This month's meeting was at Janet's home and she provided us with wonderful appetizers and we had a beautiful and excellent chocolate tart made by Julia! Members present tonight were Beth, Carla, Colette, Janet, Joan, Jolene, Linda, Michèle and Shirley. The book choice this month was Jolene's and we read "Mr. Darcy Presents his Bride" by Helen Halstead.
Ms. Halstead is an Australian author who began by self-publishing this book under the name "A Private Performance". The book was eventually picked up by Ulysses Press and the title was changed.
This story is follows Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" and give the reader an account of Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy's first years of marriage and Elizabeth's entry into London high society. There are several sequels to Jane Austen's book and Jolene brought several for us to peruse: "Mr. Darcy's Decision" by Juliet Shapiro, "Darcy's Passion" by Regina Jaffers, "The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet" by Colleen McCullogh.
Several of our members found the book frustrating and a bit boring. They found that it was difficult to determine who was speaking in the book sometimes. Also many descriptions of the evening balls or dinners were repetitive. Some felt the language was a bit stilted.
However some of our members quite enjoyed the book. They enjoyed the descriptions of the different homes such as Pemberley and the description of the 12th Night Ball. Many members enjoyed reading about what happened after "Pride and Prejudice" to the Bennet's sisters. It was a good easy read.
There was quite a discussion about the lack of development of Mr. Darcy and not enough about the development of their relationship.