In general dislike most sequels or continuations of Jane Austen stories. I find that quite a few sequels make several mistakes: trying too hard to invent a new exciting story, introducing Austen's fictional characters to historical ones, adding too many new characters, adding in modern agendas and sometimes even changing the personalities of the original characters!
So...the first thing that attracted me to Letters from Pemberley was what I read in author Jane Dawkins' delightful Introduction. She completely summed up my own thoughts saying that at the end of Jane Austen's novels she leaves her readers with a basic idea of how the character's lives will continue after their novel ends. After reading the lively Introduction I was very excited to start reading, and was not disappointed with what I found within!
Instead of making big leaps about the character's futures Ms. Dawkins focuses on the first year of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy's marriage.
As the title suggests the book is written in a series of letters from Elizabeth, now living at Pemberley, to her devoted sister Jane who is in residence as mistress of Netherfield Park.
The letters relate how Elizabeth fits into her role as mistress of such a great estate, her growing admiration for her husband and the friendship with her new sister-in-law, sweet Georgiana Darcy. Elizabeth's letters to Jane also follow up on the interesting lives of the many other Pride and Prejudice characters. I found futures of Kitty Bennet, Mr. Bennet, Georgiana Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam very delightful! She also describes the characters she meets in the villages and neighboring estates near Pemberley - many of these sounding very much like beloved characters from other Jane Austen novels (except with different names).
It is perfectly in keeping with the time period, character's voices and quite a lovely tribute to Jane Austen's original novel. It was quite delightful to read more of these characters, this was one book that I devoured in a matter of hours and then immediately wanted to read it again! And I was so excited to find out there is a second book, More Letters From Pemberley, which I hope to read sometime soon!
In short, I highly recommend this book! A must read for any Jane Austen fan!
Have you read Letters From Pemberley?
What to you most look for in the Jane Austen sequels you read - exciting adventures or simple tellings of married bliss?
Which Pride and Prejudice character's future interests you the most?
Very Truly Your's,