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Who can forget the misunderstandings and obsessions of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice? For a juxtaposition of satire and childlike attitudes were always prevalent in all of Austen's novels, and it is in that spirit that Emma Hox reformulates the story within this very famous novel.
Longbourn's Unexpected Matchmaker poses a new plot involving the provocative Colonel Fitzwilliam, who plays matchmaker in a style not always appreciated by Darcy and Elizabeth, two characters who much more open to understand and give second chances than they were in their original birthplace within Austen's famous novel. Conversations galore on literature, marriage and social class fill these pages in between the courtships and solving of major and minor debacles, but the ending is definitely a "They lived happily ever after." One relationship does not turn out so well at all and its resolution is the only one that is credible and upsetting for sure.
This is a "nice" novel, for those who want a story without any heart-rending or tension-ridden conflicts. While it attempts the Austen style and succeeds in many ways, this book indeed makes any reader of Austen very much aware of how dynamic was the latter's style and just what she was attempting to accomplish besides just telling an appealing story.
How strong do you like your portrayal of reality, especially in looking back to another historical period? The reader must decide and perhaps not decide at all but enjoy two very diversely plotted scenarios of similar but different characters.
Interestingly crafted, Ms. Hox!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on April 2, 2010