Pages: 400 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Sequel
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge , RYOB Challenge, Romance Challenge, 20 in 2009 Challenge
Synopsis from Publisher
As marriage brings an end to a romantic tale, it begins a new story: how does "happily ever after" really work? While Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley might be expected to get on famously, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy will surely need to work on their communication skills.
What forces in Darcy's past would give such a good man so difficult a public demeanor? The author posits an imaginative family background for Darcy from which he would have inherited his sense of social superiority and duty to the family name.
When Darcy reverts to type, will Elizabeth's stubborn optimism win the day after the honeymoon is over? While they say that opposites attract, how long can Lizzy and Darcy's fundamentally different personalities get along without friction? Can they learn to understand each other? Can their love prevail over the inevitable clashes?
Pemberley Manor follows the Darcys from where Jane Austen left off…the dual wedding of the Darcys and the Bingleys. It follows the couples through their early marriage and the trials that go with that adjustment. As Lizzy and Darcy adjust to each other, we learn more about Darcy’s past and what has made him the man he is.
I cannot tell you how much I loved this sequel to Pride and Prejudice. I love the conflicts in this novel. As much as I would love for Lizzy and Darcy to have a wonderful and peaceful marriage, I do love sequels where they have a turbulent marriage. I also loved how Nelson gave Darcy a mysterious past and mother issues. It brings Mr Darcy more into the realm of Mr Rochester but I feel it brings something new and unique. The tension she injects into Lizzy and Darcy’s relationship is palpable and can be felt throughout the novel.
Nelson’s versions of Lizzy and Darcy were completely convincing. Lizzy was just as witty and Darcy was just as broody if a little bit darker than you would expect. I found all of the new characters that Nelson brought into the story completely engaging. If I didn’t know better I would have thought they were a part of Austen’s P&P. The biggest draw to this novel is Nelson’s treatment of the secondary P&P characters (Georgiana, Miss Bingley,Jane, Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam). Georgiana was my favorite. She was a completely well-rounded character. She loses her shyness to an extent and becomes a woman in her own right. Nelson added many facets to her character that were not present in P&P. Miss Bingley was also the scheming and diabolical character that I always thought she would be. I love the inclusion of these secondary characters in this sequel. I don’t feel right when I read a sequel without them. I also have to admit that, despite my newfound truce with the 2005 film, the fact that this novel is based on the 1995 mini-series is a huge plus.
There are few aspects of this novel that I don’t like. The only criticism I can think of, and it is really quite nitpicky and not very significant, is that Caroline Bingley’s transition from scheming evilness to contriteness was too quick. But now that I think of it, not really. The situation she found herself in would lead to a quick transition in behavior. So this really isn’t a criticism at all. I also thought the 21st century response to a 21st century issue was a bit out of place but certainly not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the novel.
I loved this sequel. I can’t wait to read more Jane Austen sequels from Kathryn L. Nelson.