**spoiler alert** This was the first time I read anything of PD James.A friend of mine was very happy when she saw me reading it and shouted gleefully**spoiler alert** This was the first time I read anything of PD James.A friend of mine was very happy when she saw me reading it and shouted gleefully that she was one of her favourite authors.
Yet this book left me disappointed.
I read this, watched the TV adaptation. Still I was not sated.
Lizzy Bennet, now Mrs. Darcy, lost so much of the Lizzy I've come to know and love in various adaptations and the original text. Maybe it is, in itself a brilliance. We keep on growing even though we are already grown.
We outgrow the cheerful, youthful self and enter the adulthood of responsibility. Of being calm and measured and well behaved. Of being respected and respectful and considering and no longer headstrong. And, along with it, becoming just another woman in the large household that bustles after the master of the house and have little voice.
Extraordinary became ordinary.
And ordinary really has not much place in an extraordinary setting like a murder on the estate.
I always hoped, wished, maybe dreamed, even, that Elizabeth Bennet would have more influence over her husband's measured, cold attitude and his stiff upbringing. I mean after all, he did toss that all behind him when he uttered the words 'In vain have I struggled. It will not do...'
But somehow he seemed to have had a greater impact on her, in this attempt of a sequel.
In the end I liked the TV adaptation better than the book. The book is well composed. Balanced. Safe.
The telly, in its telly fashion, had Lizzy Bennet save the day. A close that attempted to round up everything with a pseudo happy ending.
But even that rang a bit on the false side, when most of the time Mrs. Darcy was in self-doubt and insecurity and suspicions.
But the end, the end had a bit of a shadow of the old Lizzy.
The book? It just reached a close. As books should. Were it not for the fact that the characters in the book carried with them names that were so well known, it would have been a satisfying, if not thrilling, mystery....more
I liked the refreshing angle of a young girl chemist being the solver of mysteries and death.
But I'm biased for British backdrops.
On the other hand,I liked the refreshing angle of a young girl chemist being the solver of mysteries and death.
But I'm biased for British backdrops.
On the other hand, I disliked the contrived mention of UK brands, landmarks, old phrasing and such... because they felt forced. I read that the author has never been to the UK so I guess it felt natural to make up the lack of authenticity with such mentions.
Also the little girl seemed rather pompous. Which wasn't exactly adorable in a... 9 year old (I forgot her age, it must have been something ridiculous like that).
Overall, I did enjoy it.
It was short and sweet and simple enough. Also the plot was engaging and easy to follow. I have started on book two, so far it's not as gripping though.
But good for passing the time when a kindle is at hand. I'm glad I didn't opt for the paperbacks when I saw them inStill pompous. Still not gripping.
But good for passing the time when a kindle is at hand. I'm glad I didn't opt for the paperbacks when I saw them in the shops.
That sounded more horrible than I intended it to be.
There are merits, of course, the plot is rather fascinating and the back-story of every grown up is enchanting.
But the protagonist is, for the best part, rather... flat. Her siblings are even worse. The eccentric aunt (English people must have eccentric relatives?) is okay and the housekeeper (cook? She doesn't seem to be doing much housekeeping really) and gardener/handyman/valet/butler are fun, but the immediate family seems dull (another English stereotype?) aside from the deceased.
Which is a weird setting to enjoy to be honest.
But I did still enjoy reading it and killing time with it....more