Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Searching for Pemberley by Mary Lydon Simonsen... A Review

Could Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice have been Inspired by a Real Love Story...

Join Maggie Joyce as she searches for the answers...

Searching for Pemberly by Mary Lydon Simonsen is wonderful historical fiction! Filled with romance, history and the mystery behind the real life characters of Pride & Prejudice. Instead of reinventing Pride & Prejudice into a different story, Mary Lydon Simonsen gives us Maggie Joyce, a girl who loves Jane Austen, who happens to be working in London and has "stumbled upon a rumor that Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was based on the lives of a real couple."

What could be more fun then solving the age old question of who the real Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy are?! Just after World War II, a young Maggie Joyce, a Jane Austen fan, has just graduated from business school and leaves her coal town in Pennsylvania for office work in Washington, DC. The time just after the war was a dark and dreary time, similar in some respects to the world that Jane Austen writes about in her novel Pride & Prejudice, and we can see the connection that Maggie Joyce has with Jane's work. When it's time to move on, we see a little spark of adventure in Maggie as she travels to work first in Germany and then finally in London, England, home to her heroine Jane Austen! It's here where the story really begins... With a tour of what is thought to be Pemberly and the rumors of the real life love story that Pride & Prejudice was based on!

Although this is fiction, you just can't stop yourself from wishing that all that Maggie uncovers is the truth behind the actual romance between "Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy". The story is so well thought out that it is quite believable. Through correspondence and long forgotten diaries & letters Maggie finds, we are propelled into the mystery ourselves! The writing is good, the research done to stay true to the times is evident, and of course the characters are likable and believable. A very unique take in what is a large number of Jane Austen inspired books, Searching for Pemberley is a wonderful story. I so enjoyed this book! And if you are a Jane fan, you will enjoy it too! Mary Lydon Simonsen treats us to a leisurely paced story! Like enjoying a steeping cup of tea, you slowly breathe it all in. Maggie doesn't uncover anything earth shattering, but what Mary Lydon Simonsen uncovers is a story that will keep your interest! A wonderful mystery, a nice heap of romance, and this all adds up to a book well worth any Jane Austen fans' time. Thank you to Danielle of Sourcebooks for this wonderful review copy! The story was more than I could have hoped for!

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