Saturday, July 26, 2014
I seem to punish myself with reading books that are either sequels or extensions of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice, but when I read the synopsis for this one, I was instantly curious. What would the story have been like through the eyes of the servants of the Bennett household?
The first thing I had to tell myself before reading this is that I could not in any way shape or form be expecting the beautiful writing style of Austen. What I was hoping for was something a little more raw and even rough in style. Jo Baker did not disappoint! The servants were so deliciously bitter that I found myself amused and did not miss the characters of one of my favorite books.
Baker did an exceptional job of developing the characters and capturing the hard life that they had back then. It read a little bit like a historical fiction and had some interesting twists in turns, especially with the storyline of James, the new footman. I found myself wondering more about his back story more than any of the others and almost wish that it been told more through his eyes instead of Sarah's. Her writing style was beautiful as well and everything flowed from one page to the next smoothly.
My one main criticism is that Mr. Darcy was not really in the book. Alas, it would not have made much sense to make him a main character here, but how I do love that literary man!
If you are expecting a novel that is full of P&P then this book will be very disappointing. If you like a piece of fiction that has familiarity to another piece, but maintains its own storyline with love and loss then this book is for you. I should think that some other diehard Austen fans would be able to appreciate this book for what it is and not for what they wish it was.
Rating: 4 out 5
I borrowed this book from my local library; I was not paid to give this review. The image was take from Good Reads.