First, I would like to apologize to my followers and occasional visitors alike for my extended hiatus. I have had some personal issues that prevented me from attending my blog as I should have, and I hope that they have been resolved to the point that they do not impact this outlet again.
Over the next few days, I am going to be reviewing several Jane Austen sequels. These are books that have been authored by modern writers and which continue the story of Jane Austen’s books, primarily the big one – Pride and Prejudice.
Today’s review is of one of these sequels; The Plight of the Darcy Brothers by Marsha Altman. In addition to being a sequel to the original Pride and Prejudice story, this particular volume is also a the follow-up to The Darcy’s and The Bingley’s, which tells the stories of three couples. Two of these couples are familiar to any Austen or P&P fan – Darcy and Elizabeth and Charles and Jane. The third couple is a creation of Altman’s; Caroline and Daniel.
In this installment, there is much scandal afoot as the least likely of all the Bennet sisters finds herself in deep and irreversible trouble. Mary has fallen in love while abroad in France, and that love resulted in a pregnancy. As this book is set in Regency period England, unwed pregnant women were far from the norm, and were socially ostracized. As were their families. So, it is no surprise that Mary is a little apprehensive about returning to mother England and her family and having to face the inevitable music.
This particular Jane Austin Sequel was full of mystery and drama, with plenty of action and adventure abound. While the level of action may or may not appeal to fans of Austen and the numerous books that have been dedicated to following up on her masterpieces, they do add a bit of dimension to this particular volume that is often lacking in period romance novels.
There are several secrets to be revealed, involving several different key players. Of course, amongst the most important to the story is the identity of the father of Mary’s illegitimate little fetus. However, that is not the only surprise that is in store for readers.
All in all, this particular volume should entertain and enchant Austen lovers, but it is recommended that The Darcy’s and the Bingley’s be read first, as a prerequisite. Doing so will prevent confusion, as this tome builds on that book as well as the original. Overall, this was a 3 star book for me; enjoyable but not the best Austen sequel I have ever read.