An Assembly Such as This by Pamela Aidan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I wonder if Jane Austen has the honor of having spawned more fan fiction than any other author. It seems to me. I have read several derivatives of her novels. I have liked some, not all.
I had read a lot of serious stuff lately, poetry and classical fiction and needed some light reading, hence I clicked on this book.
This novel is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. The events of the novel are gone over once again from his perspective. It is an interesting idea, and it makes for an interesting reading.
The problem with it was when the writer spent a lot of time describing the inner turmoil of Darcy every time he spots Elizabeth. According to Ms. Aiden, Darcy tries to impress Elizabeth, but he is brought up short by her wit. He is portrayed as a person who is not too good in female company and does not know how to negotiate himself around a self-assured person such as Elizabeth.
We are treated to page after page of poor Darcy trying to get up close and personal with Elizbeth with her rebuffing him unfailingly. The story adds events that Jane Austen forgot to record, for instance, Jane and Elizbeth going to church with the Bingleys and Darcy after Jane recovers from her illness.
After the Netherfield ball, Darcy and Bingley leave for London. The story takes and interesting turn there. But I found, to my dismay that the story ended rather abruptly. Ms. Aidan has chopped Mr. Darcy's tale into several parts.
The story is good, no doubt about that, but it does ramble on. There is too much focus on Darcy's clothes and how he dresses. His valet is a bit like Jeeves, manipulating his master into wearing certain clothes and getting into certain situations!
At the end of part I, I did not feel like going straight to amazon and ordering the part II. Simply because the tale is taking too long to finish, and I have run out of patience.
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