“The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are now two handsome and healthy sons in the nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband Bingley live nearby and the orderly world of Pemberley seems unassailable. But all this is threatened when, on the eve of the annual autumn ball, the guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland. As it pulls up, Lydia Wickham – Elizabeth’s younger, unreliable sister – stumbles out screaming that her husband has been murdered.”
I wanted to read this before it comes to our TV screens later this year on the BBC, so I got this as an audiobook to listen to on my way to work.
It took me a while to get over the fact that this is basically a piece of fan-fiction, but once I did I enjoyed the story. It brought back all the old favourite characters and set them a little bit into the future of where we left them in the original story. So they are still the same characters, just a bit older and with families. However it didn’t delve too deeply into their new lives. It was more about the past coming back and making a nuisance.
It’s a crime story really and working out who did it is the basis for the plot. There are some twists and turns and some strings that are tied very loosely together. I have read any other books by the author, but do have a couple that were given to me so are in my to-read pile. I am not sure if all her books are like this or if it just this book. I felt it took a long time setting the scene then everything quickly happened, but then it took a long time to find out who was responsible. I did enjoy how it brought back into play the whole Darcy/Wickham secret as that reminded me a lot of the original and made it make more sense than maybe it otherwise would.
I am looking forward to how this translates onto TV. It would have been so good if they could have used the original BBC cast, but that was quite a long time ago. I hope I feel a bit more tension and anxiety watching it than I did reading the book. I’ll try to remember to do an update once it’s been on TV.
Overall it was a fun way to enjoy an old favourite in a new way and worth a read.