Marine biologist Cassie Boulton considers Pride and Prejudice to be her favorite book, but Cassie has no patience when a modern-day Mr. Darcy appears in her lab. Calder Westing III doesn’t seem to offer anything more than famous family name, but he can’t get enough of Cassie Boulton. Frustrated by Cassie’s evasions, Calder tells her about his feelings the only way she’ll let him-by rewriting her favorite book, with the two of them in the roles of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. The ending, though, is up to Cassie.
Truth be told, I was all ready to fall in love with this “modern love story, Pride and Prejudice style” right up until the point where Cassie gets her hands on a copy of Pride and Presumption, Calder’s retelling of Austen’s beloved classic. His retelling is just awful — a watered down version of Pemberley by Sea — even though it’s supposed to be by an acclaimed author. If your character is going to be a prize-winning author, their material needs to at least sound like something that would fly off the shelves, let alone read like an award-winning novel.
And as the story continued, the plot became even more frustrating and less unique, the character development ceased, and politics became the main subject, which left me wondering what had happened. I loved the beginning and most of the middle, especially the spark between Cassie and Calder and Calder himself, and could totally see it as a retelling that still had its own charms. But by the last few chapters, I was ready for Pemberley by the Sea to be over.
- Reynolds, Abigail. Pemberley by the Sea. New York: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2008. Originally published 2007. Print. 432 pgs. ISBN: 9781402213564. Source: PaperBackSwap.