first place.
Extremely entertaining!
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on 8 June 2013
I love the 'what happens next' sequels to these classics. It's great to think that characters can live on beyond the imagination of the original author, but like many others I didn't expect what this sequel had in store!

In her original works, Jane Austen only hints at impropriety in the way her characters behave. To give an example, in Sense and Sensibility she doesn't describe in detail how Willoughby seduced Colonel Brandon's ward and made her pregnant. It's only alluded to by the Colonel himself and the reader is left feeling shocked and horrified by what is left to the imagination. As for what Lydia gets up to when she runs off with Wickham in Pride and Prejudice, well...

This sequel to Pride and Prejudice leaves nothing to the imagination at all, and that's why the Austen purists will hate it. The very idea of Lizzy and Mr Darcy actually getting down to the business of sex (without clothes, too!) is probably mind-boggling to most, but without actually doing it there will be no heir for Mr Darcy, so it has to be addressed, anyway. But it does beg the question of whether or not the act should be described in so much detail by the author. The relationship between Lizzy and Darcy isn't the 'duty' described by Lizzy's sister Jane between herself and Bingley, it is passionate and heated and borne of a very deep love. Darcy is desperate to show Lizzy how he feels, so the reader cops more than an eyeful. Personally I don't see a problem as the author isn't confined to 19th century censorship: what I do have a problem with is that the first quarter of the book describes nothing but Lizzy and Darcy in bed. It was getting a bit boring, and I was amazed Mrs Darcy could still stand up! The scene at her presentation ball where she is asked by Darcy not to wash after they've been together is definitely an 'ewwww' moment, as is what happens with the bed sheet after their wedding night.

Having said that the author creates a world beyond Austen which isn't as pretty as we all hope to believe while reading the original works, and I appreciated being informed Darcy has a past. Not much is mentioned of his previous existence in Pride and Prejudice other than his history with Wickham and the fact he has a sister. It was no surprise to me that he sowed his wild oats before meeting Lizzy. The possibility that he could have fathered a child with a serving girl and the mention of other possibility of infidelities of other characters - one which takes us by surprise - adds tension to the story, and the description of the abduction is riveting. Colonel Fitzwilliam's realisation that he is in love with Lizzy isn't much of a surprise to me. They got on well in the original book.

The author also brings back all the old characters, like Mr Collins, Wickham, Lady Catherine, all retaining the characteristics they possessed in the original, perhaps somewhat magnified. Mr Collins is a little more ridiculous than usual.

I agree with other reviewers that the book is let down by the language. The author is trying too hard to re-create the usage of the period, and although I would have expected correct English, I think it goes a bit OTT. There is a confusing mix of 'Austen-ish' ('compleat' not 'complete') and modern. Apart from the Americanisms which don't fit at all - 'period' (full-stop) and 'sidewalk' (pavement) - I never knew 'dipping his wick' was a 19th century term. I may be wrong, though. What I did find interesting is the British spelling of words, possibly an attempt by the author (who I believe is American) to make the work authentically British. 'Colour' not 'color', 'travelled' not 'traveled', 'learnt' not 'learned;, and 'realised' with an 's' not 'z', an acceptable spelling in the UK but not in the US (technically a misspelling in fact, but not incorrect over here as 'ise' is often used preference to 'ize').

Overall, though, I enjoyed the book and read it until the end, but I would disagree with some claims that it is 'hilarious'. There are some very sad and moving scenes involving Lizzy's difficulties with conception which I thought were very sensitively written.
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on 28 April 2017
This is an awful book. It's totally smutty and an American's take on 'old English' language. Too many 'betwixt's and other such nonsense which makes it difficult to follow. Too many cliches and heaving bosoms. I should have done more research on this book and avoided. If you are an Austen purist, or even a fan of the English language avoid.
It arrived on time and in good condition though, hence the 2 stars. But a terrible book overall.
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on 7 March 2010
I totally agree with Helen Hancock's review above, but not with the star rating. The only star I can give for this book is for the sheer effort of writing a novel of this length. I have never read a P&P sequel before and this one totally infuriated me and I will never read a regency sequel again. I have even been put off reading any other regency historical or romance novel.
The research in this novel is appalling. More appalling because it could have been simply solved by typing in a query in the internet, or the distance between places on google maps! The author however seems to believe they can make up for this by basically cramming the book with as much sex and euphemisms as they possibly can. 'Saucy' is not the word. If Darcy and Elizabeth mentioning sex is enough to make you blush, imagine the graphic description of their conjugal happiness against a wall.
The worst example of a editing blunder is the constant adhering to using the title 'sir' and 'lord' interchangeably. "Sir Lewis de Bourgh"/"Lord de Bourgh"? hmm... Not only that but what caused my struggling journey through this book to reach its height of loathing was the first appearance of a "Sir Lucas". 'That's strange,' I thought, 'What a strange first name, it sounds very much like Sir William Lucas-- Oh wait. grrrrrrr!' Yes, this was indeed Sir William Lucas, knight (not baronet! - or lord) and the first arousal of my suspicion that this author may have not even read P&P (I suppose watching the BBC version is good enough for the historical content of this book). Any GCSE or A-level student made to read this book a few times and armed with a student guide could tell you Darcy's late mother was christened "Lady Anne" not "Elinor". Not only that JA's short paragraph at the beginning of chapter 42 in P&P ("Mr. Bennet was not of a disposition to seek comfort, for the disappointment which his own imprudence had brought on, in any of those pleasures which too often console the unfortunate for their folly or their vice.") which although a little unclear to someone with an IQ below that of a guinea pig would make the appearance of Mr. Bennet's illegitimate child equally confusing.
Every single sentence is over-wrought and violently fragmented - the author's aversion to contractions making even some simple sentence appear broken - that sometimes it is a puzzle to understand what is being referred to. Apart from euphemisms, which are hilariously rammed together with every "nethers", "members" and "womanly portals" the writer could summon to mind and ingenious only in their over-wrought complexity to make something meant to appear obscured extraordinary explicit by her excessive use - and misuse - of Austenish vocabulary. It is as if the author had swallowed a thesaurus and a pornographic novel and vomited up this up as a result, teemed with the sexual delicacy of a cheap tabloid.
This is not a Jane Austen sequel. It is not even good fan-fiction. This is a trashy novel - a "fun romp" if you wish - with some characters with names that sound like those of a certain novel by Jane Austen but in no way resemble them, in complexity in as much as language. I would have given it zero stars if I had been able.
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on 24 June 2012
Recommended to me by a friend who knows how much I love Jane Austen. Well, this could have been the end of a beautiful friendship!!

