Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mr. Darcy Takes A Wife--Pride & Prejudice Continues, by Linda Berdoll

Every woman wants to be Elizabeth Bennet Darcy -- beautiful, gracious, universally admired, strong, daring and outspoken -- a thoroughly modern woman in crinolines. And every woman will fall madly in love with Mr. Darcy -- tall, dark and handsome, a nobleman and hearthrob whose virility is matched only by his utter devotion to his wife.

Their passion is consuming and idyllic--essentially, they can't keep their hands off each other--through a sweeping tale of adventure and misadventure, human folly and numerous mysteries of parentage.

Hold on to your bonnets!! This sexy, epic, hilarious, poignant and romantic sequel to Pride & Prejudice goes far beyond Jane Austen.

Anyone who has loved Pride & Prejudice in its many forms has probably wanted the story to go on! Ending with the double wedding of Jane and Elizabeth Bennet, the original Austen story is beautiful as far as it goes. But as we all know, especially those of us who delight in romance novel series, we need the story to go on.

There are a number of authors who have attempted to continue the story of Elizabeth and Darcy and some have done OK and others have not done well at all. Linda Berdoll has done, in my opinion, a magnificent job of telling the continuing story. We must all realize that Jane Austen was herself a maiden, unmarried lady, who included married couples in the original story -- Mr. & Mrs. Bennet, the Gardeners who were aunt and uncle to Elizabeth, and Mr. Collins and his bride, Charlotte--there is limited information about the inner characteristics of the marriages of that time. It would have been almost impossible for Ms Austen to continue on with the Darcy story without simply making it "more of the same" as that was all she had experienced. Suffice it to say that Jane Austen told such a story of depth and color that it is possible for a talented writer like Berdoll to take the saga to the next level.

Ms Berdoll has not only related a story that is, in many ways, equally as fascinating as the original, but she has successfully adapted her writing style to very closely reflect that of Ms Austen. The terminology, vocabulary, and sentence structure are reminiscent of Austen's style of writing. That not only tells the story with greater authenticity, but also helps the reader to feel that they have continued on with the Bennet/Darcy story in a very real way.

Ms Berdoll has also continued the stories of Mr. Bingley & Jane, Lydia, as well as the Bennets. She again acquaints us with the acidic Lady Catherine, and tells us more about Mr. & Mrs. Collins. So be of good cheer, Pride & Prejudice fans: not only do we learn more of the Bennet/Darcy marriage, we continue on with all of these colorful and much-loved characters. There are some who are classic in their reading tastes who are offended that anyone would try to continue Ms Austen's stories. I think that is narrow thinking and as one who loves a good romance, I applaud Ms Berdoll's efforts to give us a great extension to the story and more of those wonderful people of Merry Ole England. I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.


Tracy said...

I can't say that I've ever been a fan of the P & P spin offs but it does sound interesting.

Dr J said...

I really think this is one you will like. I will include it in the bag o' books I bring to your house.