Thursday, April 14, 2005

Review: Pride and Prescience

Light and fluffy, this book is nothing more than another addition to the genre that takes existing literary characters and plops them down in new situations. Books like Grendel, which retells the Beowulf legend from the point of view of the monster, or The Wide Sargasso Sea, which tells the story of Jane Eyre from the point of view of Rochester's mad wife, are good examples.

Pride and Prescience takes things in quite a different direction, however, as it starts after the wedding scene that ends Pride and Prejudice and takes the characters through a mysterious adventure. Probably only interesting to Jane Austen fans or fans of the original book, it is engrossing enough to keep you reading. I must say that for me the mystery was secondary to the byplay between the characters in the book.

At one point I did feel a little ill-used because the series obviously plays on the fascination that I and many others have for Jane Austen's characters. There are chinks where the modernity of the author peeks through, but if you're reading the book in earnest and wilfully suspending your disbelief like a good little audience, you'll be willing to ignore them.

I knocked this one out in less than a day and would recommend it to anyone else looking for some nice brain candy. I've already got its sequel, Suspense and Sensibility, in my reading queue.

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