Saturday 2 July 2011

Experience by Meg Kerr

            Experience is a gratifying continuation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  It begins with the final chapter of P&P and continues directly after Darcy and Elizabeth’s honeymoon.  The reader is treated to an intelligent and entertaining story of “what happens next” to all of the Bennet sisters, Caroline Bingley, Colonel Fitzwilliam and a host of other characters.
            Kerr does a fine job of maintaining Austen’s characters, intentions and style.  She shows an obvious respect for Austen’s sensibilities and writes with a good deal of wit.  She also writes amusing dialogue and weaves many Austen quotations into her novel.
            Readers who are interested in knowing more about the regency world will be pleased with the attention to detail and the inclusion of historical events.  Kerr cleverly includes the birth of the S.P.C.A., the Luddite Rebellion, British politics, the birth of the railway and many other occurrences into the plot.  Her own love of horses is evident throughout the book. 
            There are several new characters in this novel who compliment Austen’s characters.  I especially enjoyed Adam Kendall.  I was tickled with the future Kerr imagined for Elizabeth and Darcy and their sisters.  Anyone looking for a bodice-ripper will not find one in Kerr’s work, but will instead be treated to an admirable homage to Jane Austen and her work.

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