Friday, July 18, 2014

Anna Elliott - Georgiana Darcy's Diary

Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continued (Pride and Prejudice Chronicles, #1)Georgiana Darcy's Diary: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice Continued by Anna Elliott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was just gifted a Kindle by my daughter. One of the first things I did was to see what I could get free off their stack. I was looking for Persuasion by Jane Austen, and this book was right there beside it.

The title sounded promising. I am not really fond of spin-offs of famous books. I had disliked "The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet" by Colleen McCullough. I did not really like "Scarlett" by Alexandra Ripley. Despite its nice sounding title, the book was likely to be a fluffy romance.

Why not read a fluffy romance first on a brand new Kindle? It has been a long time since I read an easy page turner. What clinched the deal was the prospect of meeting beloved old characters again.

The story starts a year after the momentous incidents at the end of "Pride and Prejudice", the wedding of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy. Elizabeth is happy as the new mistress of Pemberley. Georgiana gets along beautifully with her. But Lady de Bourgh will not rest until she sees her niece wedded to a proper gentleman before the year is out.

To counter the stress of having suitors flung at her, Georgiana starts keeping a diary. Thus her story is recounted to us - as a series of diary entries. Lady Catherine de Bourgh has prevailed upon Darcy to organize a house party and called several eligible bachelors who may court Georgiana.

Georgiana has plans of her own. She has her heart set upon Col. Edward Fitzwilliam. But will Col. Fitzwilliam, a veteran of wars with Napolean, be interested in an ingenue like Georgiana? Surely he regards her as a chit of a girl- a ward of his- that he must look out for.

Right at the start of the book the author Anne Elliott makes it clear that she has no illusions of being anywhere even close to the great Jane Austen. She has merely imagined what her characters did after the novel ended.

Hence, I read the novel in the same spirit. I could see right at the start that this was a light romance, a page turner.

Anna Elliott keeps the reader engrossed in the story. There is plenty happening here. Balls, dresses, gossip, romance. Anne de Bourgh is still a sickly woman doomed to be a spinster. But Georgiana steps in to befriend her and teach her to be more outgoing.

Caroline Bingley is also present at the house party and she is still the same haughty, overdressed woman. She is still bitter at having lost Darcy.

Modern authors tend to color history by attributing more modern characteristics in their characters. Hence, Georgiana becomes a bit of a feminist. She tries to be egalitarian. She even hears a friend admit he is gay without fainting. Please, dear Anna Elliott, we know Jane Austen was not politically correct. She was a creature of her own times and we love her for it. Do not try to change that.

All in all, a fun, quick and an entertaining read.

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