15 September 2011
Pemberley Manor, Kathryn L. Nelson
The Pride & Prejudice Marathon Goes On!
...Darcy & Elizabeth, for better or for worse...
Pemberley Manor, by Kathryn L. Nelson is the first completed sequel in my P & P marathon.
I have mixed feelings.
Elizabeth was very well written, and Nelson kept close to the original character in her portrayal. The author wrote great emotion and dialogue into her scenes, providing sharp wit and smart interactions not only between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam, but within each of our heroine's relationships.
Darcy is another story. While I agree with the author's interpretation of Darcy's discomfort and difficulty in openly expressing himself when it comes to feelings, Nelson added a tortured haunt to Fitzwilliam that, while not an unbelievable theme, crossed the line on more than one occasion into emasculation. This did not sit well with this Broad! Darcy's brooding and prideful nature was usually tempered by his love for Elizabeth, and her effect on his moods and emotions matched the character's personality in the original. But Nelson's addition of dramatic scenes of unchecked temper and drastic mood swings into Darcy's bearing when he faced any great difficulty did not align with the slow and steady, logical, self-controlled Mr. Darcy of the original.
The romance of Nelson's imagination was nicely done, and she conveyed the Darcy's passion through well placed innuendo and 'fade-to-black' scene breaks. Also well done was Nelson's litany of supporting characters. Charles & Jane Bingley remained sweet and adorable, and Nelson managed to maintain the closeness of the sisters without having the relationship intrude on her main story. Caroline Bingley got far better than she deserved by the end of the story, but it was well played. Trevor Handley was newly introduced to the story, and I greatly enjoyed his side-story - until the end. While noble of the author to feature a touchy subject with class, the truth is that the time period would have prevented any thought of such an admission, and I suspect that acceptance is not the reaction our poor Mr. Handley would have encountered.
Here's how my first sequel rates - ( I will use a five star rating scale.)
1-star = I did not like it at all.
2-star= Not really my preference. It was okay.
3-star= Average. There were things I liked and things I didn't like.
4-star= I mostly liked this.
5-star= I loved this.
Overall story - 3/5 stars
Elizabeth Darcy - 4/5 stars
Fitzwilliam Darcy - 2/5 stars
Supporting Characters - 4/5 stars
Romance Heat - 3/5 stars
I'll be moving on to another book in the next few days. I can't wait to see another author's perspective on the lives of Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy.