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The 3rd story redeems the purchase., August 25, 2016
By tachi1 (Miami, FL United States) –
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This review is from: It Happened at Netherfield Park: Three Pride and Prejudice Novelettes (Kindle Edition)
This is a collection of three novella length stories. The first two are annoyingly infantile. In addition, the format followed were irritating. For example, there was a lot of underlining for emphasis; people were referred to by animal names (Mr. Fly, Miss Spider, etc.); thoughts were italized and presented as poems (horrible poems, to boot!). Even if the story lines were moderately interesting, which they weren’t, these peculiarities would not have merited any stars. The only positive thing I can say is that they were short.
The final story does get points for originality. In it, Mr. Darcy is the one attracted to Jane at the Assembly, so Mr. Bingley gravitates towards Elizabeth. Elizabeth is the one who gets sick at Netherfield and Jane comes to take care of her. These differences make for an interesting and original story. The author does not employ the distracting literary devices she used in the other two stories, and the story develops and flows in a natural way. Fortunately for the reader, this third story is the longest and takes up almost half the book. It flows naturally and the reader, being in such unfamiliar territory, is engaged and interested in the story’s development without irritating distractions.
Had the third story been a full-length book, a little bit more fleshed out, it might well have been a four-star book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It Happened at Netherfield Park., July 23, 2016
By Colleen s –
This was a fun book. Several variations on our Beloved couple’s trails and tribulations, but with a light writing ability. Rather romantic and not heavy duty, for instance Caroline and Mrs. Bennet, and Mr. Collins weren’t so awfully annoying. And Mr. Bennet actually acted like a Parent!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing trio of stories, July 27, 2016
By Debbie B. –
Here are the three stories and my impressions:
NEVER SO BEWITCHED: 2 starsThis starts the arc away from canon with an accidental rendezvous between Elizabeth and Darcy in the Netherfield library late at night. She learns he admires her and, as they talk, she revises her initial opinion of him and agrees to a courtship. When Wickham shows up in Meryton, Elizabeth and her sisters are accompanied by Darcy and Bingley, and Darcy confronts Wickham immediately.
While there are some other unlikely events prior to this, at this point, things veer into absolutely absurd. When the group proceeds to Mrs. Phillips’ house, Darcy actually tells them ALL that Wickham had attempted to elope with his sister. They are appropriately horrified, especially Mrs. Phillips, who then realizes she has just invited the hateful man to dinner. When Wickham shows up at at the appointed time, she knocks him on the head with a walking stick so hard that it breaks. Since Caroline Bingley has headed to London without Charles and left him with no hostess for his ball, he promptly awards Mrs. Phillips the honor because of her actions against Wickham.
Things continue on in similarly implausible fashion. The most farfetched scene is Lady Catherine having a dream visit from her sister Anne telling her to lay off of Elizabeth and that a more appropriate suitor will show up for Anne de Bourgh, after which Lady C behaves like Scrooge on Christmas morning.
RONDEAU: 2 starsThis is perhaps aimed to a young reading audience, and the rondeau-style poems sprinkled throughout just reinforce that impression. Here is an example:“She must be safe from the snake!I must keep her safe from the rake.He’d surely charm her; he would harm her with his evil ways!She must be safe from the snake!”
Those thoughts belong to Darcy, and the “snake,” of course, is Wickham. We also have Miss Bingley referred to as “the spider,” (Georgiana, in her letters, informs Darcy that he is is the fly, to which he lightheartedly responds that she must therefore be “Miss Fly”), and Mr. Collins is “the toad.”
In this scenario, Darcy warns Mr. Bennet about Wickham, and Mr. Bennet, in turn, forbids his daughters from associating with Wickham but doesn’t explain why. This only adds to Elizabeth’s fury over Darcy’s high-handedness, knowing he must have poisoned her father against her favorite. Using his carriage, Darcy braves the heavy rain and comes to Longbourn prior to the Netherfield ball, and Elizabeth confronts him. There’s a clearing of the air as he explains his history with Wickham. She is appropriately ashamed of herself and agrees to dance with Darcy at the ball.
Unfortunately, the author once again proceeds to the completely unbelievable, as Darcy not only dances with Elizabeth at the Netherfield ball, he also proposes to her in the middle of the dance floor.
ERROR IN JUDGEMENT: 3 starsOf the three, this has the least unconvincing plot. Unfortunately, it shares with the other stories a lack of clear rising action, turning point, resolution, and falling action.
It is Darcy who first spots Jane Bennet and asks her to dance at the Meryton assembly, and Bingley, while disappointed not to dance immediately with the lovely Miss Bennet, asks to dance with Miss Elizabeth. They are each delighted with their partners in these initial pairings until Elizabeth becomes ill after being caught in the rain on her way to tea with the Bingley sisters and Jane comes to nurse her. Each gentleman find himself more and more drawn to the opposite Bennet sister, and the sisters feel the same, but all are concerned about hurt feelings at this point. This is a good start, but that obstacle unravels without too much difficulty. Wickham does come to town and tries spreading lies about Darcy, but those are also refuted early at the Netherfield ball. Other obstacles arise in serial fashion. One problem comes up, is dealt with, and then another emerges, etc.
CONCLUSION: As I already mentioned, the three stories are not well constructed and instead are what I call “chronologies.” Something happens, then something else, then something else, and so on, but they don’t lead up to one major pivotal turning point. Characters sort of match the originals except Mrs. Phillips and Mr. Darcy. His personality seems really altered, especially in the first two stories. The writing has a more juvenile quality than I recall in other books I’ve read by Ms. Leigh. For example, all three stories include a storytelling technique where information is given, and others in the scene react in a series of quick character-driven exclamations. This would be a cute little pattern to employ a few times, but it’s overused.
Overall, I’m sad to say that none of these novelettes are particularly satisfying reads.
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