Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Rochester: Consummation" by J.L Niemann Released!

I interrupt this Austenathon to inform you of something you might take interest in. A few months ago, I reviewed Rochester by J.L Niemann and added that the book was, in fact, a series. Many of you seem to have already read the first one, and I discussed it with some of you who were highly anticipating the second (as was I).

The second is here. It's not available on Kindle, which is both a blessing in a curse. Of course, I don't like kindles and I much more prefer turning the page and sitting the new book alongside the old one on the shelf. However, this lack of availability also forces me to wait until the book is shipped which means that I cannot start it at once. I do assure you, however, that once it arrives safe and sound and I have read it (twice) I will write a review as quickly and diligently as possible. I'm very excited. :)

The only thing I regret is that I didn't find out about the book's release sooner. Or that someone didn't find out about it sooner (it was published two days before thanksgiving). Normally Bronteblog and The Squeee have me beat when it comes to covering the latest Bronte news first. So either they didn't post it or they haven't found out yet either. If the latter case, I feel a bit proud that I've finally gotten to a bit of news before they have! If the former...oh well, I guess I'm just dreadfully late. The circumstances don't matter, however, because I feel very happy about walking into the new year with something Jane Eyre related to look forward to.

Happy New Year everyone!

P.S: It's not the new year here just yet, so I'm saying it in advance. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy" by Mary Street Review

I am deeply apologetic for my long absence. As we all know, Christmas season is often a busy time. My family has been a great priority, and bonding with various relatives left me little time to get away on my own with the computer. Darcy December is steadily coming to it's close and I regret to admit that I didn't achieve as much with it as I might have liked. I intended to do much more with comparisons as well as book and movie reviews, but time slipped away from me. It's for that reason that I've decided to extend my focus on Jane Austen and Darcy into January as well, so Darcy December will make a smooth transformation into Jane Austen January. I'm sorry for the cheesy alliterations, but they fit well enough.
I've decided to take a break from the P&P adaptations for a moment. I can review the remaining two any time in the future. However, I feel the pressing need to review these various P&P spin-offs during the course of Darcy December and Jane Austen January because there are so many of them and (admittedly) because If I don't do it now, I might not ever have the will to do it in the future. According to the poll you guys most graciously completed a few weeks ago, it seems as though a unanimous vote named The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Mary Street the novel you would most like to see me review. It's funny that you would say that, by the way, because that spin-off happens to be the second one I read which pretty much keeps my reviews in chronological order. 

P.S: Please, I'd love to see more participation in the polls. I know I update them irregularly, but keep a weary eye out for them. :)

Once again, there seems to be no need to explain the plot of The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Its title is also self-explanatory. Unlike Mr. Darcy's Diary, this spin-off is not told in diary format or even in the first-person perspective for that matter. There is an omniscient narrator like that in Pride and Prejudice, but for this particular novel the narrator chose only to follow the experiences and emotions of Mr. Darcy. I personally liked the idea. Telling such a story in third person drastically reduces the stereotypical cheesiness of a typical spin-off. In all other aspects, there's no real differentiating benefit. 

The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy is decidedly better than Mr. Darcy's Diary. There are more details, more stretches of the imagination, and more moments of intrigue in Mary Street's take than the latter novel had to offer. I've become mildly aware that authors of spin-offs are very much like directors of adaptations; they tend to latch on to one aspect of a multi-faceted character. Is Mr. Darcy truly proud at first and then humbled by his love for Elizabeth, or was he misunderstood to begin with? Some readers (and authors) choose to believe what Pride and Prejudice tells us: that Darcy was indeed proud and had never really been forced into introspection until he met Lizzy Bennet. However, there are other readers who see beneath the surface of what Jane Austen's narrator (which is obviously biased towards Lizzy Bennet's viewpoint) chooses to describe. These fans normally have the perception that Darcy is not proud, but shy. His problem is not so much that he looks down on the world, but that he (as he says in the original novel) doesn't have the ability to identify or communicate with it. Mary Street takes this route in The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy. Yes, Darcy is still indisputably proud in the novel. I don't wish to have you thinking that Street altered the character. However, this spin-off has an undertone of sympathy for the misconceived Mr. Darcy. His vanity is tempered by the fact that beneath the surface he is insecure, uncomfortable, and socially awkward. He really has no idea of how to connect with people, and because of that inability he shies away from all company until he meets the woman that makes him want to come out of his little antisocial hole. 

