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Review: Pemberley Manor, Kathryn L. Nelson

Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy may have tied the knot, but the story doesn’t end there.  With characters so full of passion and determination, they are bound to hit a few stumbling blocks now and then.  Their move to Pemberley brings back hard memories for Darcy, who suffered a conflicted and confusing childhood there.  Lizzy must help him reconcile with the demons of his past so that they may have the happy future that they deserve.

This was my first Pride and Prejudice sequel.  I have been tempted over and over again by a variety of Austen sequels but have refrained until now, fearing that it would never live up to the greatness of the original.  Finally, I decided to set those fears aside, accept that it would never be as good, and just enjoy the book that I had to read.

With those goals in mind, I really liked Pemberley Manor.  I loved the prose style in particular, which was indeed reminiscent of Jane Austen, and the intensity of the characters’ emotions.  They did feel like Elizabeth and Darcy, even though Darcy is developing over the course of the novel.  By and large I enjoyed the families and characters that the author added into the universe and thought they fit fairly well, although a certain revelation towards the end was taken too lightly for the time period, in my opinion.  I tried not to let that bother me.  The added backstory about Darcy did not seem out of place, either.

The plot wasn’t quite as smooth and dragged in places, though.  It feels as though a series of incidents happened to the couple to prevent them from happiness and sometimes I wanted to kick them even though I knew their stubbornness was established long, long ago.  Darcy isn’t so great at communicating, with anyone it seems, which isn’t a surprise but puts up a variety of roadblocks in front of his own contentment.  They establish some sort of agreement each time, but since there are pages left, I knew it wasn’t going to last and worried over the lulls.  The last 100 pages were well done and established an effective plot climax which still related to what had happened before and managed to wrap up all the problems nicely.

All considered, I don’t at all regret finally indulging in a sequel to one of my favorite classics.  If you’ve ever been curious and would prefer something besides your imagination presenting a follow-up to Pride and Prejudice, this is a worthy place to begin.

Buy Pemberley Manor: Darcy and Elizabeth, for better or for worse on Amazon.

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