Each month I want to revisit some of my past reviews. One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.
Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!
With few exceptions, I am not a fan of Austen-wannabe novels. Very few capture the voice, spirit or essence of Jane Austen's beloved characters.
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll
Mr. Darcy takes a wife, indeed. He takes her again and again and again. I couldn't even finish this travesty of a novel. It was sex, sex and oh, more sex...I am so glad I didn't purchase this book, as it saved me the trouble of getting a refund.
This book didn't even warrant a rating. I labeled it as "not shelf worthy" on Goodreads.
None But You/For You Alone by Susan Kaye
I can't picture this Captain Wentworth. While None But You captures his voice better than For You Alone, this man is not Jane Austen's captain. This man references that while he visited prostitutes, he thought about Anne. And, when Anne finally accepts him, this Captain Wentworth has no problems running away with her and getting married in some inn and spending his honeymoon night with her in the sordid room left vacant by the inn's working girl. This is wrong on so many levels.
If you want to read about Captain Wentworth, read the original Persuasion and draw your own conclusions as to his actions and frame of mind. Don't bother with this drivel.
The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet by Colleen McCullough
Terrifically disappointing...While Colleen McCullough, thankfully, doesn't try to be Jane Austen, I think she seriously misses the boat when it comes to these characters. Anyone who has read Pride and Prejudice has their own ideas as to who Mr. Darcy is and how he acts, just as they have pictures in their minds of Elizabeth and her sisters. Even understanding that, I cannot envision these characters where McCullough has placed them, 20 years after Darcy and Elizabeth's marriage. It just didn't work for me.
The title is a bit misleading, because it's as much about Darcy and Elizabeth as it is about Mary. I found it to be more of an annoying, social commentary on the mistreatment of the poor than I did to be a truly interesting Pride and Prejudice sequel.
...I find it hard to see Mr. Darcy involved with people who would murder for him, regardless of whether he asked them to or not. I also don't see him separating the Bennet sisters because of their potential threat to his reputation. In Pride and Prejudice, he helps sort out Lydia and Wickham's situation because of his love for Elizabeth, not because of the damage they could do to his reputation.
...Overall, this book is not something I can recommend to people who are fans of Pride and Prejudice. Obviously, Ms. McCullough is not and as she has so eloquently stated she wanted to "tweak the noses of the literati". Well, I think most die hard Austen fans would say she accomplished that goal.
What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?