Book Review: Georgiana Darcy’s Diary by Anna Elliott (Four Stars)


Book Review: Georgiana Darcy’s Diary: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice Continued (Pride and Prejudice Chronicles #1) by Anna Elliott

(Three Stars)

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young lady of rank and property will have packs of money- or land-hungry suitors yapping around her heels like hounds after a fox.”

On my second reading, I got a totally different impression and therefore have awarded a higher rating. A better-than-average attempt to continue the story Jane Austen began in Pride and Prejudice. Many original characters return with little development; the reader is assumed to already know them. The dénouement is as inevitable as the original.

“I knew I would never in three hundred years work up the nerve for a dramatic confrontation of that kind. Or if I did, I would stand there, red-faced and stammering trying to think of the perfect retort. Which would probably come to me at three o’clock the following morning.”

The characterization of new cast seems deeper and the action and dialogue more true to Austen. What changed? Last month I re-read Pride and Prejudice, so Austen’s original was more vivid in my mind. Suggest readers do likewise before starting this novel. (The television adaptations are not suitable substitutes for Austen’s original words.) Elliott grounds her tale more firmly in the time and place of 1814 England.

“It was completely by accident that I found out. Well, accident and eavesdropping. Though I truly did not mean to overhear.”

Recommended only for diehard Austen fans, and they avoid the spoiler laden should not read the Author’s Note. A touch of humor, but not nearly so deftly presented as Jane.

“I felt a qualm about my heart at that, for fear he was going to propose. I do like him very much. But I don’t love him at all. Of course, my aunt would say that is no reason whatsoever to refuse a man’s proposal. Marriage has little or nothing to do with love.”

Modernisms still sneak in but, with one exception, they don’t break the spell of the story. Revealing that exception would be a spoiler. The attentive reader will detect it and understand why Elliott resorted to it.

“What do I want? What I can’t have—I suppose like most of us in this world.”