Top positive review
36 of 37 people found this helpful
Original, intelligent, rivetting.
on November 10, 2011
I have read many Pride and Prejudice adaptations. Some are fairly horrible. The majority fall in between--not complete wastes of time, but an experience not worth repeating. It is a rarity to find a truly good one. This is one such rarity.
The strangest thing is that I usually don't like the ones that are complete reinventions and radical changes. That is probably because most authors can't carry it off and awkwardness and irritation are the result. This is among the most extreme reinvention I can remember, but it was carried out with charm and intelligence.
If you pay close attention, you see a little modern consciousness creeping in now and then, but it is so well disguised in 19th century language and behavior that it's fully successful. The writing style, while not trying to pass for Jane Austen, nevertheless captures the spirit.
I am sometimes hesitant to buy books with only a few reviews (especially if they are 5 stars) as I assume they are from friends or family and I avoid first books like the plague. Now that I've gone back to read the product description, I'm even more amazed that I bought it. That description is a total turn off and implies that the sexual abuse was something more graphic or prolonged than it really was. It is one incident, right at the beginning, and is just the catalyst to develop the story a different way. It is basically a character-driven story emphasizing each person's emotions and reactions and these are the forces that move the plot. As character studies, I think it holds together very well. Elizabeth's and Darcy's thoughts, feelings, and behavior, especially, are extremely well handled.
I don't want to give away the plot but it is a Pride & Prejudice variation which begins at the point of Elizabeth's visit to Charlotte (anything before is assumed to coincide with the original). Beyond that, there are very few plot points that coincide, although the ending of the story is, thankfully, the same. With the exception of Colonel Fitzwilliam, all the other major characters retain their basic personalities. The amazing thing is that, given the drama of the first chapter, the rest of the book is cohesive and logical based on this alternate reality. All the persons involved behave in ways consistent with the way Jane Austen's core characters would have behaved under these definitely un-Austenesque circumstances.
I found it very stimulating and original and one of those books that I was sorry to have end and have put in my "Worth Re-reading" collection.