The best example of what I'm trying to explain (*spoiler*) is in the last few pages of the novel, when Darcy attempts his first kiss. The kiss is botched completely, and Darcy turns away from Elizabeth deeply embarrassed. The point I got from Mary Street's take on Darcy is that he isolates himself in order to appear composed, collected, and unshakable when all he really longs for is for someone to teach him how to express himself. He learns through trial and error. His first attempts go obviously wrong, as evidenced by the first proposal and his early conversations with Elizabeth. However, his love for Lizzy forces him to try again and get it right and eventually he succeeds. 

Yet, even this spin-off has something missing. It was enjoyable, intriguing, and a good read in its entirety, but it is short. In the end, it too possessed a sad lack of depth that left me a little wanting. It's worth the read, and I will not hesitate to conjecture that many of you will find it satisfying and very enjoyable. But keep on the look out! There are better spin-offs lurking in the future. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

To My Lit Lovers:

I know there are many of you reading this from different time zones. Perhaps Christmas is already over where you are (I really have no idea) or maybe it's Christmas evening and you're already settling down to ham and other traditional holiday delicacies. Perhaps you're not even celebrating it. 

I, however, must in the the Christmas spirit thank all of you for your continued support over the months. It has been a great gift, and some of you are such regular visitors that I almost feel as if I have a tiny online family. I wish you all happy holidays and pray that you will continue your success in the various places you inhabit and on the numerous paths you follow. Personally, I have been very blessed with the loving care of a merciful God, an encouraging family, and understanding friends. Many of you are blessed with the same things, and if you aren't I pray that you will find them and understand that you are not as alone as you seem. 

Once again, thank you and God bless you. If you experience a mere portion of the happiness and love I feel, you have achieved a lot. 

With much love, 
Ari (aka Bonnie) 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pride and Prejudice 1995 Review

I have successfully made it through the first semester of junior year. Yay! It feels exhilarating and yet wildly strange that I should be leaning back against the couch cushions so late on a Sunday night with no essay to write or monotonous history-book chapter to outline. Instead, I am able to relax and relish the large expanse of freedom that is mine for the next two weeks. 

First off, I feel the need to thank you all for your responses to my last post. It's been a while since a post has generated that much excitement and hit a hundred views in just a night. You've given me a lot to think about as well. Of course, I noted that many of you (like any other lit lover) love the comparison of adaptations, and so it wouldn't seem natural to review the 2005 P&P and leave it at that. So without further ado, I will lounge on my living room sofa and share my opinions on the second P&P I came in contact with: the '95. 

Casting: 

From left to right: Lydia, Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty. 
It's strange that adaptations cannot be entirely perfect, and many times they have exact opposite faults of their counterparts. The 2005 P&P had the perfect array of minor characters, in my opinion. Jane, Lydia, Mary, and Kitty were all defined by the actresses who portrayed them in the '05. Brenda Blethyn was a splendid Mrs. Bennet. Donald Sutherland (though some of you have suggested otherwise) was a great Mr. Bennet. Dame Judi was, without a doubt, a definitive Lady Catherine. The '95, on the other hand, missed the mark completely when it came to these characters. All the Bennet sisters were played by actresses much older than their age. Julia Sawalha, who played the fifteen-year-old Lydia Bennet, was twenty-seven at the time! The disparity in age was something I was completely unable to recover from. I understand the idea of rendering a five-year gap for leeway, but such a difference is unforgivable in a case such as this when one can obviously tell that the actress is much too old. It strips believability from the character. 

My next qualm is the distress of having to cope with a horribly miscast Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley. I'm sorry to sound harpy, rude, and (yes) bitchy, but Susannah Harker is not beautiful. I will not be persuaded otherwise because I do not see it. Even her portrayal of the character was wrong. Jane Bennet is sweet, diffident, and modest, but she is by no means boring and emotionless. Crispin Bonham-Carter had the same problem when playing Bingley: he's not handsome. Epic FAIL! The other actors I had problems with in this adaptation are also the women who played Mrs. Bennet and Lady Catherine, but I will refrain from expounding lest this review turn to a novel. 

