Monday, November 11, 2013

Bibliophile - "An Assembly Such as This" by Pamela Aidan

I have always been an avid reader.  As a kid, I would often devour my library books from our weekly trip in a day or two.  In college, and in our DINK {Dual Income No Kids} days, I could usually finish a book a week or more.

Now that I have two little ones, finding time to read is difficult.  I spend the majority of my free moments at the sewing machine or on the computer, and by the time I manage to sit down with a book in the evenings, I can only manage a couple of pages before drifting off to sleep.

Over the years, I've had memberships with a number of audio book companies and I'm finding that I finally have time now to start catching up on all of the titles I've purchased but haven't had time to "read."  My current favorite place for audio books is my local library - although waiting lists for the more popular books can be a bit lengthy but you can't beat the price - and

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Since I feel like I've been having a really hard time finding decent books lately,  I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite books here, just in case you're on the lookout for a great read - or want to know some to avoid like the plague!  I'm always on the lookout for new authors and great books, so I'd love it if you'd like to share your recommendations with me as well!

So, here's today's review!

I'm an avid Jane Austen fan and Pride & Prejudice is my all-time favorite book.  I've read a number of "continuations" and spinoffs, but aside from Linda Berdoll's rather racy version of married life at Pemberly, I haven't found a book that I could really tolerate until this book.

An Assembly Such As This essentially tells Pride & Prejudice from Mr. Darcy's point of view. Most books I've come across that attempt to do the same do nothing more than blatantly plagiarizer the original work, while peppering in a small amount of poorly written dialogue and bits of original narrative, usually in an awkward diary-sort of format.

Luckily, this book does none of the above.  The dialogue and writing are sophisticated enough to not distract from the work, and the author does a great job marrying occurrences from the original plot with a great deal of new material, side story-lines and even a few new characters {gasp!}. 

All-in-all, I'm enjoying my listen, and I've already purchased the next two books in the series.  My one complaint is that the narrator, while good, doesn't quite fit into my idea of the ideal "Mr. Darcy" voice - he's no Colin Firth or Matthew Macfayden.  I have found, though, that in the long run, he doesn't detract from the story as much as I expected him to after my first few minutes of listening.

So ... there's my two sense!  Have you read this book or is it on your list to read?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and any recommendations you might have on similar books in this genre!

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