"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris

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Summary: Just after their marriage, Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy solve a mystery. 

You know by now how much I adore Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And I'm constantly reading books inspired by or involving the characters. This book, which takes place just after Darcy and Elizabeth get married, is really closest in tone (style, syntax) to P&P.

While there is quite a bit more informality between Darcy and Elizabeth, it gave me a small thrill to see them happily married. Soon after their marriage, Miss Caroline Bingley - yes, the same Caroline Bingley who practically destroyed Jane's chance at happiness in P&P - marries an American. That night, she is seen wandering the street, about to be attacked by footpads. Darcy rescues her, and Elizabbeth and Darcy take the new Mrs. Parrish home. After an incident during riding and a botched suicide attempt, Bingley and Jane and Mr. and Mrs. Hurst (Charles and Caroline's married sister) decide to host Mr. and Mrs. Parrish and a Professor of Religious Artifacts and Mr. Parrish's friend at Netherfield, in an attempt to heal Caroline. Darcy and Elizabeth are loyal, so they accompany everyone to Netherfield and stay with them. The book dragged in the middle, but jumps right into the problems.

Bingley and Caroline are involved in a potentially fatal carriage accident, there's a damaging housefire at Netherfield and a stabbing. Who is the intended victim here? Is it Bingley and his fortune? Caroline Parrish? Darcy? Together, and separately, Elizabeth and Darcy solve the mystery and save the day.

While the writing was not as good as Austen's, I look forward to many more novels featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy.

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