Jun 012018
 

An Early Pride and Prejudice Sequel About Georgiana

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Friend

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Sequel

TIME FRAME: 2 years after the close of Pride and Prejudice

SYNOPSIS: It is time for Georgiana’s debut into society and even though she is a wealthy heiress that has reached a marriageable age, Georgiana is understandably wary about her own powers of discernment and the false flattery or possible insincerity of her suitors. While she has no pressing inducements to marry, Georgiana would be willing to if the right man came along. Is that man a charming navy captain that Lady Catherine is trying to persuade to marry Anne? Or is he the young architect who isn’t afraid to boldly challenge and disagree with Georgiana? Or is he someone else altogether?

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Georgiana Darcy: I love that this story shines a spotlight on Georgiana a little, and that she is a decisive young woman who has grown wiser and more confident. In addition, after observing Elizabeth’s saucy and impudent remarks to her husband, Georgiana has developed a penchant for impertinent speech herself! (Some readers may need to suspend their disbelief a little.) I enjoyed this less timid and meek Georgiana. I love that she isn’t in a hurry to marry and cares more about supporting and spending time with her brother and sister. And I admire Georgiana’s ability to speak her mind. Especially when she goes toe-to-toe with Lady Catherine!
  • New Characters: Several new male characters are featured in this sequel and they all were interesting and well-crafted additions. My favorite new characters were James Leigh-Cooper, who is the outspoken and talented architect hired to improve Pemberley and Mr. Beasley, who is Mr. Collins’ new curate that is a great deal less conceited and obsequious. However, I also enjoyed encountering Mr. Darcy’s godfather, Sir Geoffrey Portland, and seeing if Elizabeth could win his approval. It looks like Lady C has effectively influenced Sir Geoffrey’s opinion against Mr. Darcy’s new bride.
  • A Clever Tie-In: I think it is great fun that the authors borrowed an actual situation from Jane Austen’s life and added it to this sequel. What a lovely homage that only devoted Janeites would pick up on! While some may say it is a little implausible, I don’t think it is. After all, it did happen to someone in Jane Austen’s family! And the authors chose their character and situation well.
  • Brave and Reverent: This is a sequel published in 1993 and while it is hard not to, it really shouldn’t be compared to the Austenesque literature that is published today. It is pre-Colin Firth, Darcy-mania, and online forums! These authors are somewhat early pioneers of the genre, and at the time they were writing these stories, many readers felt authors writing in Jane Austen’s tone and about Jane Austen’s characters was sacrilege. I greatly appreciate the bravery it took to write this story, as well as the careful and reverential treatment of Jane Austen’s characters.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • Focus and Arc: I kind of wished this sequel focused more on Georgiana throughout the novel. There were several smaller plot lines developing throughout, and sometimes we’d go a few chapters without checking in with her. I’m not usually one to mind multiple plot lines and perspectives, but I guess the story arcs in this sequel felt a little jumbled. And the time away from Georgiana made me feel less connected to her story. In addition, while the other plot lines were enjoyable they weren’t as engrossing as Georgiana’s.
  • Pacing: The exposition of this story was beautifully done and all the characters, conflicts, and story-lines were brilliantly introduced, but then there were some slower-moving chapters followed by an abruptly-paced conclusion. I loved all the exciting action that occurred towards the end, I just wish it was more drawn out. Especially Georgiana’s romantic developments.

CONCLUSION:

Presumption is a delightful and diverting Pride and Prejudice sequel that is worthy of merit! While the focus of this sequel is not Mr. Darcy’s marriage with Elizabeth, this story delivers a satisfying and entertaining visit with the other beloved friends from Jane Austen’s masterpiece!

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  16 Responses to “Presumption: An Entertainment – Julia Barrett”

  1.  

    It was my first austenesque reading so I remember well how I enjoyed this story. I agree with you about the bravery Julia Barrett had writing this sequel when JAFF didn’t exist yet 🙂
    I know what you’re talking about when saying Barrett pays a “homage ” with situations only Janeites would find out and I think very plausible because of the characters involved 😉
    Have a great weekend, my friend!

    •  

      Aw! Lovely. Yes, our first ones are always special, aren’t they? I can only imagine how hard it must have been.

      Absolutely! The character involved with that scenario made such perfect sense, wasn’t hard to believe at all!

  2.  

    Team Georgiana! Both my library networks have it so I might give it go. Thanks!!!!!!

  3.  

    Beautiful review Meredith. Thanks for hosting this book and for sharing it with us. Say hello to Mr. Bingley for me.

  4.  

    Neat that you found an older one and it introduced a sassy Georgie and some new characters to love in the architect and curate. Good to know that the plot threads can get confusing. I’ll have to watch for this one.
    Great review, Meredith!

    •  

      It wasn’t that the plot was confusing, it was more that the too much time would pass between the plot threads. I know I’m not articulating it well, sorry. It’s like several chapters were all about plot line B and then we went back to plot line A, and I kept feeling like “oh yeah, what has been happening with all those characters all this time?” Hope that makes more sense!

  5.  

    I remember reading this one early in my JAFF adventures as it was available through my library (as were many books by Abigail Reynolds, my first major JAFF author whose books I read assiduously!). I quite liked it, but I agree that the pacing was a bit start-and-stoppish. 😉

    Thanks, Meredith!! I may have to go back and re-read this one!!

    Warmly,
    Susanne 🙂

    •  

      That’s so wonderful that many readers have heard of read this earlier work! I really enjoyed the plot and conflicts the authors came up with, I just think they needed to smooth out the flow and pacing a bit.

  6.  

    A thoughtful and reflective review, Meredith. You commented well both on the novel’s good points and on its flaws. I read this book many years ago – I still have it on my bookshelf – and I loved it.

    I think you make a really good point about the way JAFF has developed since this novel was published, and how back then JA’s writing was considered sacrosanct and not to be tampered with! Thank goodness that attitude has changed so much since then. And yes, the author was brave to attempt it back then, with all the disapproval that could potentially be caused!

    I too will have to reread it sometime!

    •  

      Thank you, Elaine! It is sometimes hard for me to describe what “doesn’t work,” I struggled a little bit with that in this review.

      I’m so relieved that the attitude has changed! Writers who share these kind of stories aren’t trying “to be” Jane Austen and most of them aren’t just using her name and characters to make bank. They are sharing their love of her characters and world.

  7.  

    Yes, this was my first JAFF book too that I found after watching the 1995 adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice” which I had never read! Let me tell you I did after that. This book will always hold a special place in my heart. You are absolutely right when you said they were ‘brave’. I am so glad they were!

    •  

      Me too! How lovely that you have it as your first! It definitely is a good choice and I’m glad it led you on the path to discover and enjoy more Austenesque!

  8.  

    I love the concept for the plot. Nothing is more exciting than being of that age and entertaining a suitor, especially when I can enjoy it vicariously.

  9.  

    Thanks for sharing your review with us.

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