The hardest part of reviewing a movie once again comes to the main characters. As you can tell, I'm feeling a bit ruthless and liberal with my opinions this evening. Jennifer Ehle's spirit matched Lizzy Bennet's to perfection. I was glad to see that. Physically, she too was a failure of the greatest kind. She was seven years the "real" Lizzy Bennet's senior, and it once again deducted from the believability. However, her portrayal of the character is one that's hard not to like. Her "fine" eyes do sparkle in a way that I find characteristic of the Elizabeth in the novel. Her mischievous sarcasm, always masterfully covered by a sly smile, is endearing to the viewer. Kiera Knightley's Lizzy was much more outwardly rebellious and much less artful in her arguments. Ehle, on the other hand, delivers her tongue-in-cheek blows naturally; it is only after she has already walked away that the person really begins to understand her meaning. If only she were actually nineteen! 

Colin Firth=the definitive Darcy. Is there really anything to argue? He is Darcy. The perfect amounts of pride, passion, insecurity are joined together in a single man. He fits the physical description to perfection with dark eyes that can flash from coldness to burning desire in mere seconds. His dark curls, tall build, and stately air are only bonuses. There's not much else to say about that...*sigh*. 

Screenplay/Cinematography/Soundtrack/Costumes:

Screenplay: Perfection itself. What did it leave out? It adhered with strict faithfulness to the novel in pretty much every aspect. 

Cinematography: Bad. But it was a nineties TV adaptation, so who really expects much? Better yet, who really cares? 

Soundtrack: Horrible. 

Costumes: Fine. Nothing amazing or particularly riveting, but true to the time period so I have no complaints. 

Negatives: 

I've already shared 95% of them. The casting was a major setback. The soundtrack was another. There were also some areas that I found slightly dry in this version. The second proposal was especially unsatisfying, with little romance and even a slight hint of awkwardness. But then again, if you compare it to Darcy walking through the fog, shirt unbuttoned, and nearly taken to tears as he exclaims, "You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you" then I guess it would seem rather dry, wouldn't it? Joe Wright always said that Americans like a little more "sugar in their tea." I do seem to fit that mold. 

In conclusion, the adaptation was perfectly sound and very enjoyable. The sparks between Ehle and Firth (or just emitting from Firth alone) are enough to satisfy anyone. 

Grade: A-...4 out of 5 stars. 



Monday, December 12, 2011

Pride and Prejudice 2005 Review

Preamble: 
I remember stepping into the wonderful world of pride and prejudice the summer before sixth grade. I was, I will admittedly say, obsessed with it. My mom and dad thought it was just another passing phase, and I don't believe any of us would have thought at that moment that I would forever be an English lit fanatic. Therefore, my parents approached my effusive boasting of the book with a kind of disregarding apathy. Though I had formed this amazing bond with Pride and Prejudice, it never occurred to me that there were these lovely things called adaptations that brought novels to life on screen. I was therefore both surprised and excited as I came upon the movie while lounging lazily on the couch flipping through the channels of Direct TV.

The 2005 version was, in fact, the first adaptation of Pride and Prejudice I had ever seen. The 1995 PBS version coincidentally came a week after that. A few years later I found the 1940 before finally coming in touch with the 1980. I became a keen observer of all, comparing them and weighing them as I do with Jane Eyre adaptations today. Since that time the 2005 has been irrevocably established as my favorite, which might astound any of the die-hard fans of the 1995 (and all things Colin Firth). 

This, however, is a review and so I don't seek to compare the 2005 to the 1995. I'm merely presenting my review on the one I intimated above. The review might be very helter-skelter, but bear with me please, because my thoughts aren't the most organized things today. For some reason, I've decided to revert back to my old reviewing style: the one I used when writing my first review for this blog. <--Fond memory, by the way. 

Casting: 
I will start by saying that the first characters we see--those of the Bennet family--are all perfectly casted. Brenda Blethyn as Mrs. Bennet was a stroke of sheer genius, and even the aging Donald Sutherland contributed something new to his part that I did not find unappealing. Mary, Kitty, and Lydia are matched to perfection and the girls who played them (particularly Kitty and Mary) all grew up to become celebrated actors. Cary Mulligan has appeared in her fair share of highly praised movies since her appearance here, and Talulah Riley and Jenna Malone are always a pleasure to watch. Jane Bennet could not have been casted better, with Rosamund Pike possessing all the soft, sensual, and elegant beauty that I had imagined in the gorgeous eldest daughter. I don't believe that many people will argue the casting of the Bennet family even though some will mistakenly venture to say that Pike was miscast. 

