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Friday, July 27, 2012

Pemberley - Emma Tennant

I realize I’m asking a lot when I want my Pride and Prejudice sequels to measure up to Jane Austen’s original.  I mean, she is Jane Austen, and she had a very singular way with words.    

Now, the ones that really bug me are the stories where the author goes for High Drama, in a way that doesn’t fit the original story.   I mean, there is High Drama in P&P with the whole Lydia and Wickham episode, but it’s still understated, and wrapped up in a neat little bow by the end.

In this sequel, Elizabeth has decided to invite her mother and sister Mary to the Pemberley for Christmas.   It’ll be Mrs. Bennett’s first visit to Pemberley, partially because Elizabeth has been dreading how her mother will behave.    And that is confirmed by her mother immediately inviting the rest of the family to come along as well.   (Definite point against the author here – the final chapter of P&P clearly states that Wickham was never allowed at Pemberley, yet he shows up with bells on in this book.)    Plus, Lady Catherine de Bourgh shows up, and there’s a sub plot with a mysterious child in the village.

But the thing that really bugged me is that Darcy and Elizabeth just weren’t talking.      I just could not buy this story as an accurate continuation.    It’s going straight to the donate pile.

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