Review from Jane Austen's Regency World:
Farmer is the nom de plume of Sandy Lerner, a writer, musician and
businesswoman who wishes to associate herself with the 'lady' who
penned Pride & Prejudice -- or First Impressions. That's an intriguing little bit of background.
This beautifully-produced novel is a sequel to Lizzy and Darcy's story,
set ten years after the end of Jane Austen's great romance. It is
published by Chawton House Press, and the author did most of her
exhaustive research over 26 (yes, that's 26) years at the Chawton House
Library, in the Hampshire village where Jane Austen lived for the last
nine years of her life.
Farmer admits to a love affair with Austen, and with P&P in
particular, that dates back to the early 1980s and the BBC television
adaptation that starred Elizabeth Garvie as Lizzy and David Rintoul as
Darcy. Her total immersion in that world comes through in every
page of this very accomplished homage.
Telling us 'what happened next', though, she opens out the narrative to
reflect on the period that followed Jane Austen's death in 1817.
Foreign and domestic politics and the thrust of the Industrial
Revolution impinge on the lives of the familiar characters, in a way
that Austen never allowed. But it's the continuing lives of the
much-loved characters that dominate, which is only fair to the reader
wanting 'more Jane'.
Having read countless sequels and prequels, I have an alarming tendency
to exclaim "well, that didn't happen" whenever I read a new
version. In this case, the outcomes are, almost without
exception, gratifyingly fitting. I'd like to see what Farmer does
with her next Austen challenge.