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Monday, March 30, 2009

Pemberley Manor by Kathryn L. Nelson

Pemberley Manor: Darcy and Elizabeth, for better or for worse
Publisher:Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402218524
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?

My Review:
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.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. Dear Bibliophile23,

    I'm delighted that you enjoyed Pemberley Manor. Thanks for the great review. Pressure is mounting to write another, but the blog world has just about absorbed my energy lately. I feel like Alice in Wonderland - it's great fun to be discovering fantastic reading sites like yours on the internet - who knew? (Oops, I think my age might be showing)

    Thanks again, Kathy

  2. [...] Shall Become One-Sharon Lathan 6.Galway Bay-Mary Pat Kelly 7Playing With Grown-Ups-Sophie Dahl 8.Pemberley Manor-Kathryn L. Nelson Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Mansfield Park-Jane [...]

  3. Hi Kathryn,

    Thank you so much for checking out my site and commenting. I also often feel lost on the internet. I am still trying to figure out Twitter. How do you make any sense without sufficient punctuation?


  4. I think I may have to draw the line at Twitter. Actually, my line is drawn even further back than that at the moment, but I'm trying to keep an open mind. The problem with a mind that's too open is, of course, that things fall out. At my age, that's a big problem already.

  5. Hi, Grace. Just found you'd posted your review on Amazon - thanks!

  6. Hi Kathryn. Great review. I'll have to look this book up. It's amazing what a good writer can do with old characters. I think it's an iteresting venture...and makes me want to start an adult[not like an adult bookstore, though] series for Trixie Belden. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. LOL oops. Grace AND Kathryn. I got caught up in Kathryn's comments. :D

  8. From my perspective - and lots of blogsites - I see a lot of fun going on with sequels. Go for it, Betty.

  9. I am sorry it took me a long time to respond. I had a bit of a computer calamity.


    You're welcome. I always post my reviews to Amazon, Alibris and LibraryThing.

    I just had to cancel my Twitter account. I just could not figure out the point of it. I think I am going to stick with my blog and email. I just don't like social networking sites I guess.

    I agree with Kathryn. Go for it. I almost always find that a sequel adds something to a novel. I love sequels.

  10. Hi Grace, you're in good company - I'm beginning to think that computer calamity is my middle name. I think it shows good sense to give up on Twitter - I ran into it on someone else's site and it gave me a headache trying to figure it out.

  11. I have a new prettified computer. So I should be fine for now. I did fix the old one. I should work for Geek Squad, I think. They took one look at the computer,got this perplexed look and gave up.

    I was baffled by Twitter, too. Why do I want to know what is happening to someone every second of every day. Seems like legalized stalking to me.

  12. Exactly - without the adrenaline rush...

  13. I read this one and enjoyed it too, I agree it was a great sequel to P&P :)

  14. [...] Shall Become One-Sharon Lathan 6.Galway Bay-Mary Pat Kelly 7Playing With Grown-Ups-Sophie Dahl 8.Pemberley Manor-Kathryn L. Nelson 9.Flannery-Brad Gooch 10.The Traitor’s Wife-Susan Higginbotham 11.Palace [...]



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