Top positive review
Very enjoyable collection of letters
on 6 July 2012
I really enjoyed reading Elizabeth's letters to her beloved Jane in this volume. It was also fun to spot all the 'Austenian' characters and phrases borrowed by the author in this 'patchwork', as Ms Dawkins describes it in her foreword. In her letters, Elizabeth gives her beloved Jane insights into her new life at Pemberley - from developments at the grand estate of which she is now mistress, to new friends and acquaintances, and of course to her marriage to Darcy. I especially enjoyed Elizabeth's retellings of some of her special moments with Darcy - subtly and sweetly told, with a charm that comes from the clever re-use of many of Austen's trademark phrases. Elizabeth is as witty, charming, lively and spirited as ever. The genuine affection between Elizabeth and Jane comes through beautifully in the letters, as does the strength of the attachment between the newlyweds, which is exactly what all 'Pride & Prejudice' lovers want to see.
My one quibble with this book was that sometimes Elizabeth's attitude towards her family, which based on my reading of 'Pride & Prejudice', I like to think of as 'fond sarcasm', seems to be more like 'scathing scorn and disdain'. Her complaints about her mother and younger sisters are sometimes a little too cutting, and even a little resentful and petty. While I recognise that Elizabeth found many of her mother and younger sisters' antics tiresome, and liked to mock them now and then, they were still very much a part of her family, and like most of us, she loved them warts and all and bore the burden of their often frustrating behaviour with a certain level of equanimity. I feel the author of this book gave the impression sometimes that Elizabeth would happily cut herself (and Jane, and her father) off from the rest of them if she could.
Also, whatever happened to Darcy's quest to engage the services of the elusive portrait artist? I enjoyed that thread quite a bit and was looking forward to the eventual resolution, but it never came.
Apart from those points, I very much enjoyed this collection of witty, sweet letters, and I am very much looking forward to reading the sequel.