Il club di Jane Austen – London holiday
…what if Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice was granted a last visit to her uncles’ home in London before she felt compelled to marry Mr Collins? What if at the same time Mr. Darcy had to hide himself to protect his reputation? What if the two had taken a well-deserved holiday?
These are the premises of the new novel written by Nicole Clarkston, London holiday, which, between a laugh and an unspoken sentence, manages to carry the reader in an exciting, albeit short, tour through the streets and monuments of London. Elizabeth, in fact, although she managed to get the complicity of her father, believes that the marriage with her cousin is inevitable to save Longbourn and its reputation, and hopes to see the wonders of the capital before the unwanted event can stop her. Darcy, however, finds himself fleeing to save his honour…I will not say much about this point because I don’t want to reveal too much to the reader, but I think the first encounter between the two characters is really hilarious – especially the scene in the carriage! While, for the sweetness I adored the scene in which Lizzy reads a book near a fountain.
The events take place before the dance of Meryton, so it will be rare to see the Bingleys and the Bennets, although each of them will make a small appearance.
Elizabeth and Darcy are characters whose psychological description is very deep and accurate. I really like, in fact, how the author manages to make the reader know even the inner thoughts of the two heroes. There are many amusing moments between them, that make the book seems a comedy of misunderstandings, that have really kept me happy.
As for the secondary characters, and in particular the vicissitudes concerning Lydia and Anne, I found that their stories were a little weak. This, however, did not affect the rest of the novel that, thanks to its main storyline, where there are also small cameos from other Austen’s novels, remains enjoyable.
I really liked this story because the author manages to instill in the reader humor, romance, and sometimes even a pinch of frustration, that keep you glued to the page. I read this book, in fact, in just two days, and sometimes I even regretted having to stop reading for the normal daily activities that I had to play.
I really liked, then, how the author managed to use the iconic phrases of Austen’s novels and to adapt them to the context of her own…and I noticed also a few winks to the film of 2005.
“She does have remarkably fine eyes…”
I always try, moreover, to find a morality in the stories I read, and this novel, in its small, in addition to containing criticism on the dangers of pride and prejudice, focuses especially on criticism of judgement on the basis of appearance. This has made me very happy, because, especially for young people, the appearance is becoming more important than the substance, and Nicole Clarkston with this novel shows us that this is not the reality at all.
Definitely a novel to read and re-read again!