However, it is where Keira Knightly is concerned that the debate begins to stir up. Physically, I will admit that the anorexic Knightly wasn't my ideal image of Elizabeth Bennet. In my mind I imagined someone (obviously) fuller in figure. However, Knightly's face did have the strong jaw and steely eyes that I had personally imagined in Lizzy. Knightley's portrayal of Lizzy is less seen in her physical appearance and much noticeable in her acting. She pinpointed with perfect acuteness the spirit and wit of Lizzy Bennet in a way that I could scarcely believe possible. The sarcastic tones in her voice and the intriguing flicker in her eyes are indisputably "Lizzy-like" and when she faces up to Darcy during the botched proposal her passion and indignation is both natural and forceful at the same time. She delivers Bronte's language with so much ease that it almost seems like her own colloquial. In the end I wouldn't have chosen another actress to play her, and it helped that she was the exact age of the character when she was playing it. 

Opposite her, Matthew McFadyen is the man chosen to play Darcy, and this is where certain complexities begin to come in. Once again, I would not have chosen Matthew as Darcy by merely looking at him. Though Matthew is decidedly attractive (I've ranked him as on of my favorite foreign hotties), he's not attractive in the conventional and clean-cut way I would have imagined for Darcy. When thinking of Darcy, I think of dark eyes, fair skin, and nearly black curls. I see a strong, masculine, and square jaw with a pointed chin and lips set in a smirk. I don't see Matthew McFadyen. McFadyen, however, had the chance do what Keira Knightley did and win me over with his acting. Yet, he left me just as puzzled there as he did with his appearances. This isn't to say that Matthew was bad, because he most certainly wasn't. In fact, he was very good. His shaken passion during both proposals and the sense of boyish shyness is beautiful and works miraculously. The problem was that as lovely and ardent as he is, he is not Darcy. I have a hard time believing that Darcy was ever proud to begin with in this adaptation. I merely receive the impression that he's shy, quiet, and socially awkward. Darcy is, of course, all these things, but the main point of his character is that the shyness, quietness, and social awkwardness is all projected as vanity and pride on the surface. More of that, and McFadyen would have been fine. As it was, he was a bit wanting. 

Once again, Dame Judi Dench knocks her role out of the park. She's so versatile and she's also one of the only actors I've known who has ultimately defined two roles. She nailed her later performance in Jane Eyre, earning her the title of the "ultimate Mrs. Fairfax" in my mind. However, she also defined Lady Catherine here. Lady Catherine is not so clingy and annoying in this adaptation, but rather demanding and controlling. She is not some bothered old lady with nothing to do, she is stately, elevated, and used to having her way. Dench was perfect. She cut down the annoyance, upped the dosage of strength, and ultimately gave us the complete Lady Catherine. As for other casting choices such as Charlotte and Mr. Collins: priceless. Collins was especially comic in this adaptation. The only person I could really call horribly miscast was Colonel Fitzwilliam, but he's not around enough for anyone to notice. 

Screenplay/Cinematography/Soundtrack/Costumes:
The screenplay took its liberties, and that was or will be a great downside to many P&P Puritans (that alliteration has a nice ring to it). However, I personally found this newer and slightly more modern take on the language refreshing and it even made the film better in some cases. I would not cut Matthew McFadyen saying, "You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love, I love, I love you" for the world, even if it wasn't in the novel! Deborah Moggach (the screenwriter) added a little something extra to give the adaptation a twist, to define it's originality. I don't blame her for doing it. All the important parts of the text are preserved beautifully when you get to their core. The changes were either unimportant or beneficial. For example, the fact that there isn't another Bingley sister is pretty excusable and even a bit relieving; the fact that the proposal was done in the rain instead of in a stuffy drawing room was perfect. 

Cinematography: Beautiful. No other word to describe it. Joe Wright and Roman Osin collaborated to make the novel visually sensual. Everything about the filming was complete perfection. That sweeping landscape picturing Lizzy on the edge of the world was flawless enough to bring tears to my eyes for no reason. Sometimes indisputable beauty is just enough to make one cry. 

I love this picture of Lizzy and Darcy
Soundtrack: It's Dario Marianelli! And this cemented a bond between he and Joe Wright that has existed in every single one of Wright's films. Dario is the god of soundtrack music, particularly when it comes to period movies. I ended up buying a good portion of the soundtrack and putting on my ipod. If you're one of those people into wordless, instrumental soundtracks, I would suggest that you take a peak at this. My favorites (if I had to choose) would be "Liz on Top of the World", "A Post Card to Henry Purcell", "Your Hands are Cold", and "Mrs. Darcy." Yes, it must be that good if I have to list FIVE favorites. 

