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Mr. Darcy's daughters : a novel
Elizabeth Aston
Adult Fiction ASTON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

This sequel to Pride and Prejudice from first-time novelist Aston reads more like a beach book for historical fiction fans than a literary homage to Austen's masterpiece. The novel is set in 1818, when Mr. and Mrs. Darcy (nee Elizabeth Bennett) have gone on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople and left their five daughters in London with Darcy's cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam and his wife. Bossy Letitia and rebellious Camilla, the two eldest girls at 21 and 19, look forward to London's social whirl; the youngest, 16-year-old Althea, has an opportunity to study voice with an Italian master musician; and 17-year-old twins Georgina and Belle can't wait to flirt and break hearts. But the young country ladies "need to keep their wits well about them" in the city; pitfalls abound, suitors come calling and soon the Darcy girls-especially the mischievous Camilla, who "had too much of a sense of humour, too witty a tongue and too clever a mind"-are raising eyebrows and incurring the censure of some powerful Londoners. Aston attempts to imitate Austen's style, with little success-the prose is stilted and anachronistic ("it would be very fortunate if we were to find a suitable young man for Letitia. To help her get over Tom's loss, you know, and give her thoughts a new direction"). The daughters' personalities are drawn in broad, predictable strokes, and the romantic plot feels contrived and overly drawn out. Despite the curiosity factor, even Austen fans will likely give this a miss, perhaps turning instead to Emma Tennant's superior Austen sequels (Pemberley, etc.). (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A generation after Pride and Prejudice, the five daughters of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy arrive in London to stay with cousins while their parents are on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople. We follow the romantic and marital travails of the two eldest daughters, Letty and Camilla; the spirited 17-year-old twins, Georgina and Belle; and the youngest, Alethea. Meanwhile, crises such as the reappearance of Letty's fiance, presumed dead, and Georgina's elopement to Paris keep scandal seekers engaged. However, Camilla's story holds central place as she slowly acknowledges her attraction to her cousin's fiance, Wytton. Distancing the sequel from its predecessor allows British novelist Aston to use some original characters, such as Caroline Bingley, without resurrecting them all. Despite the availability of numerous published sequels to Pride and Prejudice and dozens of revisions and extensions on various web sites, it is hard to imagine that devout Austen fans will find them truly satisfying; still, this one comes as close as any. Those who enjoy Austen without reverence will certainly enjoy Aston's work, as will historical fiction readers who want an engaging plot and characters regardless of previous literary incarnations.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ., Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Camilla
Age: 19
Sensible; plain; smart; staying in London with her cousins.

Age: 21
Beautiful; dour; her fiance was lost in the war three years earlier and is presumed dead.

Age: 17
Shallow; interested in fashion and men.

Age: 17
Shallow; interested in fashion and men.

Age: 16
Youngest sister; headstrong; devoted to her music.

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