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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Recently Read- Death Comes To Pemberley, Charlotte Street and Rachel's Holiday.

Death Comes To Pemberley by P.D. James

So the deal with this is that it's a follow on from the Austen classic, Pride and Prejudice (or P & P if you live in my house), although obviously not written by Jane herself..unless she became a very work-orientated zombie. Anyway, this is basically a murder mystery- Captain Denny is found bludgeoned to death in the woods of Pemberley (Darcy's gaff) and the prime suspect is Wickham- who you'll recall was the evil cad from P & P who broke several hearts and ended up marrying Lizzie's younger sister Lydia, amidst a lot of scandal. The book follows his trial and it's effect on those around him. The author utilises the same style of language from the original but annoyingly, also adds in whole sentences from P & P, which just seemed a bit lazy to me. Furthermore, James makes a lot of her own assumptions about the characters- that Lizzie married Darcy largely due to his income and status for instance, which obviously, James is entitled to do- it is her book after all, I just feel that when you're referencing a beloved classic so strongly like this then you have to use the information you have responsibly! Ok, end of rant. To be honest, this isn't a bad read at all, if you're into murder mysteries minus the gore then you'll probably enjoy this. If however, you're a big Austen lover you may find this a little bit lacking.

Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace

Dear sweet baby Jesus in the manger, this book took me FOREVER to read. In fact, I think I may actually have started it in May but because it is so incredibly slow moving, I kept putting it down in favour of other books. I'm one of those people that has to finish a book or else it leads to madness on my part so I said I'd persevere. This is the story of Jason Priestley (he shares his name with the Beverley Hills actor, a source of great annoyance to him), a general loser in most areas of life- work, relationships etc, who has a brief encounter on Charlotte St with a beautiful mystery woman. He falls for her immediately. Unfortunately for him he doesn't have the guts to talk to her. Then he realises she's dropped her disposable camera. Now he has her photos and a glimpse into her life, he decides to track her down. Actually, correction, he spends several chapters contemplating whether or not he should track her down. I can see how this could have been an interesting plot device but it just took so long to go anywhere that I felt like it was a bit pointless. I was happy to finish it, if for no other reason than to figure out if anything ever actually happened. If you like extremely protracted storylines (the same way one might like Scarlet Fever, for instance) then this is the book for you. 

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes

I've become a huge fan of Marian Keyes recently so I said I'd go back to the books that kicked off "The Mystery of Mercy Close" etc to get properly acquainted with the Walsh family- the subjects of some of her favourite books. I really love Marian's style of writing; it's relatable, very funny and also a little bit quirky- a great combination! Rachel Walsh is a young Irish woman living in New York who finds herself being forced by her family on a plane back to Dublin to go for treatment to an addiction rehabilitation centre for her drug abuse. She thinks she shouldn't be there of course and pretty much fights every step of the way. Her journey to recovery is thoroughly documented, which at times makes for difficult reading but is very realistic and heart warming (unusual for a book I read to be described as "heart warming" in fairness). I would definitely recommend this one!

Although i have about 6 million books in my to-read pile, I'm always on the lookout for more so, any suggestions for me?!


  1. As a complete Austen fan I think I'll give the first one a miss. Ditto the slow moving second one BUT you've inspired me to dig out my copy of Rachel's Holiday - I LOVE Marian Keyes!

    1. Yeah, I was a bit surprised to be honest that the Austen-based book is so popular- it's been a huge bestseller. Glad I'm not the only traditionalist when it comes to this anyway! I actually can't wait to start my next Marian Keyes novel, she's so brilliant! x