Friday, April 20, 2012

Sequels

Book sequels are tricky, sequels to a Jane Austen novel are a mine field littered with bad books.  I've read a number of them, most are bad or at best insipid.  The best I ever read was a trilogy by Pamela Aiden.  It included An Assembly Such as This, Duty and Desire,  amd These Three Remain.  They are written from the point of view of Fitzwilliam Darcy, and though the second one isn't quite as good as the other two, it really is a well imagined set, telling us what Darcy was doing and thinking after his encounters with Elizabeth.
Recently I started reading a new sequel Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James a well known British mystery writer.  It has had mixed reviews so I didn't know quite what to expect, and what I found was disappointing.  It begins six years after Darcy and Elizabeth have wed and it's the eve of a ball at Pemberley.  Suddenly a careening coach screeches to a halt in front of the mansion and Lydia, one of the most troublesome younger sisters in history, rolls out in a fit of hysterics screaming that Wickham is dead, that his best friend Denny has shot him.
It was down hill after that.  I didn't finish it.  Though I felt the author did a decent job of establishing Elizabeth's character she didn't do as well with Darcy, nor with his cousin  Colonel Fiztwilliam.    Previously I had liked him, but in this story I did not, I felt she'd changed him too much.  The mystery part of the story was rather boring  too and as I didn't finish it I have no idea how it turned out.
Like I said, writing a Jane Austen sequel is a dangerous job, not for the faint-hearted.





















3 comments:

  1. I'm not a fan of either Jane Austen or P.D.James so this isn't a book I'd be likely to go for anyway. Must be bad if you couldn't even finish it though:)

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  2. Thanks for the review - I noticed this at B&N and wondered how it was. I do like P.D. James but I don't re-read her books as I do Miss Austen's.

    Have you read Stephanie Barron's "Jane and the..." mysteries? I thought they were pretty well done.

    Let's face it - no one can write like the divine Miss A.

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  3. Mrs. Micawber, I did read the first in the Jane Austen mysteries, I enjoyed it, don't know why I haven't read more.

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