Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations

cover

*****An Assembly Such As This

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman, Book 1

by Pamela Aidan

Reviewed October 1, 2004.
Wytherngate Press, 2003.  218 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #1, Historical Fiction

For those who love Pride and Prejudice as I do, I need only say that this book tells the same story from Mr. Darcy’s point of view.  Of course, I simply had to read it.

I’m happy to report that Pamela Aidan carries it off beautifully.  She did a fine job of showing us Mr. Darcy’s growing fascination with Elizabeth Bennet.  We see him trying to separate his friend Mr. Bingley from Jane partly so he can stay away from Elizabeth.

The only frustrating part is that the story is separated into three parts.  This first one only brings us through the ball at Netherfield and Darcy and Bingley’s departure to London.  Of course, Pamela Aiden could use Jane Austen’s own dialogue for any scenes that were straight out of Pride and Prejudice.  However, she weaves these scenes seamlessly into inventions of her own, filling the time when Mr. Darcy is off-stage from the other book.

As soon as I finished this book, I got on Amazon and ordered the next.  Book 3 is supposed to come out in “late 2004,” so I hope maybe I can order it when I’ve finished Book 2.  Pride and Prejudice fans, you really should try this book!  I’m not going so far as to say that it’s as good as the original, but it is a delightful complement to a great book.

Reviews of the other books in the trilogy:
Duty and Desire
These Three Remain

Reviews of books by Jane Austen:
Pride and Prejudice
Northanger Abbey

Reviews of books related to Jane Austen:
Flirting with Pride and Prejudice, edited by Jennifer Crusie
A Jane Austen Education, by William Deresiewicz
Sense and Sensibility, by Joanna Trollope
Northanger Abbey, by Val McDermid
Emma, by Alexander McCall Smith
Austenland, by Shannon Hale
Midnight in Austenland, by Shannnon Hale
Jane Austen in Scarsdale, by Paula Marantz Cohen
Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen, by Fay Weldon
Jane and the Man of the Cloth, by Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Wandering Eye, by Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Prisoner of Wool House, by Stephanie Barron
Jane and the Ghosts of Netley,
by Stephanie Barron
Death Comes to Pemberley, by P. D. James
Pride and Prescience, by Carrie A. Bebris
Suspense and Sensibility, by Carrie A. Bebris
North by Northanger, by Carrie A. Bebris
The Jane Austen Book Club, by Karen Joy Fowler
For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund
Keeping the Castle, by Patrice Kindl
First Impressions, by Marilyn Sachs

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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