Daily Archives: December 30, 2013

Death Comes to Pemberley- A Good Sequel

There are a lot fanfiction writers out there. Very few are lucky enough to not only see their work in print, but also see it on screen.

PD James’s sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Death Comes to Pemberley aired the UK over the past few days.  I was lucky enough to see it before my American IP address prevented me from seeing it. 

The 1995 Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle minieries is not only the best filmed adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, but the best of the filmed adaptations of any Austen novel.   Any adaptations will always bring comparisons, but this adaptations stands on its own.

Ms. James’s novel starts 6 years after the original novel ends. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy are happily married with a young son.  On the eve of the annual Lady Anne Ball, Lydia arrives in hysterics that Captain Denny has been murdered and her husband is in the woods surrounding Pemberley.  During investigation and trial, Georgiana must  choose between duty and marry her cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam or choose her heart and marry Mr. Alveston.

I enjoyed it. Ms. James keeps the language and humor of the original novel, utilizing many of the leading characters while keeping the reader engaged in the mystery.

Taking the reins from Colin Firth, Matthew Rhys is a more mature Darcy who is deeply in love with his wife and aware of the responsibility of his station. Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth is a lively and outgoing as she is in the original novel, but with the experience of marriage, motherhood, as well as sharing the responsibility of running the estate.  Lydia (Jenna Coleman) and Wickham (Matthew Goode), as Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (James Fleet and Rebecca Front) are as they are in original novel.

I enjoyed both the book and the miniseries and I look forward to seeing it when it airs on PBS next month.

 

 

 

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The Ashford Affair Review

There is something about the British Aristocracy that always seems to bring in an audience, whether on screen or in print. 

Lauren Willig’s new book, The Ashford Affair weaves together two different stories. At the start of the 20th century Addie is an orphan, taken in by her aristocratic relatives. Her closest confidant is outgoing an vivacious cousin Bea.  At the end of the 20th century, Addie’s granddaughter, Clementine is working crazy hours as a lawyer while dealing with a broken engagement.  During her grandmother’s 99th birthday party, a long held family secret is let out.  The journey to uncover that secret will ultimately change Clementine’s life. 

This book is Downton Abbey Meets Mansfield Park. Right up my alley. 

Ms. Willig tells an interesting story. Sometimes, interwoven tales in different time periods can be confusing. But not in this case.  Clementine’s personal journey interwoven with her grandmother’s life was a compelling read.

I highly recommend it. 

 

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The Book Thief Review

It’s not difficult to find books and movies about Nazi Germany. A good majority of these stories focus on the victims of the Nazis.  A few take a different standpoint, telling the stories of the ordinary Germans who, whether they liked it or not, were forced to live under Nazi rule. 

Markus Zusak’s book, The Book Thief  is about an ordinary young lady and her life during World War II. Liesel Meminger’s brother has recently died. Taken from her mother, she is given to Hans and Rosa Hubermann to raise as their foster daughter. 

She soon learns to read and begins stealing books.  Her foster parents are hiding a Jewish man.  While externally following those around her, her internal growth and beliefs are contrary is what is being taught around her.

I haven’t seen the movie, but I enjoyed this book. It is a little slow, but when it gets going, it’s really good. 

 

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