Thursday, April 29, 2010

Relations Such As These

 

 I have come across some fairly horrid and fairly excellent self-published books based on Pride & Prejudice lately, I think this one falls somewhere in the middle. Plot aside, never have I seen a book so  badly in need of an editor!!! I've never seen so many spelling mistakes and quotation crimes in my life! After about four pages, I had to grab my sharpie ultrafine and start adding quotations myself, in case I decide to re-read this book in the future. More about this book after le saut...
 
 

Other than that, I enjoyed the premise of this book, and the plot definitely kept me involved, but it lost a lot of points with me for the sex. I can accept some well-written sex scenes in a P&P retelling, but well-written these were not. Though they aren't as bad as some, they were in no way good. Add to that that it was premarital, not just with Lizzy and Darcy but Jane and Bingley?!? No no no no no.

This retelling has a rather amusing start when Elizabeth, while traipsing through the woods, accidentally spies Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam and Bingley swimming in a pond at Netherfield. When she finally meets the gentlemen, she realizes it's the same men she happened to see nude, which makes her even more awkward. However, Darcy and Elizabeth seem to come together fairly quickly in this version, and the rest of the book is spent on plots and intrigue and relatives behaving very, very badly. Viscount James Fitzwilliam, the Colonel's older brother, makes a fairly decent villain, especially when teamed up with Lady Catherine and Caroline Bingley. If he had a mustache, he'd be twirling it.



I very much enjoyed the portions of the story that were spent on Colonel Fitzwilliam, and would have liked to have more of that and less of his James & Caroline's scheming. Fitzwilliam seemed to me to be the unsung (almost tragic) hero of this book. He's not portrayed as perfect as Darcy, but that is maybe why I liked him better. Fitzwilliam is Cheated by Lady Catherine, Duped by his brother and his mistress, and finds himself in love with Elizabeth only to have her fall for & marry his richer, handsomer, slightly more moral cousin.  Sara O'Brien could have made the whole book about him and I wouldn't have complained.

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