- File Size: 1947 KB
- Print Length: 163 pages
- Publication Date: October 29, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076LY1QQJ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,368 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$9.99|
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Pemberley Park - The Twelve Days of Christmas: Where Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park Meet, and Continue Kindle Edition
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A major highlight of the book was a nod to the Christmas carol in the title; each day some little event occurred that mirrored the one in the song pertinent to the particular day (eg. 3 french hens served at dinner, 7 swans swimming on the Pemberley lake). Finding these little treasures & how cleverly they were worked into the plotline was very entertaining; my favourite was the milkmaid-printed wallpaper in the room assigned to the snooty Caroline Bigley. The chapter headings announced the day's date & the number that it represented in the 12-day observance. The actual carol was not printed in the book for a reference guide. Thankfully, I was reading my Kindle version on a tablet connected to the internet & was able locate a copy to use as a guide, as it can be difficult remembering all the true love's gifts, especially the double-digit days.
The story started on a crisp & cold Christmas day vividly described by the author but after the first couple of chapters the attitudes & activities of the assembled family members & guests took a turn away from overall conviviality as small cliques formed each with a differing agenda to promote. There were some positive moments at the beginning & near the end of the story but much of the narrative dealt with overt & covert negative actions (eg. perpetual bad behaviour) of many of the expected & unexpected guests.
In fact, this book presented a tale of the pleasures & upheavals that usually arise among a large family group when they gather together to celebrate traditional holidays with feasting & other entertainments. If any of this happens at your house during family get-togethers you will probably identify with what happened in the book. That was why I gave the book an extra star because one of the hallmarks of a good author is to have the readers connect with what was written.
Plot spoilers: (it's not all bad)
The three Darcys & most of the Bennet family took pleasure in accomplishing, as a group, the Christmas duties of a landholder to his tennants & servants. The arrival of the conniving Crawfords (Henry & Mary of Mansfield Park fame) on St. Stephen's day marked the start of an ultimately unsuccessful plan to cause trouble between Georgiana & her fiancé Frederick Beaumont & to inveigle themselves into the affections of the respective member of the young couple. Mrs Bennet had to have her two pennies' worth of every situation; she was by turns rude, insensitive & crass but did manage to remain calm during the birth of Mary's twins. Lady Catherine made a surprise visit as her nose was out of joint that the Collinses had received an invitation to attend the festivities at Pemberley while she had not. Her behavior was as demanding & recalcitrant as ever. Lydia was a disruptive influence on the gathering & colluded with her disreputable husband to take advantage of the Darcys before they left together for overseas (of course, Wickham had deserted his post). Caroline Bingley was a late arrival & an early departure when she eloped with the destitute Henry Crawford who left his sister behind to explain to an angry hostess how they had taken advantage of her generosity.
The sensible husbands in the group (Darcy, Col. Fitzwilliam & Bingley) supported their wives through the difficult moments & provided a loving refuge for their wives at the end of stressful days. When required Darcy was a strong & forceful gentleman, a kind & courteous host, in addtion the being a tender & loving spouse. Mrs Reynolds capably managed the influx of guests & their entourage, marshalled the Pemberley servants to provide the necessary accoutrements for the daily calendar of activities & events all while capably reinforcing Mrs Darcy in her hostess duties. The Fitzwilliams (Mary & the Colonel), the Bingleys (Jane & Charles), as well as, Mr Bennet & Kitty made contributions towards ensuring a successful house party.
Elizabeth did lay down the law to Lydia & her mother at one point (hurrah!) & upbraided Mary Crawford when the deceitful behaviours of the pair of siblings was revealed. Mary survived the early birth of her children. Mr Collins, at Lady Catherine's contrivance, was awarded a fellowship at Cambridge which would "burden" Charlotte with his absence bfrom the faamily home for much of the next two years (which didn't upset her unduly) & necessitated his departure, with his noble patroness, before the final yuletide celebrations were enjoyed by the assembled P&P characters. Elizabeth informed Darcy of her being "with child". Plans were made for the coming year to bring happiness & joy to all involved.