Miss Bennet & Mr Bingley
by Fenella J Miller

Paperback - 280 pages   ISBN 0956153100

Park Publishing; (March 16, 2009)
Park Publishing (29 April 2009)
Park Publishing (April 29 2008)

            Review by Linda Waldemar, 26 May 2009
This novel begins with the arrival of the Bingley party at Neitherfield aPark nd ends a few months after the marriage of the two elder Bennet sisters. A great deal of Jane Austen's original is used, peppered with Jane Bennet's and Charles Bingley's thoughts about the various incidents in the novel. Though the author does add an additional experience for each character during their time apart. there are few surprises. Both our heroine and hero fall in love at first sight. They both initially feel that that their feelings are reciprocated. Both suffer a great deal during their separation although both feel that they were mistaken about the feelings of the other.

Jane took special pains to make sure that her regard was not apparent to the outside world so that she would not raise expectations of a match. This composure allowed Mr Darcy to arrive at his erroneous conclusion and make his impertinent interference in the life of his friend. Mr Bingley was in very low spirits throughout the winter. He socialized only when required and showed little interest in anyone else.

I was pleased that this Mr Bingley was less dependent on the opinion of his friend than was portrayed in the most recent adaptations. After being told that Miss bennet does not care for him, he takes action to find out for himself. Unfortunately, these efforts are thwarted. Also, Charles decided on his own that he would return to Netherfield to try and make Jane love him as he loved her. During the encounter at Pemberley with Elizabeth and the Gardiners, he was much more suspicious of Darcy's attraction to Elizabeth than we are given to notice in the original.

I have not read P&P in more than a year, so I sometimes get a bit of confusion with the various adaptations. Although there are a few facts that I wondered about, all in all, I found this to be a very pleasant read. I recommend that you give it a try.