Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Long Live the Epilogue!

Thirteen Reasons Why I Loved Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife

1. This book, written by Linda Berdoll, is a continuation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. When I thumbed through it at the bookstore, the beginning grabbed me at once and had me cracking up.

As plush a coach as it was, recent rains tried even its heavy springs. Hence, the road to Derbyshire was betimes a bit jarring. Mr. Darcy, with all gentlemanly solictousness, offered the new Mrs. Darcy a pillow upon which to sit to cushion the ride.

It was a plump tasselled affair, not at all discreet. His making an issue of her sore nether-end was mortification in and of itself. But as Elizabeth harboured the conviction that she had adopted a peculiar gait as a result of her most recent (by reason of matrimony) pursuits, her much abused dignity forbade her to accept such a blatant admission of conjugal congress. Thus, the cushion was refused.

Elizabeth goes on to regret refusing, and spends a good amount of time gazing at the cushion wistfully.

2. Wry humor like this continues throughout the book. I laughed quite a bit while reading it.

3. I adore epilogues. It's like the whipped cream on the mocha of a book, and Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife was like a glorious epilogue, showing how happy they were.

4. But Berdoll did more than just tell the continuing story. She also backtracked and made up quite a bit of history for the characters. For instance, we get quite a bit on Darcy's and Wickham's growing up years and their rocky relationship.

5. I was also impressed by the realistic feel to the book. Sometimes Regency authors bring a 21st century viewpoint to their books and you have to forgive that and go along with the fantasy. But, Bertoll was able to spin the fantasy within a very accurate setting that included the norms and attitudes of their time, not ours.

6. Even though it has been many years since I read P&P, Berdoll did a wonderful job reminding me of everything I needed to know in order for her story to make sense.

7. She kept surprising me with plot twists that I won't go into here in case you want to read it yourself.

8. Some Jane Austen fans complained about the quantity of sex in this book, but I loved it. I think if Austen had been able to get away with sex scenes, she might have included them.

9. On that note, it's so delicious to see the staid Mr. Darcy become so undone behind the bedroom door.

10. The mirror under the bed. You'll have to read the book to understand.

11. I think she does such a wonderful job keeping Elizabeth and Darcy in character, as Austen started them, but giving them character growth, just the same.

12. It was 465 pages long. Oh, how I love it when a book I'm really enjoying is really long!

13. It was very clear at the end that there would be a sequel, which I'm reading right now and loving.

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Blogger Robin L. Rotham said...

Arrgh! Another must read! (sigh) I love everything you recommend.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Rhian / Crowwoman said...

okay - this one i haven't read so i got nothing. the sound of Rhi being silent....ooooh - weird.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Rhi, silent. It's against nature.

Robin, I'm glad I can be the Roger Ebert of books for you! I can't wait for A.O. to come out!

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Gwen said...

I have been hesitant to say the least....I love movies based LOOSELY on Austen ("Clueless" was adorable) but I was unsure that anyone could actually carry on her story. Based on your review--I will add another to my tbr tbr closet.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Rhonda Stapleton said...

WOW, this is such a great recommendation...I think I need to run out and grab this book!!

8:09 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the dogs and the bedroom. Very funny. I hope you guys all like the book as much as I did.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Anna J. Evans said...

I'm going to have to pick this one up. I LOVE Jane Austen. I'll probably have to reread PandP first, however, just for a refresher since it's been a few years and I've slept since then and eveything, lol.


11:49 AM  
Blogger Kate Willoughby said...

Nah, you don't need to re-read P&P, Anna. It's been about five years since I read it, and I was fine.

1:47 PM  

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