And now starts my Cannonball goal of reading books that I already have in my house! And I happen to have a bunch of Pride and Prejudice “sequels.” For those of you who don’t know, Pride and Prejudice “sequels” are all just fanfictions that happened to get published. (Thanks, expired copyright and fair use!) This was a nice light read. I blew through it in about 3 hours. There were no big surprises (especially for a reader of fanfiction), but there were also no big problems.
The basic premise is that Lady Catherine de Bourgh has decided that since Mr. Darcy was a bust, Anne now needs to marry. Since none of the local eligible bachelors will do (especially since they all conveniently are not at home when the de Bourgh’s come to call) Anne and her mother must descend upon Mr. Darcy and his wife at Pemberley to find Anne a husband. And there they will remain until a husband for Anne is found.
Fortunately for everyone, Lady Catherine becomes ill 15 miles from Pemberley and must remain in the small spa town they find themselves near. The doctor that is called for Lady Catherine discovers that the medicines Anne has been taking for her “illness” have in fact been making her ill. So now, without her “medicine” Anne will make an eventual (and speedy) return to health. (This surprises absolutely no one in the 21st century.)
So, Anne can now slip her leash and become her own person. She eventually goes to Pemberley to be with her cousins. The author does a fairly good job of portraying Anne as a girl who is intelligent, but who has been extremely sheltered all of her life. We know who her love interest will be extremely early on, and while it is a bit cliché, the author gives her reasoning for it later in the book through another character. One of the issues I had with her Anne is that she expresses an interest in piano, which she canonically did not do. It doesn’t really seem to serve any purpose, and I feel like it was a bit forced.
There is no grand scandal or kidnapping or any other such major event, only one that is mildly unbelievable. (There is something that some may see as shocking or scandalous, but I called it as soon as the particular characters were introduced!) There are characters behaving badly, but some who also redeem themselves. There are no evil personages (unless you count Lady Catherine, and she’s not really evil, just a selfish bitch!) There is one couple that I didn’t see coming – there was a blink-and-you-might-miss-it moment that I missed, but remembered as soon as the couple was announced. And there is one character who is portrayed as shockingly dumb. Seriously, he can barely speak in complete sentences. It seemed a bit out of place. Also out of place? The title. I mean, Darcy is there. He’s her host, and looks out for her, but I wouldn’t say he has equal screen time as Anne. He’s just kind of… there. But the book is about Anne.
Overall, it was a nice read. Calling it a “sequel” to Pride and Prejudice is a bit much. It’s a fanfiction continuation, but that probably wouldn’t sell any books. And it wasn’t a crazy roller coaster of a ride – there were no tears, no spitting of tea in laughter, no big reactions other than “aww” and “hmm.” We were not on the mega steel coaster that goes upside down and backwards and gives you a bit of a sore neck from all the twists and turns. No, we were on the kiddie roller coaster, the one that might be exciting for those not used to the big coasters, but a nice easy ride for those of us who are.
(2.5 stars for being completely predictable, but being a nice read all the same)