Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summer Reads 2

I don't especially like writing bad reviews of books. I generally just don't comment, but since I told you in my summer reads post last week I would let you know what I thought about Eligible, the new rendition of Pride and Prejudice, I will keep my word. I didn't care for it.

One of the things I love about Jane Austen is that she plants her characters solidly in a world where there is objective right and wrong and forces those fictional people to face up to their foibles in such a delightful way we can't help but laugh. However, when her characters come face to face with themselves in the mirror, they acknowledge their flaws (at least the character we love do), humble themselves, make amends where they need to be made, and change their behavior. When the hero gets heroine or heroine gets hero, I am delighted because they've earned that happy ending.

Sittenfeld drops the Bennett family down in a world without objective truth as a boundary. There is no objective right or wrong, and thus there are no consequences for poor choices, and therefore no need for redemption. In the end all the couples are matched up appropriately, but I didn't feel any satisfaction that they deserved one another. Or perhaps they did.

I'm not a fan.

More Letters from Pemberley was much more to my liking. In this sequel from Letters to Pemberley, (which I haven't seen) Jane Dawkins gives readers a window into about seven years of Lizzy's life with Darcy through letters Lizzy writes to her sisters and aunt. An enjoyable read that keeps the characters firmly grounded in Austen's world.

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