Thursday, March 15, 2012

New Reads:

This week, as part of the book club I'm in at work, we're reading Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. This should come as no surprise to you as I am madly in love with the story of Pride and Prejudice.

 Here's what it's about:

"A rare meeting of literary genius: P.D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen's beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy's magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth's sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy's sister, Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth's disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P.D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it."

I've never read anything by P.D. James prior to this book (mystery isn't a genre I usually get into) but I'm really enjoying it. As a fellow lover of Austen, I feel as though we share a common bond. And the more I read of her work, the more I like her. We are fast becoming good friends. And I read up a little on her too. She is amazing. Seriously. She worked for the British Civil Service for over 30 years. She was a magistrate and governor of the BBC. She's written over 18 novels. She's won the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature. She's received honorary degrees from seven British universities and became a baroness in 1991. She was president of the Society of Authors and was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame. And she has eight great-grandchildren. I mean come on, what a great life. I'm jealous.

And for those of you that have been keeping track of my goal to read 56 books this year, the list now reads:
  1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
  2. Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned from Judy Blume
  3. The Sweet Far Thing
  4. Interview with a Vampire
  5. The Tales of Beetle the Bard
  6. Spud
  7. The Secret History
  8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  9. A Discovery of Witches

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