This year, 2013, marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Peppered with wit and love, the enduring appeal of this book has spawned a veritable cottage industry of writers continuing the story, modernizing and expanding as they go.
One of my favorite newer takes on the Pride and Prejudice phenomena is “Searching for Pemberly,” by Mary Simonsen. This tale is set immediately after World War II and is told by Maggie Joyce, a young American working in London. When visiting a friend’s family home, it’s casually mentioned that the local manor is thought to be the “real” Pemberly — Austen’s model for the fictional estate. Entranced by the thought, she digs deeper, building an enduring friendship with a local couple and their RAF pilot son, and a promising romance with an American pilot
Multiple love stories are woven together beautifully and tenderly. This is a page-turner, whether or not the reader is familiar with Austen’s seminal novel. I highly recommend this book.