Pemberley Manor

by Kathryn L Nelson

Paperback -460 pages   ISBN 1905016123
Egerton House Publishing (December 2006)

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         Review by Linda Waldemar, 18 July 2007
Several things bothered me in the first few chapters which I felt boded ill for this book. First, "Lizzie". I always feel that our heroine's nickname should be spelled with a "y" as Jane Austen does. Then old Mr. Darcy is named James. I always felt that since his godson is George Wickham and his daughter is Georgiana, that his name should be George. The Bingleys, Jane and Charles, want to share their wedding trip with the Darcys because they are nervous about being alone together. Hogwash! they were always going off alone together before they were married. And the plan that all will meet in Meryton for Christmas; guess that could have changed since Elizabeth's letter to Aunt Gardiner. Later on, I was very confused about Georgiana's age; 16? 17? 18? But actually, these are really just nits and probably only bother someone like me.

Jane Austen's characters, I am happy to say, are not too far off the originals. Elizabeth and Darcy are very quick studies. He learns to tease and laugh at himself within a couple of weeks. Darcy's wedding gift to Elizabeth is a beautiful horse and though she is no horsewoman, her natural althletic abilities allow her to become an accomplished equestrian within a few days. The Darcys are a passionate couple who tease and laugh and banter a great deal.

We soon learn that Mr. Darcy has only spent small amounts of time at Pemberley since his mother died when he was thirteen. It turns out that he is estranged from his father and that Pemberley's closets are full of skeletons. Moving back there unearths the demons within Darcy. It turns out that his bad behavior at the beginning of P&P was actually because he had been taught by his mother to look down upon all those not deigned to be his equal. But his reserve is due to living for so many year with secrets and a desire to hide the demons inside.

Many sequels portray Darcy as a saint, but this one gives those qualities to Elizabeth. At one and twenty, she knows how to handle any situation and how to charm all but the most hardened neighbors. She fears nothing and nobody and always uses her wit, charm and vivacity to solve any problem. Now that his demons have come out to haunt him, our Mr. Darcy is subject to temper tantrums. But, no matter what he does or says, our Lizzie forgives him and causes him to vow to improve his behaviour by her example.

However, in spite of all that, I found this book to be very entertaining. In the end, all demons are vanqished and all skeletons are routed and everyone lives happily ever after. I recommend that you give it a try.
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