In an ambitious project, author Linda Berdoll tries to, and does, an amazing job of writing a befitting sequel to the ever-popular Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. The story picks up right where the original novel ended, with Miss Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy getting married. As a bride, Elizabeth gradually learns of the delights of the connubial bed and slowly but surely a deep bond develops between her and Darcy, and this journey is fascinating to read about, filled with erotic encounters, villains and such.
At the same time, readers are given a fascinating glimpse into what exactly motivates Darcy and the circumstances of his past which helped shape him into the introspective and outwardly cold man. Other continuing characters also get their share of the limelight. Jane and Mr. Bingleyís marriage is different from the passionate one that Lizzy and Darcy share, but they too go through their share of upheaval. Mr. Collins and Charlotte, Wickham and Lydia, Mr. and Mrs. Bennett Ė the author incorporates them all, and introduces many interesting new ones.
Devoted fans of Jane Austenís Pride and Prejudice are advised to keep an open mind about reading this novel. This is not Jane Austen of a bygone, refined era, but rather Linda Berdoll, a writer of today, whoís continuing Austenís legendary story and as such brings her own style of flirty and fresh approach to the saga. That said, in its present form this story is equally robust and appealing on various points. Berdollís imagination knows no bounds, and while Lizzy and Darcyís amatory exploits may put a startled blush on an unsuspecting readerís cheeks, the intertwined elements of danger, suspense and adventure add an unexpected edge to this otherwise very romantic story. By turns passionate, bawdy, witty, audacious, dreamy, heartrending and entertaining, Berdollís narrative holds to the principal tenets of Austenís work while taking a look beyond the microcosmic doings at Longbourn and Pemberley, at the brewing war with Napoleon and other societal goings-on of that particular era. In short, with this book, Linda Berdoll proves herself to be a worthy novelist, and her continuation of Austenís evergreen tale will live long in readersí memories, perhaps even as long as the original.