The one thing I love about Pride and Prejudice is that it gives the costume designer a lot of work and a chance to really bring out creativity. The Netherfield ball is a haven of costume splendor. If I were you, I would take some notice of that when I watch it. 

Negatives: 
I really can't think of many except for that it was short. I'll say it time and time again: it's the hardest thing in the world to condense a novel into a box-office movie timeframe. The movie was already a good two hours long and it did a great job of condensing in my opinion. The only things of weight that was missing was the little party at Lucas Lodge (when Darcy's offer to dance is rejected) and the conversation that includes Darcy and Elizabeth's "propensity to hate everyone" and their tendency to "willfully misunderstand them." Other than that, everything escaped in tact. 

This was an incredibly long review. I'm fully aware that I've typed your eyes out, so in order to finish, I'll hastily conclude that this version was GREAT. There might be some grievances, but they aren't controversial ones and they certainly aren't enough to make anyone dislike the movie. 

Grade: A...4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

"Mr. Darcy's Diary" by Amanda Grange Review

While pondering on what I might next review for you, I came to a halt at a mental crossroad. The problem was choosing how to approach these various (and might I add numerous) "Darcy point of view" novels. At one point it seemed that a new one was being published at the end of every month. Rather than deliberately drown myself in all of them, however, I chose to read the ones that randomly fell in my path. The names "Darcy" and "Rochester" often stick out to me when I'm wandering through the quiet bookshelves of Barnes & Noble, so I was sure that some sort of strange fate would put the right spin-offs in my hands. I ended up reading only three of the thousand. At first I thought of reviewing them in the order of "greatest to least" or vice versa. In the end I figured that taking that route might spoil the surprise somehow, so I went with the quaint option of just reviewing them in the order in which I read them. Simple enough?

Mr. Darcy's Diary came to me during my tenuous Pride and Prejudice obsession. Surprised? Well yes, even I--the sarcastic and gothic Bronte-lover--had a phase of deep infatuation with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. I found the book in the obscure corners of the fiction section that often produce the best novels, and without a thought I coughed up the ten dollars and eagerly started the first pages during the car ride home. 

Most of my reviews have a synopsis, but I find that Mr. Darcy's Diary is obviously self-explanatory. It is literally the diary of Fitzwilliam Darcy, complete with dates and even the rather sporadic language common with diaries. 

First instinct: how much cheesier could it get? Even I (a mere twelve-year-old at the time) could have thought of this! I was merely surprised that no one had tried it sooner. In truth, the novel was neither a hideous failure nor a profound success. More than anything, it could only be described as mediocre. The language was simple, often even bordering too simple. The emotion was rather shallow. The plot was...mehh. 

After letting the novel actually sink in I'd like to say that my opinions changed, but in reality they only strengthened. I forgot the book completely for a while and was even reluctant to give it the second read I always feel every book deserves. There's nothing really wrong with Mr. Darcy's Diary, but it doesn't push any boundaries. It doesn't add anything new that the reader couldn't have already guessed for themselves. The diary idea is a double edged sword. While it suggests a deeper and more revealing look into Darcy's life, the language functions too much like a diary. The details are vague, as if Darcy really waited to write about his experiences days after they had already happened and the exact words were forgotten. Sure, I felt the surface of Darcy's inner turmoil, but I never reached the passionate depths. I couldn't feel the physical, emotional, and intellectual longing that I had so hoped to find in a Darcy spin-off. There was nothing exciting to keep me turning the page.  

Amanda Grange gave a valiant effort, and the one thing I did love was the use of dates in order to form a mental timeline. But, unfortunately, it was much too copy-pasted and cut-out to merit any sort of groundbreaking or emotionally appealing reward. It did not leave me with that lovely feeling of satisfaction, but rather made me want to search for something more. "This is like the rough draft of what I was looking for," I remember saying. "I need to find the fully-developed and final copy." 

P.S: For those of you who are still interested in giving the novel a try, there's a little tidbit you might want to know. The novel comes in paperback and hardcover. The paperback version is Mr. Darcy's Diary whereas the hardcover is only titled as Darcy's Diary. Do not be fooled, however. They are the exact same book. Good luck reading. :) 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Mr. Darcy's Daughters" by Elizabeth Aston Review

