Pemberley by Emma Tennant

pemberleyThere’s something about Tennant’s belief that Elizabeth would never be able to repay Mr. Darcy for his kindness, for marrying her that never settled right with me. Headstrong, wity Elizabeth spends quite a bit of time lamenting over this fact, and therefore struggles to actually communicate with Darcy, which seems completely out of her character for her to do so.

Similar to Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, Elizabeth struggles to conceive a child, a heir for Mr. Darcy and she also falls under the belief that Darcy has fathered a son with another woman. However, unlike Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife, I did not find myself falling right into Lizzy’s suspicion of Darcy; I struggled to follow the swing of her emotions and hate Darcy one minute and then love him the next. Very little is actually seen of Darcy in Pemberley; he runs off to Matlock, London in order to, apparently, avoid the wife he loves so dearly.

Tennant did a decent job recreating Jane Austen’s style in this novel. Overall, she also managed to capture how a gathering of the Bennets, Catherine de Bourgh, the Wickhams, etc., would unfold — disaster after disaster.

Book Mentioned:

  • Tennant, Emma. Pemberley, Or Pride and Prejudice Continued. New York: St. Martin’s, 1993. Print. 184 pgs. ISBN: 9780312107932. Source: Library.
Book Cover © St. Martin’s Press. Retrieved: March 22, 2009.

Sunday Salon: Random

This morning started out very leisurely as I spent the morning finishing Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult outside in the hammock. I was planning be very lazy today and spend the rest of today outside curled up with a, hopefully, good book with a possible stop at the library.

I did make it to the library — and out with seven books — but on the way home, my mother and I received a call from the realtor saying someone wanted to see our house. Right now. Running around like crazy people, we managed to shove my stack of books (and my mom’s)  into drawers and get the house spic-and-span before going for a long, hot walk in the neighborhood. Now, onto books…

In case you missed it, the aptly named Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-Thon has been set for Saturday, April 18th, which is the same night as my prom. And while I could be a cheerleader, I’m afraid I’m going to be a bit to busy getting ready for “the best night of my life.” I had hoped to participate this year, but I guess it wasn’t in the cards for me. Bummer.

The Orange Prize for Fiction’s longlist was announced just this past week, and I’m proud to say I at least own one of the bo0ks on the list — American Wife by Curtis Sittenfield. Good thing it’s on my list for the Spring Reading Thing — a challenge I wasn’t originally planning on joining, but one I’m making good progress on.

I had a wonderful time in Tampa and Naples, Florida. The beach was great; I was able to get in a lot of good nature shots on long walks on the beach. My favorite part, though, had to be playing tug-o-war with a tiger at Busch Gardens.

The Sunday Salon:

The Sunday The Sunday Salon encourages bloggers to get together –at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones– every Sunday and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on each other’s blogs. Salon participants are encouraged to blog about their time spent reading, pages read, information about current reading, discuss a reaction to a book, state what they plan to read the following week, or make suggestions for a group read.

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

vanishing-acts1Delia Hopkins has lead a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her beloved, widowed father, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance, and her own search-and-rescue bloodhound, which she uses to find missing persons. But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can’t recall until a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a secret about herself that changes the world as she knows it — and threatens to jeopardize her future.

Picoult knows how to weave a story, how to keep me guessing about her characters’ motives and feelings. I love how detail oriented she is; you can tell she’s done her research on whatever the topic is: Native American folktales, prison life, journalism, etc. However, this one had too much detail. I felt like the character of Ruthann, Delia’s neighbor in Arizona, was entirely unnecessary, and her Native American culture was both boring and distracting from the overall story. And the switch from Andrew/Charles talking to his daughter in his narrative of the story to just a plain, third-person narrative also annoyed me. I like how he spoke to Delia, how he spoke to the reader, so this stylistic change was not something I agreed with.

“Does it really matter why I did it? By now you’ve already formed your own impression. You believe that an act committed a lifetime ago defines a man, or you believe that a person’s past has nothing to do with his future. You think I am either a hero, or a monster. Maybe knowing more about the circumstances will make you think differently about me, but it won’t change what happened twenty-eight years ago.” (pg. 52)

I’ve never noticed similar her novels are as other book bloggers and friends have notice — Melissa, a friend who introduced me to Picoult’s books, now refuses to read any more of her novels because she believes every single on has the same story, characters, and style — until I read this book. Vanishing Acts is remarkably similar in structure and characterization to My Sister’s Keeper. The story pivots on a single character who is rarely seen but whose weakness is jeopardizes the relationships and lives of an entire group of characters. There are overly wise children. Vanishing Acts does, however, retain the charm of Picoult’s novels, and contains little gems of knowledge that resonated with me and messed perfectly with the story.

“Sometimes, when you don’t ask questions, it’s not because you are afraid that someone will lie to your face. It’s because you’re afraid they’ll tell you the truth.” (pg. 83)

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Picoult, Jodi. Vanishing Acts. New York: Washington Square, 2005. Print. 415 pgs. ISBN: 9780743454551. Source: PaperBackSwap.
Book Cover © Washington Square Press. Retrieved: March 22, 2009.