Death Comes to Pemberley (audiobook)

Of all the Pride and Prejudice sequels I’ve read (and I’ve read lots of them), Death Comes to Pemberley is one of my favorites. Of course, it’s P.D. James…what’s not to like? James comes up with one of the most credible backstories for Mr. Darcy that I’ve read. It explains a lot about why he is the way he is. She also has the best command of Austen’s style that I’ve seen in quite a while. The story is very like Austen, and at the same time very unlike her. Jane never dwelt on the seamy side of life, and specifically preferrred to leave that to othe writers. I won’t go into the plot too much, other than to say that it’s a perfectly plausible extension of Pride and Prejudice. The disappearance of Lydia Wickham during the major portion of the book seems a little odd. I get the impression that Lydia is James’ least favorite character, so she simply leaves her out.

I have the audio version, which is a little unusual for me. I have problems keeping focused on audiobooks, and frequently lose the plot. This book, however, was an exception. The reader, Rosalyn Landor, was excellent, with a wide range of voices. That and the engaging plot probably helped me stay focused.

This is a book I can heartily recommend to fans of either Jane Austen or P.D. James. For those of us who enjoy both authors, it’s ideal.


Has It Really Been That Long?

Yes, it really has been two hundred years. Two centuries since the publication of Jane Austen’s first novel, Sense and Sensibility. I’ll admit, it’s not my favorite Austen work. That place is forever reserved for Pride and Prejudice. It’s a good book, though. If you’ve never read it, this would be the year to do so. If you’d rather see a film version, the library has both the 2008 BBC mini-series starring Hattie Morhan and Charity Wakefield, and the 1995 Ang Lee film with Hugh Grant and Kate Winslet. The book is also available on tape at the library (unfortunately not on CD).

There will be a variety things happening to celebrate this event, some local, some not. I’ll try to keep you updated about them.