Meredith (Austenesque Reviews)'s Reviews > Pemberley Shades: A Lightly Gothic Tale of Mr. and Mrs. Darcy

Pemberley Shades by D.A. Bonavia-Hunt
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's review
Aug 27, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: jane-austen, pride-and-prejudice
Read in January, 2009

Unlike some sequels that start immediately where "Pride and Prejudice" ends, in "Pemberley Shades" we drop in on the Darcy's during their third year of marriage. We see that things haves settled nicely for them, they have established a routine, and learned much about each other. In the midst of this "happily ever after" Darcy searches for a new rector for his parish and has trouble finding anyone who can measure up to his standards (he most likely will not choose anyone who gives any resemblance to Mr. Collins!) Darcy invites one of his candidates (Stephen Acworth) for rector to come to Pemberley for a six week stay. While in London, Darcy runs into his cousin Major Wakeford who is recovering from war injuries and also invites him to stay at Pemberley. Now with two new strangers and members of both families visiting at Pemberley all sorts of exciting events may unfold!!

Upon meeting Stephen Acworth, the Darcy family is a little hesitant and distrustful of him, they can't figure out why, but his manners, things he say, his looks all make them feel that something about him isn't quite right. Is he really interested in becoming the rector at Pemberley or did he have ulterior motives for coming there?

I found this to be one of the most enjoyable sequels of Pride and Prejudice I have yet to read! I loved the intrigue about Stephen Acworth and how the author kept us guessing until the end. I loved reading more about some of our favorite characters: Kitty, Georgiana, and Anne de Bourgh all have a little time in the spotlight in this sequel and I enjoyed their storylines. Darcy and Elizabeth are a loving couple that banter quite frequently and you can still see the sparks fly between them. Mr. Bennet is there with his dry wit, Mrs. Gardiner is there with guidance and support, Jane with her thinking the best of everyone, and Lady Catherine with her displeasure with everyone and disparaging remarks. The author did a wonderful job of keeping the characters true to themselves and recognizable. What was odd though, was that we did not see the Hurst's, Mrs. Bennet, Caroline Bingley, COlonel Fitzwilliam, or the Wickham's at all in this sequel. Maybe Ms. Bonavia-Hunt thought she had enough on her plate with the other characters and didn't want to have too many story-lines going on at once?

I highly recommend this book to anyone who looks for good Pride and Prejudice sequels, this is one they will not want to miss! If you would like to see Lizzy and Darcy after marriage and are curious to see what happens to Georgiana, Kitty, and Anne de Bourgh, I think you will enjoy reading this book.

To give you an idea of how this book rates against other Pride and Prejudice sequels I've read (not included retellings or what if possibilities), here's how I would rank them so far:

1. Pemberley Shades: Pride and Prejudice continues
2. Old Friends and New Fancies: An Imaginary Sequel to the Novels of Jane Austen
3. Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
4. The Darcys & the Bingleys: A Tale of Two Gentlemen's Marriages to Two Most Devoted Sisters
5. Conviction: a sequel to Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice
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