Thursday, September 23, 2010

Book Review: Mr. Darcy's Little Sister by C. Allyn Pierson

Mr. Darcy's Little Sister (Pride & Prejudice Continues)In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, main character Mr. Darcy has a younger sister, Georgiana. While she’s a secondary character in Pride and Prejudice, I’ve always found her intriguing. Thankfully, in Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister C. Allyn Pierson has taken on the challenge of expanding the story to focus more on Georgiana as she grows into a young woman.

Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister begins in September of 1813, about a month before Pierson has placed the Darcy/Bingley wedding on October 19th.  Georgiana is eagerly anticipating her brother’s marriage to Elizabeth Bennet, as she has grown very fond of her future sister-in-law.  At age 17 Miss Darcy is not only young in years, but in manner as well.  She is very shy, timid and unsure of herself, frequently at a loss for words with others and easily embarrassed.

Despite her timidity, Georgiana still must go through a rite of passage for many girls her age.  She is to be formally presented to society and begin her search for a suitable husband during the London Season.  This is quite a challenge for her, and not just because she’s a bit of a milquetoast.  As Georgiana Darcy, she comes from a family of privilege and vast monetary worth.  Countless men and their families would relish the chance to become part of the Darcy family line.  Her deepest desire is to have a marriage like her brother’s – one of true love and affection, not one of convenience and financial gain.  Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister chronicles Georgiana’s journey through society and hopefully to true love.

*          *          *

C. Allyn Pierson has done a wonderful job in expanding upon Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Her prose is enjoyable to read and holds the tone of Regency England.  Austen’s characters are well represented, staying true to the personalities and manners found in the original story.  All romantic interludes are chaste and not tawdry in any way, which was greatly appreciated.

Although the plot primarily revolves around Georgiana’s search for a loving spouse, there are subplots that give the novel moments of excitement and international intrigue.  One event in particular is very dramatic, and it profoundly changes Georgiana. This timid girl becomes a young woman, displaying the fortitude to stand up for herself and speak her mind.  I was relieved when she came into her own this way.  Her constant blushing and apologetic demeanor was unattractive and became wearisome during the initial chapters of the book.

Georgiana’s life-altering event aside,  I wouldn’t call this book a standard  page-turner.  However, that’s not to say that it wasn’t very enjoyable.  I always savored returning to Pierson’s book during the days that I read it.  This novel is to books what a well-orchestrated, multi-coursed meal is to dining.  It is to be savored and enjoyed, not inhaled and consumed quickly. 

C. Allyn Pierson is clearly well educated in all things Austen, as well as Shakespeare and other writers, whose quotes pop up from time to time in the story and as chapter headings.  With her depth of knowledge, she takes us back to the world of Pride and Prejudice in a way that is not only believable but enjoyable as well.  As the book was drawing to a close, I was very satisfied yet still would have enjoyed more.  It was so nice to get to spend more time with Miss Georgiana Darcy.  I recommend that readers do the same.

This title was provided by Sourcebooks Landmark.
No obligation other than an honest review was required

1 comment:

  1. Laura, I thought I'd stop by and wish you congrats on winning a prize in the Cinders blog book tour! Check out your prize here.

    Glad I found your blog! :)



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