Sophia's Reviews > Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley

Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley by Kelly   Miller
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Reminiscent of old movie classics like Death Takes a Holiday or The Bishop's Wife, this heartwarming sequel explores both the ongoing story of Jane Austen's Darcy and Lizzy from Pride & Prejudice and what happens when Death gets curious about the source of Darcy's happiness and contentment in life and his response to near death.

The story is a blend of the supernatural and historical romantic sequel. A few years into his marriage and just before Elizabeth's birthday, Darcy has a near death experience that brought on his thoughts about how ready he has prepared things in the event of his death for his wife, child, and Pemberley, but now he has been informed that he was spared and the angel of death who spared him wants fair trade- a chance to observe Darcy's life closely. Naturally, Darcy finds this a bit hair-raising and is troubled to have Death close to his loved ones, but agrees to keep from dying when he did and wanting more time with his loved ones.

Death wants a holiday among the living. He is curious about Darcy and especially when he meets the sparkling Elizabeth Darcy. Observing their life and love gives him much to ponder. But, then additional unwelcome guests arrive and he gets to see how the Darcys handle another person's bitterness and plot for revenge, their renewed feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and the strain to do the right thing has on them. Oh, but there's more when more arrivals come. Death gets to watch and interact with more of the Darcy's circle.

Meanwhile, the reader gets a peek in to see what came after the happily after for Darcy, Lizzy, and other characters from Jane Austen's classic tale.

Including Death as a character, but also as an element of thought in the story was an interesting twist and I enjoyed-okay maybe not the right word there since we're speaking of mortality- seeing how it stirred matters for the mortal characters and ratcheted up the suspense of what would happen in the end even as Death got some surprises about human behavior and thinking that kept him pondering and also very busy meddling.

I liked how the story started off slowly and built up momentum with each new arrival on the stage. There was both external conflict because of the expectation of what was coming for Darcy with Death looming and because of the acrimonious new arrivals. But, it was perhaps more fascinating to me to explore the internal conflicts for Darcy and Elizabeth separately as they worked through lingering past issues that reared up once again. I appreciated that the author portrayed a happy, stable marriage, but also that this required work and due diligence. The author showed that they both had to work and put the time in to have a prosperous and strong estate as well as a happy, well-developed child. This book was full of romance, but the practical daily sort as well as the feely-sensual kind.

Speaking of the practical, I could tell the author did her homework on Regency era setting, customs, and speech. There were romance and paranormal elements, but the modern didn’t poke out and distract like can happen when these genres are blended with historical.

There turned out to be a few side stories in the background and lots of secondary characters popping in. This was all well developed and wove well with the ongoing main plot threads.

It was a quick read and thoroughly engaging. I thought it was a creative way to do a P&P sequel that I can recommend to other Austen fans who like to explore the world of her characters a little longer beyond 'The End'.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

June 18, 2019 – Shelved
September 11, 2019 – Started Reading
September 16, 2019 – Finished Reading

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