Monday, December 8, 2014

"Letters from Pemberley: The First Year" by Jane Dawkins

At last!  A Pride and Prejudice continuation that does not involve Mr. and Mrs. Darcy's marriage falling to pieces!  And Lizzie hasn't lost her satirical wit, nor has she become a basket case because she now has to assume the duties of mistress of Pemberley.

I'm not saying I loved this book, but I definitely enjoyed it.  I thought Jane Dawkins captured the characters very well, possibly as well as Amanda Grange.  I happen to like the epistolary format for books, though I know it bugs some people.  The whole story is told in letters from Elizabeth to her sister Jane, and since I can well imagine the two of them exchanging long, detailed letters, my credulity was not unduly stretched by that format.

However, I did find it silly how the author played "guess what other character from a different Austen novel I'm renaming and inserting here" for the new characters she introduced.  Of course the Darcys have many neighbors and must receive them as visitors, go to balls and parties, etc.  For some reason, Dawkins decided it would be terribly clever to grab characters from other Austen books, give them new names, and plop them down in the story.  I didn't find it clever; I found it stretched my suspension of disbelief too far.  Also, I don't like guessing games, which is what they felt like.

But overall, I really did enjoy the book, enough so that I intend to read the sequel.  I liked the characters, the plot, the pacing, the writing style.  Definitely something I'd recommend to Austen fans.  I will say that this Lizzie and Mr. Darcy felt much more like the 1995 portrayals than the 2005, which I think will please many people.

First Line:  My dear Jane, Can it really be only several weeks since our joyful nuptials and tearful farewells?

If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It:  G.  Innocent and nice.


  1. I might try this one if i can find it at our library :)

    1. It's a pretty quick read, and not deep, so perfect for relaxing during the holidays!


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