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The Darcys of Pemberley - Shannon Winslow

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Paperback: 326 pages / Publisher: Heather Ridge Arts / Published: 30 July 2011

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      09.04.2013 10:47
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      Another what happens next to the Bennett sisters

      Procrastination found me looking on the Amazon website at books (not that I need anymore, I have 20 to read and they aren't even including the ones on my kindle). As I had recently purchased Death Comes to Pemberley, Amazon decided to recommend several books including that title - who knew there were so many spin-offs and sequels to Pride & Prejudice!

      After idly clicking through some weird and wonderful plots, I came across The Darcys of Pemberley. The reviews seemed good, and the plot didn't seem too horrendous, so I decided to pay the 77p and download it to my kindle. The basic plot is of life a year after Pride & Prejudice. A death in the family restarts the story, and we are slowly reintroduced to the newlyweds and their families. Most of the book is quite idyllic, with a marriage or two in the pipelines. However, there is a dark element to the plot; someone seeks to destroy the Darcys' happiness, and will go to great lengths to achieve this.

      I found the writing quite close to the style of Austen, or at least close to the book - which I think is really good considering the writer is modern, and American. There were even words and phrases that were lifted out of Pride & Prejudice, though perhaps said by the wrong character! It did, however, get irritating when the spelling of Lizzy changed throughout the book - according to reviews there were a few Americanisms, but this is the only spelling that drove me bonkers. Considering the book is predominantly about her and Mr Darcy, you can imagine how often Lizzy's name came up! There were some points in the book where I couldn't imagine a character saying certain things, especially when Mr Darcy and Lizzy were flirting in the bedroom, but this wasn't a horrendous amount. And yes, the flirting in the bedroom, and subtle hints about their activities - it's again not often, but it does feel awkward and totally out of character, and the book really wouldn't be lacking without these references!

      I felt the plot of the book worked quite well, and went along quite nicely, and reminded me a little of the original book. There are some problems, but some happy moments, and the problems are eventually and happily overcome. Unfortunately, there is a climax to one of the plot lines that took things too far - I can't imagine the character in question ever doing what he did, and it felt very out of place. As usual with climaxes, it was a long time coming and was over very quickly at the end of the book and felt very rushed. Unusually for me, I'm not complaining about rushing the climatic point - it got the whole thing over with and forgotten quickly, and brought the reader back to far more enjoyable storylines. I don't have problems with storylines that add a bit of drama, or something for the characters to overcome, as this is part of the recipe of a good book. However, there was enough in the book to keep it interesting without resorting to annoying and far-fetched storylines.

      Overall, I found this quite an easy read - it only took me a few hours to get through it. There was enough in the plot to keep me interested, and if you resist from analysing the writing too carefully, you will see enough similarities between old and new writing style to make you feel you are reading a book in the series. I would recommend to those who want to know what happens next; just take it with a pinch of salt!

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