It is with such trepidation that I slowly approached Death Comes to Pemberley by J.D. James. I only heard of it because they're making it into a film featuring Jenna Coleman of Doctor Who fame. I did a little bit of research, and what can I say? I'm more apt to believe an older woman with a professed "lifelong passion for Austen" than I am some twenty-something "ironic" hipster who claims he "took an English class once."
I've only read the "Prologue" so far, and I just have two words:
Thank you, P.D. James. She has effectively captured some of the Victorian style and syntax while also retaining that spark of Austen's wit and (actual) ironic touch without being outright sarcastic or mean. I actually chuckled out loud a couple of passages today whilst reading over lunch, like this one:
So we're off to a rousing start! My expectations for the rest of the book have been raised from previously. Let's just hope they don't fuck up the movie."Elizabeth had never been popular, indeed the more perceptive of the Meryton ladies occasionally suspected that Miss Lizzy was privately laughing at them. They also accused her of being sardonic, and although there was uncertainty about the meaning of the word, they knew that it was not a desirable quality in a woman, being one which gentlemen particularly disliked" (9).
P.S. Coleman recently took a break from filming to sign some autographs (in costume!!).