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Julia Barrett has written a perfectly splendid completion to Jane Austen's incomplete novel and has accomplished it with due respect to Miss Austen's sensibilities and style. Having read a number of novels based on Austen characters, I think this one comes closest to the feel of Austen. It is obvious that Ms. Barrett did historical research and read the authors who Miss Austen admired and used to school her own efforts.
Miss Heywood is a lively, well read, witty as well as beautiful woman. I can detect bits of Elizabeth Bennet, Elinor Dashwood as well as Emma Woodhouse in her makeup. Perhaps she can be described as a hardworking and more serious Catherine Moreland. All Austen heroines are prone to error. Miss Heywood's is a propensity for occasionally forming judgments a bit hasty and sometimes voicing her opinions at particularly inopportune moments.
The Mr. Darcy of the story is Mr. Sidney Parker, a dashing, rich, man about town who finds great amusement in the foibles and follies of his brothers and sisters. This led Miss Heywood to form a mistaken image of his character. He almost allowed disaster to overtake his family until he came to understand the danger and took the steps that a resolute hero must take if he is to sweep the leading lady off her feet and carry her off. Yes, I enjoyed this book and its quirky minor characters typical of an Austen novel. Even Austen purists should be happy.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Jane Austen's books are not for everyone, but for those who love them, they are incomparable. This book, while written in the style of the period, and even perhaps in Austen's style, was a huge, huge, huge bore. It was such a complete waste of my time, that I felt compelled to write this review to spare other Austen-lovers the same fate. After six hours of waiting for a likeable character to show up, or even some evidence of a PLOT instead of just a setting, I gave up and deleted the file from my library.
19 of 22 people found this review helpful