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That about wraps it up nicely!
on 11 June 2003
Emma Tennant has had a monopoly on Pride and Prejudice sequels for too long! I infinitely prefer this sequel, which set about wrapping up all the loose ends (and indeed unattached characters) that the original Jane Austen book did not.
The story follows the relationship of Elizabeth and Darcy from six months into their marriage for about a year. Whilst I found the emphasis on Elizabeth/Darcy's viewpoints a little restrictive, it should be noted that the title promised nothing else!
The language was well-worked, mainly true to that which characterised the period (although there were several jarring modern phrases such as one character calling another 'out of order' and Mrs Bennett using the word 'Posh' which did not come in until the later part of the nineteenth century).
Unfortunately description, which often creates a more involving, evocative atmosphere was scarce and sparse, with speech forming the major part of the book.
Another critiscism was the authors tendency to take a phrase from Austen's text and keep repeating it (if the phrase, 'Once Mr Darcy's favour is lost, it is lost forever', had been offered once more, I might well have had an attack of the vapours!). I felt that this device was relied upon rather too much, perhaps to see if some of the genius of Austen might distill itself in her own work!
Finally I did feel that many opportunities to round out the story were lost. The plot flitted from incident to incident and character development lost out as a result. I was particularly aggrieved when I was informed that Kitty's society had improved tremendously - she had gone from silly, ill-mannered girl to ravishing society beauty in a mere sentence with no story dedicated to this occurrence.
This was another sticking-point, the endless conversation often simply told a story and I just didn't feel like I was experiencing anything, as if I was just listening to gossip on the edge of a crowd.
This is a self-published work, so you are likely unable to find it in your local book shop. Whilst I am happy that the author made the effort to bring this book to a wide audience I also caution other readers that there are quite a few jarring typing errors but that the layout is very professional.
So in conclusion, I would recommend this story to Austen fans who crave a more satisfying continuation to Pride and Prejudice. I found it a very pleasant light read (if a little too much like 'fan fiction'), well worth the money and leaving me wholeheartedly satisfied!