Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Review: Pride and Pyramids
by Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb

Fifteen years after the end of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Darcy are living their happy ever after, splitting their time between Pemberley and their London home and raising their six lively children. A surprise visit from Colonel Fitzwilliam's brother, Edward, fires Elizabeth with a desire for travel, as Edward has been infected with the Regency craze for Egyptology.

Their Egyptian adventure sees a romance for Edward as well as buried treasure, a lost tomb and the mystery of the desert. But at the heart of the novel is the enduring love of Lizzy and Darcy as they raise their children and face the challenges and delights their continuing life together brings.

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It’s summertime!  The perfect time for a fun, sunshiny read.  And if you’re a fan of all things Darcy and Indiana Jones, Pride and Pyramids might be a great fit for you.  The talented Amanda Grange has partnered with the Egyptian scholar Jacqueline Webb to bring us an exciting adventure in the exotic lands of the pharaohs and secret treasures. 

Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy have been married for fifteen years in this sequel to Pride and Prejudice.  They are as happy as ever, enjoying their children and the years they have had together. They are given the opportunity to pack up the entire family for a long journey to Egypt, spending months away on a grand adventure.  Colonel Fitzwilliams’s younger brother Edward is one of the instigators of this plan, as he is on a particular quest and is always in need of benefactors for his work with the esteemed archeologist Sir Matthew Rosen.

Along with Edward Fitzwilliam and the Darcy clan, the young Mr. Paul Inkworthy joins them as the official artistic painter of the expedition.  He is commissioned to capture the essence of their journey in portraits and drawings along the way.  His talent is essential, as cameras were not available in that day to memorialize grand journeys such as this.  Paul is pleased to discover that the Darcys have taken on Sophie Lucas, youngest sister to Elizabeth’s dear friend Charlotte Lucas Collins.  Along with female companionship for Mrs. Darcy, she will offer the role as nanny for the young children.  Sophie is young and attractive, and finds herself in a bit of a love triangle between two fellows in the story.

Pride and Pyramids is a fun, light read for these summer days.  I enjoyed spending time with Austen’s characters in this adventure.  Grange and Webb did an excellent job in not only capturing the essence of the Darcys, but also the details of Egyptian history and mythology. Much like the Indiana Jones movies, this novel captures adventure, history, romance and a bit of spiritual magic.  The interaction between the characters was realistic, and I liked how the authors kept the romantic aspects of the story very chaste, yet delectable at the same time.

If you’re looking for an unexpected diversion in the lives of Jane Austen’s characters, I certainly recommend this novel to you.  We are whisked away from the shades of Pemberley into the wilds of Egypt, where danger lurks around every turn.  The struggle between good and evil is readily apparent, unfolding in a way that I found to be very entertaining.  Those headed out on their own summer expeditions would do well to pack this in their travel case, and those remaining stateside can have an adventure of their own with this one. Amanda Grange has succeeded again, and I applaud her partnering with Jacqueline Webb.  They made a great team, and I hope they collaborate again in the future.

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