What I Read in December Part VI . . .
Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel by Regina Jeffers-- Austenesque, Regency Christmas
Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have been married two years and are inseparable, especially now she has had two miscarriages and is expecting again. As Darcy and Elizabeth travel home after a failed business opportunity, Darcy reflects on his Christmas surprise. He has invited the Bennet family to Pemberley for the Christmas holiday in order to cheer up Elizabeth, who has been depressed since the loss of their children. A snowstorm forces the couple to hole up at a small country inn with a number of strangers, including Mr. and Mrs. Joseph. Mary Joseph is eight months pregnant and Darcy hopes her friendship with Elizabeth and the message of the holiday season will help bring back the joyful Elizabeth he fell in love with. Meanwhile, back at Pemberley, Georgiana is left to play hostess to the holiday guests - half of whom were uninvited! There are several romances and a mystery to solve before the story wraps up.
I was largely bored by the Darcys and the Josephs. The coincidence of Mary Joseph is just too too overboard for me. If the story wasn't a direct parallel it may have been better. Darcy and Lizzy are a very passionate couple. If the author had omitted a good chunk of their passion, the story would have been a lot better and shorter. Too much time is spent on what they're doing and what they want to do. I ended up skimming their sections and focusing on what was happening at Pemberley. I couldn't put the book down until I found out just how all those different personalities would come together to celebrate the season. I found the romances a little obvious. I didn't like Georgiana with that particular man. He is too old for her and I find that kind of relationship a little creepy. It seems out of character for Kitty to marry a clergyman but that's what Jane Austen wanted so that's what we get. Her romance is sweet and develops nicely. There are several plot shockers I didn't see coming at all! The Epilogue should have taken place years later instead of months. It was kind of silly the way it was.
It is always fun to revisit the characters from Pride and Prejudice. The author did a good job of keeping them in character. Kitty's character development is especially nice. Another character with nice growth is Anne DeBourgh. I liked the idea of her plot but not necessarily the execution. There are some new characters to be introduced to including a clergyman who I found kind of boring; an American Mr. Manville and a young Lieutenant. I don't know what to make of the Lieutenant. He's an odd character to be sure. Mr. Manville's story is somewhat predictable but not entirely. I didn't like him at all but what happened at the conclusion of his story is what he deserved.