Fans of Jane Austen
If you are a true Austen-lovers you swallow everything that has the smallest connection with Jane Austen. The books are filmed every now and then, there are adaptations of Jane Austen’s life and there is a musical. The movie “The Jane Austen Book Club” is about a group of people who read Austen, a book club and I loved the TV series “Lost in Austen” in which a young woman from our time swaps places with Elizabeth Bennet and is transferred to the end of the 1700s.
This book is a continuation of Pride and Prejudice and describes what happened after Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy married. Since it is PD James who wrote the book, she has made it a murder mystery! Uniquely, I thought, until I discovered that there are a whole series by Stephanie Barron with Jane Austen as amateur sleuth. That is definately something I have to look into!
If you don´t like Jane Austen?
Then this book is not for you. My teacher in high school always said that he was so surprised that young girls liked Jane Austen since the language is the opposite of excitement and action. It is simply a bit slow. Still, there is something in the furtive glances, the gossip, the English politeness (which is incomprehensible), and the subtle taunts that is interesting. However, the best way to take part of Jane Austens stories is in a movie or TV-series. Ideally BBC-produced.
It’s been a few years since Elisabeth got her Mr. Darcy. The couple now lives in Darcy’s manor Pemberley and have two children. Her sister and Bingley live nearby. Everything is great until … a carriage at a high speed is approaching the manor. Out of the carriage comes Elisabhets younger sister Lydia, who married the wicked Mr. Wickham. A frantic Lydia screams that her husband and his friend disappeared into the woods, then she heard shots … The friend turns out to be dead and Wickham is accused of murder. Was it Wickham? And if not who was it? One of their guests? Someone of the servants? or acquaintances in the neighboring surroundings? Honor and reputation are at stake! Since it is a society where women mostly stayed at home it is mainly Mr. Darcy who act as a detective, even if Elizabeth do some sleuthing on her own.
How well did P.D James do?
Ok. She stays true to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the story feels believable. It’s a little slow in the beginning and it took time to get into it, but once I did I finished it quickly. It is Impressive that she dared write this book at her age (PD James is around 90!). My biggest hope is that it will be filmed.