Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Review: Darcy and Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley

Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at PemberleyDarcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley by Linda Berdoll

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another, let's call it Jane Austen fanfic. Picking up (or, rather, dragging) where _Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife_ let off, it follows the further fortunes and misfortunes of the Darcy, Bingley, Fitzwilliam, Wickham, and Christie/Arbuthnot (Berdoll's characters) families after Waterloo. This book is afflicted by Berdoll's coyness, as she jumps ahead in each character's story, falls back to fill in the past details, and drives the reader crazy with the flow and pacing (this flaw was present in the previous book too, but it's worse here). Also the attempt at period language is inconsistent at best. Just spelling the words "compleat" and "eagre" don't make you Austen or even Susanna Clark. Anyway. The best parts had to do with Wickham's life / misadventures after his Waterloo desertion and presumed death (I know this is a semi-spoiler, but given the character, can you doubt it would have happened?) and interaction with Lydia's scandalous fate. Also, Georgiana Darcy emerges from a chrysalis as a fairly ruthless character, comparable indeed to Wickham except for the, you know, lack of being a sociopath. Anyway, this was worse than the previous book, worse than Austen, I doubt I'll buy any more even if she publishes them.

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