Why don’t we see names like Percival Oliphant or Headborough Brownrigg anymore? In “Death Comes to Pemberley” by P. D. James, we are transported back to names such as these and to Pemberly where the Darcy’s are enjoying parenthood and a happy marriage of six years. Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane, along with her husband and children, live close by. They are preparing for a ball when Lydia, the hussy- sister (you know, she ran away with the scapegrace Wickham) hysterically shows up on the Darcy’s doorstep saying Wickham has been murdered.
So begins a wonderful mystery that unfolds among the gracious grandeur of Pemberly. This story is as close to Jane Austen in style as you can get and still be able to read it quickly. Words you just don’t hear around the water cooler anymore… like vulgar, benison,vouchsafed. Or how about rapprochement, sacrosanct and diatribe? It had me reaching for my dictionary at times. I love when I get exposed to new words.
Alas to my chagrin, Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam take a backseat to many other colorful characters as Ms. James delves in to the lives of servants and the stuffy constabulary. I am a sucker for romance and found this portrayal of the Darcy’s to be a tad boring and too staid compared to the passions of “Pride and Prejudice”. I’m sure Ms. James didn’t want them stealing the show in this one. I enjoyed this book immensely none the less.
It has been a busy weekend. My last book club met and I have begun to shut down my old life here. I took off the library logo on my blog and am playing around with what to put in it’s place. It’s hard to find the right balance. I want something quirky. I give off a serious persona I’m told, but I am anything but. Who wants pompous, stuffy or a site that takes its self too seriously? It is evolving like I am so stay tuned or send me any ideas you have.
I watched the second season of Downton Abbey (yeah-yeah more British stuff) over the weekend and loved every minute of it. It is outstanding and well worth the time so check it out at the library. Maggie Smith steals every scene she’s in. I also had Janet Evanovich’s newest Stephanie Plum novel come in for me. When you have something on hold you have to move it up in your reading queue. Gosh I’m starting to sound British aren’t I? Lovely. Anyway…I am officially retiring the Plum series because I cannot bear to read one more story of hers that ends the same way with the same characters. Eighteen is more than enough, well 17 1/2, I didn’t even find it interesting enough to finish. And what’s with this new trend of having big name authors share the cover with someone unknown? I read Janet’s and Dorien Kelly’s “Love in a Nutshell”. Not impressed. It’s like wanting to see Elvis but getting an impersonator instead. The search for more money maybe?
I also had my last vintage movie night and 16 showed up to watch “The African Queen” and it was even better than I remembered. What chemistry Bogie and Hepburn had! Well I’m plum out of bonmots, so drag out the dictionary and get some cult-cha, and think about reviving the name Percival?