Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
TYPE OF NOVEL: Pride and Prejudice Sequel, Secondary Character
TIME FRAME: Begins a few years after the close of P&P
SYNOPSIS: Now that Georgiana is of age, it is time for her to enter into fashionable society and hopefully meet a man with whom she could be happy. And even though Mr. Darcy is much preoccupied with managing his new estate in Scotland, he arranges for Georgiana to spend some time with friends in Kent and then later travel to Bath with the Bingleys. Through these travels Georgiana encounters many new acquaintances and learns the pleasures and plights of being a young, beautiful, and accomplished woman from a wealthy family.
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Heroine We Can Admire: I really enjoyed Alice Isakova’s portrayal of Georgiana Darcy – she isn’t too timid, overly confident, or a flighty flirt. She isn’t a picture of perfection and she makes some errors in judgment. Even though Georgiana is more cautious and wiser after her experiences with Mr. Wickham, juggling suitors and trying to discern people’s true natures presents challenges for her. I enjoyed seeing how how Georgiana handled both unwanted suitors and jealous rivals. Her level-headedness, kind heart, and proper deportment make her a character worthy of our admiration and attention.
- And Anne Too: For the first half of this book we see Anne de Bourgh share the spotlight with Georgiana. I was exceptionally happy to see Anne fleshed out more and to learn of Anne’s romantic nature and wishes. Since Anne’s freedoms and experiences in society are so limited, it was interesting to see her interact with others her age and take part in some social events. Yay for Anne!
- A Bevy of Suitors: Between all the newcomers in Kent (a curate, a physician, and a wealthy family of four) and the society of Bath there was a vast array of new characters for our dear ladies to encounter. There are some who may not be all they appear to be, some who are a bit ridiculous, and some who are most worthy. My compliments go to Ms. Isakova for not only creating so many diverse and intriguing characters, but for making them all memorable and well-drawn.
- Context and Details: Whether it is descriptions of the games played at a house party or the sights one sees at Sydney Gardens and the Pump Room, Ms. Isakova made sure to provide enough detail and historical context to help inform modern reader unfamiliar with the time period. I appreciate her research and attention to period accuracy. With such a backdrop full of detail it is easy to imagine what these scenes and events looked like.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- Some Disjointedness: Part of me felt that since Anne shared the spotlight so much in the first half of the story, it felt odd for her to be barely mentioned in the second half. And since the first half of this story takes place primarily in Kent and the second half takes place in Bath it did create a little sense of disjointedness or disconnecting arcs as there were different central characters in each part of the book.
- Some Quick Developments: A few parts of the story/relationships did develop rather rapidly, and some did feel a tad implausible – John Villers we are looking at you. 🤨
Georgiana Darcy by Alice Isakova is a thoughtful and engaging Pride and Prejudice sequel that fleshes out some of Jane Austen’s secondary characters with skill and reverence. It was enjoyable to see how, similar to her brother, Georgiana’s path to a happily-ever-after is not simple or short. A delightful debut from Alice Isakova, I look forward to more!