Tuesday, September 21, 2010
In The Arms Of Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan
Devotees of Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice will be interested to see what author Sharon Lathan has done with these characters in her sequel book, In The Arms Of Mr. Darcy. Lathan has written several books in this series; Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One; Loving Mr. Darcy: Journey Beyond Pemberley and My Dearest Mr. Darcy.
In this edition, the reader visits the Darcy's the winter after their son and the heir to Pemberley has been born. Both parents dote on their newborn, as do all their relatives and friends. Although it is considered a bit strange that Elizabeth chooses to nurse her son rather than employ a wet nurse, no one dares to voice any surprise that the fond parents want to see to their son's care themselves.
In addition to the relationship between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, there are others who are entering the courts of love. Darcy's sister Georgina is entering her debutant days, as is Kitty Bennett, Elizabeth's sister. We see them at a splendid ball, and get a sense of the manners and norms of courting. Darcy's good friend, Richard, home from the military, has fallen in love with a widow and asks Darcy's advice. There are other relationships that develop, some surprising in their intensity and some remaining safely contained in the shoals of society's strictures.
The reader is transported to the start of the Industrial Revolution in England. It is a land of titled nobles and servants and a group of professionals, but most of the power, money and influence is concentrated in a few noble hands. The daily life in large manor houses is amazing for modern readers to contemplate, and Lathan does an excellent job of outlining what such a daily routine consisted of. This book is recommended for readers who loved Austen's work and are interested to see the story continue.