Let's imagine for a moment that the double X chromosome--seemingly a dominant gene in the Bennet family--now runs through Elizabeth herself. She marries Mr. Darcy and has a girl. That girl is followed by another, then a pair of girls, and then another. Fortunately, unlike her mother before her, she is finally successful in birthing a boy to satisfy any qualms about the inheritance of the Darcy fortune. Just to fully impress us with the passion between our main characters from Pride and Prejudice, she delivers another boy to perfect the family picture. Now approaching middle age, Darcy and Elizabeth are called out of the country. Their young boys are left at Pemberly under the care of a tutor, but the girls are happily sent to London to reside under the roof of Darcy's trusty cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and his wife, Fanny.
Thus is the framework of Mr. Darcy's Daughters by Elizabeth Aston. The Darcy girls are a vibrant and beautiful family of teenagers that, of course, somewhat mirror that of Elizabeth's own family from Pride and Prejudice. The eldest daughter, Letitia Darcy is indisputably handsome but rather too pragmatic at times. The third and fourth sisters are a pair of gorgeous and frivolous twins, Georgina and Belle, also known as Night and Day. The youngest is the fifteen-year-old Alethea, who isn't out in society yet, but who has an adventurous heart and a passion for music. However, it is (predictably) the second child that serves as the heart of the novel. Camilla Darcy stands apart from her sisters as the aspirational and headstrong intellectual, directly characterized as taking after her mother. Though she is decidedly less beautiful than her sisters, she more than atones for her physical faults through her unreserved wit and humor. 

There are familiar characters carried over from Pride and Prejudice of course, such as Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, Lydia Bennet (or Wickham), and even Caroline Bingley. But this is, after all, a pastiche and thus focuses more on the second generation of original characters. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner have made a large fortune in trade and their fair daughter is now armed with a dowry that surpasses even that of the Darcy daughters. Once in London, the Darcy girls each approach the city with different outlooks. While Letitia seeks to stay out of trouble, Alethea devotes herself to music, the twins insist upon showing themselves in society and gaining the affections of every man possible, and Camilla (the heroine in this equation) searches for the adventure unavailable within the protective walls of Pemberly. 

Camilla and her sisters do find adventure. What first appears to be a few diverting months in London will turn into an intricate tale of scandal and mystery that includes antagonistic plots, cross-dressing, gays, and secret affections. Camilla discovers herself in the chaotic streets of Regency London, but by the time she acknowledges her true affections, the tangled web of family catastrophe might threaten her happy ending. 

Mr. Darcy's Daughters is a truly engaging novel that will intrigue and allure the reader through every page. Aston achieves what I find particularly crucial in any spin-off or sequel: the preservation of the old combined with the creativity of the new. Our favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice all reunite in the high social circles of London, but it is the new characters molded in the mind of Elizabeth Aston that prove to be the most absorbing. While the Darcy daughters are obviously modeled after the captivating Bennet girls, Aston develops them as characters of their own with individual interests and paths. The plot, though inspired by Pride and Prejudice, is where Aston's liberal imagination really takes shape. The reader will never be in want of excitement with a story like this. The author infuses the perfect amount of irony to make Austen and her faithful fans proud. 

The most interesting aspect of Mr. Darcy's Daughters, however, is the artistic risk taken by Aston. Sequels are precarious things to write. A drastic tip of the scale in either direction could either leave a book dry or hideously fantasized. Aston's balance is perfect. She speculated on a large uncertainty by breaching subjects that Jane Austen would never have had the courage to even introduce, but the chance paid off and will work wonders. Mr. Darcy's Daughters is an innovative novel that will not only succeed in satisfying the most rigid Austen purist, but will also draw modern crowds to the fascinating world of literature. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Darcy's December

As I lay my fingers on this keyboard to write to you once again, I can't help but utter a small and relaxing sigh of relief. This week has been a conundrum of English essays, Anatomy labs, art sketches, and US History outlines. I'm surprised I've made it through with as much sanity as I have. In the midst of this, however, I was thinking of what I might do to add a literary twist to the holidays on this blog. 

The idea wasn't hard to find. I'm reading Pride and Prejudice (again) as an extra credit book assignment, and it has reawakened my interest for the numerous spin-offs collecting dust on my shelves. There is a ridiculous amount of Pride and Prejudice spin-offs, but what's great is that many of them are enjoyable and completely unheard of. So I therefore deem this month Darcy December, as most of my reviews will probably be related to Jane Austen's books. Fear not, Bronte fans. I am not crossing over to the dark side (even though "Jane Austen" and "dark" is a complete juxtaposition). I am merely trying to spread the holiday spirit by suggesting books that have happy endings and handsome heroes. 

After all, this is partly your doing anyway. It was the majority of you who voted for Emma over The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. ;)