08 October, 2013
Book Review: Death Comes to Pemberley
From Goodreads: The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth's beloved sister Jane and her husband Bingley live nearby and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley's wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham - Elizabeth's younger, unreliable sister - stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered. Inspired by a lifelong passion for the work of Jane Austen, PD James masterfully recreates the world of Pride and Prejudice, and combines it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly-crafted crime story. Death Comes to Pemberley is a distinguished work of fiction, from one of the best-loved, most- read writers of our time.
Thoughts: Having recently come to discover the joy that is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, I was curious to see what other authors could do with it. Let's face it, one of the biggest problems with finishing a well loved book is the want, even the need to know what happens next! Do they live happily ever after? Do they have children? Does everyone else come to terms with the fact that Darcy married not only a woman who was seen as beneath him, but also appeared to hate him? So many questions!!
And yes, they were mostly answered, but as to whether it was satisfactory or not may be up for debate. For me, this lacked...something. The plot trudged along, neither slackening it's pace or picking up. Elizabeth seemed to have lost some of her fierce independent mindedness that I loved in the original. Darcy was a little lacklustre too, although Lydia and Wickham lived up to expectations.
If you're a fan of P&P, by all means read it. Just don't expect to fall in love with it or with James' interpretation of the characters.