Book Review: Pemberley Shades

There are lots of sequels to Pride and Prejudice and they are of widely varying quality; Pemberley Shades: Pride and Prejudice continues by Dorothy Bonavia-Hunt is my favorite due to its witty dialogue and faithful portrayals of Jane Austen's beloved characters.

The story starts a few years after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice with the death of Pemberley's rector after "a long life of little eventfulness." Unfortunately for the Darcy family, finding a suitable replacement turns out to be very eventful and much more difficult than Fitzwilliam Darcy anticipated.

This story works for me because the author was wise enough to not try and tell Pride and Prejudice all over again, which allows the characters to keep the growth that they had achieved in Pride and Prejudice rather than having them regress to where they were when that novel began. Darcy and Elizabeth are no longer to seperate entities who are often working in opposition to each other, instead we see that they now work together and support each other in solving the difficulties that arise. And that is accomplished without changing their essential characters -- Darcy is still an aristocratic master of the manor and Elizabeth remains playful and teasing. They have tempered each other's excesses but not eliminated their personalities.

If you are going to read one of the published Pride and Prejudice sequels, I recommend Pemberley Shades be that one.

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