Sunday, September 12, 2010
Review: MR. DARCY'S LITTLE SISTER
Spies! Swashbuckling! The Perils of Pauline!
C. Allyn Pierson's Mr. Darcy's Little Sister is another delightful Jane Austen sequel. But what starts out as a wonderful Jane-esque romp rapidly becomes so much more.
As the title indicates, the story centers on Georgiana Darcy. Georgiana, painfully shy and terribly unsure of herself after the Wickham debacle, must now emerge from her sheltered Pemberley cocoon and make her London debut. But long-standing habits hinder her. Not helping are the patronizing attitudes of her co-guardians, her reserved brother, Darcy, and their cousin, amiable Colonel Fitzwilliam. The most difficult person for her to deal with is Col. Fitzwilliam, who pats her on the head as if she were still a little girl.
But in London lurks The Perils of Georgiana. So-called suitors, desperate for her large dowry, abound. Blackguards kidnap her. Rescue arrives in the person of Col. Fitzwilliam, his easy-going mask flung aside as his sword flashes in true swashbuckling style. How could Georgiana have been so wrong about him?
Meanwhile, the Prince Regent drafts a man of unquestioned loyalty and sober mien to undertake a clandestine mission in war-torn France. The failure of this operation could topple the English government. Which of our Pride and Prejudice characters does he select for this dangerous task? You'll never guess.
With an ear for Austen's prose and a thorough knowledge of the Regency, Ms. Pierson weaves these slightly outlandish threads together into a tale true to the era. Her dialog sparkles, her descriptions are beautiful, and yet another view of Darcy's and Elizabeth's happy marriage is always a treat.
And we thought Jane Austen had already revealed everything there was to know about Pride and Prejudice's well-loved characters. Ms. Pierson shows us their wonderful hidden depths.
Thank you all,
ARC provided by Sourcebooks