Georgianna, little sister to Mr. Darcy, finally gets her time in the spotlight. It’s her first season, and she should be excited and ready to take her place in society. The only trouble is, just like her brother she’s painfully shy and awkward with strangers. With her new sister in law Elizabeth’s help, she slowly starts to feel less awkward around company, and come out of her shell. When her brother is summoned on a secret mission for the prince regent, Georgianna must decide whether she is developing feelings for the dashing neighbor, Mr. Walker, or whether Col. Fitzwilliam is really the man for her.
This book… was terrible. Really. I wanted to stop reading when the plot stopped making sense, but that was only a few pages in, and so I soldiered on, hoping it would get better. Alas, I hoped in vain. It’s hard to even summarize the plot because it was so convoluted. This book should have been at least 150 pages shorter, to cut out all the padding and random worrying about balls. And the characters! Elizabeth is catty rather than witty, Darcy disappears half way through and doesn’t come back till the end, and as for Georgianna herself, well. I don’t mind Georgianna being shy and awkward, as that’s sort of canon for her character, but was it really necessary to make her unlikeable? She yells at Elizabeth and Col. Fitzwilliam for no reason, then sulks about it for days, writing in her diary like a teenage girl with a Livejournal. At 18, she would have been being groomed for marriage, not acting like a spoiled child. It’s passed off as her being nervous, but it just makes me think she’s a brat. She has none of the sweetness and poise we see when Elizabeth meets her at Pemberley for the first time. Kitty is even shown in a more favourable light.
There were a lot of truly odd choices in this book. Why have Georgianna write diary entries, when everything’s told from her point of view anyways? We already know how she feels about things, so why just repeat what’s happened at the end of every chapter? Another thing: the climax of a story typically happens in the middle of the book. So why have it in the middle of this one? Seriously, I finished that chapter, and was confused as to why there were still 100 pages left. You put your climax at the end of the book, don’t leave 100 pages of denouement, that’s too much for anyone, unless you’re a master like Tolkien. And even then it’s pushing it. Oh, and what was with the Scarlet Pimpernel cameo? With no explanation at all, one of the Darcy’s neighbours is… Sir Andrew Ffoulks. Why was this cameo necessary? To prove to us, the readers, that the author has, in fact, read other books? Don’t get me wrong, a Scarlet Pimpernel/Pride and Prejudice crossover would be great, but it would have to be on purpose, not just a random mention of a character. There were other totally weird choices that were made for no purpose that I can figure out.
And can I just say, as a general comment on these sorts of books, can people please, for the love of peat, stop trying to write like Jane Austen? You can’t do it as well as she can, and it just ends up being a dumb sounding affectation, so please don’t even try. You’re not fooling us, we know this sequel wasn’t written by dear Jane herself. So just write in your own voice. We won’t mind if you sound slightly more modern than Jane, as long as you stop trying to put on her writing tone like a badly done accent. Just… don’t.
I have no idea how this got published. They must just greenlight any P&P rubbish that comes along, thinking that people who read chick lit are too stupid to notice what a convoluted mess it is. You’d think that books written for Jane Austen fans would be of a higher quality – after all, we’ve clearly already read Jane’s excellent books and are used to her sharp observations, and brisk, witty way of writing. Only a very small portion of Janeites are in it solely for the Colin Firth wet shirt goodness. Please stop treating Janeites as if we’re brainless bimbos who need the plot of our stories handed to us on silver platters. Please, please stop greenlighting rubbish like this.
I’ve just thought of one good thing about this book – if this big old mess can get published, surely I can too.