During a visit to an eighteenth-century Georgian country home located in Derbyshire named Montclair, Maggie Joyce is told that the former owners of Montclair, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, were the inspiration for Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet while Montclair inspired Darcy’s beautiful home, Pemberley. As a twenty-two-year-old American living in postwar London, Maggie is on a quest to see as much of England as she possibly can and is now on a quest to find out if the rumors are true.
I don’t always read the back cover of books, particularly when the book has to do with Mr. Darcy. I guess I should change that because Simonsen’s novel wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I probably would not have picked up the novel had I actually known more about it.
I was completely overwhelmed by how much information I was supposed to learn in the first hundred pages. So how the transfer of knowledge from the characters (and, thus the author) did not work. Even though World War II is one of my interests, I found it hard to focus on that aspect of this novel when I was also supposed to be learning about the Laceys.
The plot of Jane Austen using a real life family for her most famous fictional characters could have been really interesting. But, once again, the transfer of information about the part failed to work for me. I thought it was incredibly strange that Beth and Jack Crowell, people with ties to the Lacey family and Montclair, would refer to the Laceys by their fictitious names as they explained the family history of the Laceys.
(Note: Pemberley Remembered was released as Searching for Pemberley with about 40 percent new information and a new focus on Maggie’s romances, according to the author.)
- Simonsen, Mary Lydon. Pemberley Remembered. TRC Castle Garden Publishing, 2007. Print. 444 pgs. ISBN: 9780979893308. Source: PaperBackSwap.