What a terrible book. J.A would be rolling in her grave at this poorly written story-less piece of smut! It fails on all levels.. as a continuation of P+P, as an erotic novel , and as a piece of coherent writing. In a nut shell is is rubbish. I was slightly amused while reading it , but mostly by the very peculiar writing style and the author's attempts to sound authentic by throwing random Regency style words 'Howbeit' anyone? Also by the author's dismal grasp of England's geography. I mean, come ON..how hard would it have been to check a map and find out which way up is North.. last time I traveled I was going south to Dover..... and making it from Rosings to Pembeley in one morning... hell those horses must have been rocket powered. Simple but irritating errors.

Overall a great disappointment. Stick to the originals!
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on 14 January 2006
I liked this book overall, I think I have read most of the P&P sequels and this is one of the better ones, although that is not saying much.
There are a lot of sex scenes which I personally do not mind.
A great many things happen to the Darcys in this book and although they are all imagiative and well thought out, It sometimes feels like you reading 2 months worth of scripts from a bad and unbelievable soap opera. Too many things happen and they are all well, unbeleivable.
Other negatives: There are many spelling and grammatical errors, this also includes totally made up words and characters name's changing within the space of 2 pages sometimes. I can not believe that this book has ever landed on an editors desk.
However the main thing that is missing, and this is the thing that I think most of us want a sequel to capture above all else, is any conversation between the Darcys at all. They have conversations about sex, their own sex and other peoples, and that is truly it.
If you are just looking for a Elizabeth and Darcy fix, you cant go much wrong, the setting is there and if you dont think about it too much, you can just about make yourself believe that our heros are there also.
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on 9 March 2013
As others have said, the language of this book is so peculiar as to be a real obstacle to reading with enjoyment. Examples: "Aye" used repeatedly for "I" in the mouths of country people - presumably to the writer this conveys a rustic English accent. It doesn't, as "aye" is pronounced "I". Elizabeth has a "lady-maid" (as an alternative to a gentleman-maid? or a woman-maid?) and pregnancy results in "laying-in" (stocking up?) rather than lying-in. And could a candle-holder, however large, "subjugate" a dining table?
Even the cover is comical in its inaccuracy: there's nothing in P&P to suggest that Elizabeth Bennet is "universally admired" and she would have shown extraordinary prescience, as well as becoming an object of ridicule, had she worn "crinolines" during the Regency.
This is not a criticism of American English - the author has developed her own opaque language, neither American nor British, neither C19th nor C21st. I'm surprised at her publishers.
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on 28 August 2011
What can you say? total load of rubbish, and the English is just dreadful!
I wish the writer had taken the time to do some reading herself, maybe she would then know that we Brits do not have 'bangs', we have a fringe. Also, the DUVET did not arrive here until the 1970's, there are more mistakes of this nature, all very annoying, and this combined with the silly use of sex and most perculiar ways of describing body parts is enough to render this the worst P&P follow up I have ever had the great misfortune to read.
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on 30 June 2008
I have read a lot of books in a longish lifetime, written and published twenty-five novels myself, and taught creative writing, but this really is the worst book I have read. The problem is that Berdoll can't write. She simply hasn't a clue. On every page she creates yet another whopper, using the wrong words again and again, slipping in and out of a very poor pastiche of Austen, getting tangled in her syntax, repeatedly spelling 'complete' 'compleat' as if this will give her prose the appearance of early 19th-century writing. She is clumsy, and I even wonder if she has read Austen. That's the worst thing here. Austen was one of gthe greatest prose stylists in English, and her sentences are so perfectly balanced that it is pure hubris to try to write a sequel to any of her novels. How much more so when the person mangling their own prose does it so very badly. The story and characters just don't work, particularly when she gives them behaviour that Austen would never for a moment have given them. To portray poor Darcy as a womanizing sybarite is utterly untrue to Austen's characterization. To make sex so central to the story is just more clumsiness. Physical passion could have been iontroduced, but only by a much more sophisticated and experienced and subtle writer. I suggest Berdoll gave up the Austen pastiches and take up writing potboilers for Black Lace or someone.
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Mr Darcy takes a Wife was the first and the worst book related to P&P I have ever read.
If you are looking for something similar to 50 shades of Grey, than this is the book for you.
If you truly loved P&P for the intensity of love between Darcy and Elizabeth, than this is not for you.
I wouldn't find the book so bad if it wasn't a sequel of P&P, but being so, it's terrible. I could imagine this plot in our century, but never in regency period.
The first 50 pages of the book are about sex, and even though it gets better, it has nothing to do with Pride & Prejudice.
I am very glad I did not give up on this kind of books, and that nothing was ever so bad as this one.
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