Christmas Awards 2011

Friday, 20 July 2007

Old Friends and New Fancies

Sybil G. Brinton/Old Friends and New Fancies/Sourcebooks/377pages/ ISBN 13:978-1-4022-0888-1/ US $14.95/Can$19.95/ Uk£7.95/ written in 1913

This absorbing book is the first sequel ever to Jane Austen’s novels. Although it takes Elizabeth (Mrs Darcy) as one of it’s principle characters it brings together many other characters from Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park and Northhanger Abbey, as well as Mrs Jane Bingley, and Miss Kitty Bennett. The characters are as delightful as ever they were, the humour nicely balanced and the plots bear similarities to many woven into the original Austen novels; though never mirror images they are familiar enough in tone and temperament to satisfy those who can never get enough of Miss Austen’s work. While Kitty is not Marianne, she is plunged into a situation not far different from that of poor Miss Dashwood when she believed herself loved, but with far less reason, and far less suffering; her sensibilities recover quite quickly once she returns to Mrs Bingley’s house and receives the flattering attention of Mr Moorland.

Sequels will always arouse controversy, because some people love them and others do not approve. However, I found this a charming read and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. I would give it five red roses. Morna

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