Monday, February 2, 2009

The Darcys Give A Ball

I'm on a roll, even though my reading time at 3am has stopped. (I'm kind of disappointed, I liked that peaceful quiet time where I could get reading done while nursing. It just doesn't happen during the day.) The librarian who purchased materials for my local library is doing his or her job very well, because I just keep discovering new pieces of JA fan fiction that have been added to the collection. It's great bc it means I don't have to purchase them! :)

Last week I read The Darcys Give A Ball: A Gentle Joke, Jane Austen Style by Elizabeth Newark. This book focuses on the children of the Darcy, Bingley, & Collins families. Elizabeth & Darcy decide to hold a ball in honor of their daughter Juliet and to allow their son, Henry, another chance to meet Eliza Collins (Charlotte & Mr. Collins daughter) in order to see if his attachment to her is true. They invite as many young people as they can and love abounds. The book was an entertaining read, although it had one minor distraction, a timeline. In the beginning of the book, it is noted that Mr. Collins inherits Longbourn twelve years after Lizzy & Darcy marry. Then it mentions that Mr. & Mrs. Collins have been married fifteen years. Maybe my P&P math is off, but the Collins were not married three years prior to when Lizzy & Darcy married, were they? While not one of the most important details of the novel, it was a distraction indeed.

The major characters in this novel were entertaining--Miss Bingley's continual meddling in the affairs of Lucy (Georgiana's daughter) was hilarious and fit the perception of Miss B to a tee. My only question was: Why was she wearing black in this novel? She'd never married, and would she really be wearing black for the loss of Mr. Hurst? Doubtful. Eliza Collins was a charmer, and it seemed justifiable that the Collins family would have at least one reasonable son and daughter. Disappointing was Juliet, Darcy & Eliazabeth's daughter. She was a snob, full of pride which both D & E recognized. Her personality ranged somewhere between Lydia Bennet & Miss Bingley. Maybe she was disappointing bc with all of my heart I didn't want D & E to have such a daughter. Maybe she was disappointing bc someone had to be a snob out of all of the characters. Maybe she was disappointing bc she tried to run away and elope with Walter Elliot.

Yes, an Elliot. That was the other distracting detail to the novel--the other young people invited to the wedding were the sons & daughters of the major characters in JA's other novels. There were Elliots, Wentworths, Knightleys, Brandons, Ferrars, Bertrams etc. It was cute, but trite if you ask me. Overall, though, the book was entertaining with the portrayal of Miss B, and quick but short dive into Charolotte's life.

3 Bonnets bc it had potential, but just didn't live up to what it could have.

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