Friday, May 24, 2013
Death Comes to Pemberly
The book starts about six years after the end of "Pride and Prejudice" with Elizabeth and Darcy getting ready for the Lady Anne's Ball. However, the night before, an out-of-control carriage carrying a hysterical Lydia plunges them into a scandalous murder mystery that exposes some secrets the estate of Pemberly had been trying to keep for many years.
All of the characters from Jane Austen's novel are present and well represented making it easy to picture them, but I had a difficult time losing myself in the story. For the first part of the book I was expecting the elegant writing style of Austen that would enrapture you the whole way through. What I found was that the prose was similar, but I was painfully aware that it was not Austen who had written the book and it took me a very long time to become invested in the storyline.
About halfway through the novel I had to look at the book for what it was, a mystery set at Pemberly with all my beloved characters from "Pride and Prejudice". After I did this, I found that the book was rather enjoyable, but seemed to be a slow read due to all the historical setting description given by James. If a third of that had been cut out, I believe that it would have been a much faster read.
As an aspiring writer, I feel that the last fifty or so pages are a great example of how skilled a writer PD James really is. It was full of intrigue, suspense, and gave a clear picture of what she was trying to write. Because of my love of Jane Austen, I think that the odds were already against James in my mind, for who could ever come close to writing like Austen? Keeping that in mind, I will definitely need to read another novel written by James in the future because I do think that she is a very interesting and thoughtful writer.
Rating: 3 Stars out of five for Jane Austen enthusiast like myself
Book was purchased by myself at a local bookstore; I was not asked to review this book.