Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Review from "For Immediate Release" Reviews

The Darcys & The Bingleys: Pride and Prejudice Continues; A Tale of Two Gentlemen's Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters

Marsha Altman

Sourcebooks $14.95 US

Can Jane Austen be improved on? Does Pride and Prejudice REALLY need to be continued? This charming period piece by debut novelist Marsha Altman proves that yes, you can never have too much Darcy and Elizabeth!

'Tis only three days until the double wedding of the Bennet sisters and best friends Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley, lacking... experience, quizzes his (presumably much more knowledgeable) friend for certain helpful information relating to the honeymoon soon to come. Mr. Darcy, ever helpful, rides in a pouring rain to find a volume to help Bingley out of a certain predicament.

This delightful novel reintroduces us to old friends and acquaintances, and even shows different sides to the irrepressible Caroline Bingley and the fragile Anne de Bourgh. We again meet the charming and devilish Wickham, and my favorite part of the book is the following excerpt from page 93:

"(Wickham said)'Come now, Fitzers, we are finally brothers-' Bingley raised his hand to shield himself from Darcy's rage, but Darcy's voice, after a pause in which undoubtedly numerous emotions were suppressed, was surprisingly light-hearted.'And I suppose as your brother, I must be the mischievious pest. And as the youngest of the three, Bingley must be my partner-in-crime, the immressionable young lad that he is. Right, Mr. Bingley?'

'Um... yes.' Bingley had no idea as to where this was going, but he was hardly going to contradict Darcy.

Darcy began to pace the room, circling Wickham. 'For example, I could be an annoying older brother and for no reason whatsoever, hit you with this walking stick.' And then, suddenly, he took Wickham's walking stick and smacked him on the back of the head, causing Wickham to double over. 'Then, because the youngest brother inevitably follows his senior, Bingley could help me toss you out the window. Bingley?'

Bingley opened his mouth to put up a protest, but Darcy gave him a look that told him resistance would be indefensible. And so, oddly enough, he hellped Darcy heave Wickham out the window. They did not hear the cracking of bones, of even an audible thud, but it was not a long drop from the second story window.

'Will he be all right?'

'Oh yes,' Darcy said as he closed the window. 'The manure pile there surely broke his fall.'"

The rest of the book is by turns serious, hilarious, and sweet. Although the back cover mentions much about a certain book purchased by Mr. Darcy, the book is not overly graphic, rather having just enough sweetness to make the reader fall in love all over again with the Darcys and the Bingleys and their families and friends. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of Pride and Prejudice

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