15 Apr 2014



SOURCE: Received for review from Petticoat Press.

"I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being..." 

 So begins Mr. Darcy to lay before Elizabeth his faithful narrative of Mr. Wickham's villainy toward his sister, Georgiana. The facts he sets out are brief but potent. They contain a story unto themselves, and that story is the subject of this book. 

Taking its facts from Austen’s own words, Follies Past opens almost a year before the opening of Pride and Prejudice itself, at Pemberley, at Christmas. Fourteen-year-old Georgiana has just been taken from school and is preparing to transfer to London in the spring. It follows Georgiana to London, to Ramsgate and into the arms of the charming and infamous Mr. Wickham.

To read this book is to step back into the charming world of Jane Austen’s England, to pass a few more hours with some of her beloved characters, sympathetically portrayed as they might have been before ever they came to Netherfield, and to discover a host of new characters each with engaging histories of their own. Authentic in its use of language and meticulously researched, it is a truly diverting entertainment.
..... Outer back cover

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter 1}: Caroline Bingley had long known the name of Darcy, and she had always hoped to increase her family's intimacy with it.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 56}: In fact, Caroline spent almost no time thinking of Mr Darcy at all. It might have entered her head, had she let it, that it was odd for a woman set on marrying a man never to think of him, but being almost entirely of mercenary ambition, Caroline believed Mr Darcy to be constantly on her mind because his income certainly was.

MY THOUGHTS: I was approached by the publishers of Follies Past who, despite my concerns that I wasn't a big fan of the so-called classics or of authors such as Jane Austen, were confident enough in the appeal of this debut novel by Melanie Kerr to send me copy to review regardless.

A prequel to Pride And Prejudice written in the style of its author, Jane Austen. As I last read anything by Ms Austen as a girl I cannot in all conscience say just how successful this was but I will say that the writing felt authentic, the spirit of the original, from what I can remember, upheld.

Whilst not exactly a fast paced thriller, indeed compared to the genres I tend to favour it was undeniably slow, but in its favour were the well depicted characters. Characters such as the wonderful Caroline Bingley who considering I'd always thought women of this genre to be simpering came as a delightful revelation.

So, will I be reading Pride and Prejudice or indeed any of the other so-called classics as a result of reading this? As hugely impressed as I am with Follies Past and its author I can't make any promises but one thing I can say for certain is that I will be sure to keep a look out for any of the future books written by such an obviously talented writer as Ms Kerr.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper. All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission. In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.
Disclaimer:  Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Petticoat Press, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.


Stephanie Faris said...

Quite a risky endeavor, taking on a classic like Pride and Prejudice. I think the problem is, Jane Austen fans are inevitably going to pick it apart because they know a modern writer wrote it. Other fans probably won't read it because they're

Stephanie Faris said...

Oops...meant to say because they're not fans of the genre!

Kelly said...

Dare I admit I've not read any Jane Austen? I have them on my shelf (my daughter read some of them), but just never got around to them.

This is a good review and I'll keep the author in mind.

Literary Feline said...

I do not often read off shoots of the classics by different authors. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books. I have enjoyed all the Austen books I have read.

I'm not quite as picky a fan that I would tear a part Kerr's book. :-)

Cherie Reich said...

Thanks for the review! I don't usually read classics or classic-like books since my school days because I find the pace way too slow.

Betty Manousos said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betty Manousos said...

thanks for your great review, tracy. as a jane austin fan i'd absolutely enjoy this one. it sounds heartwarming and full of interesting and believable characters.


Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) said...

Interesting concept for a book!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I think it is impressive that you don't typically select books in this genre, but enjoyed this one anyway. It says a lot that you will look for other books by this author. Thanks for sharing. :)

Suko said...

Tracy, I'm glad you enjoyed this prequel. Well-depicted characters appeal to me also.

Melliane said...

Yeah I'm one of the ones who haven't read any of the Jane Austen books but I like to read books inspired, it's always interesting. This one could be too. thanks for the discovery.

Brian Joseph said...

Interesting point as to how the characters made up for the slow plot. I am coming to the point where I prefer slower plots as faster paced ones sometimes get in the way of character development.

Alexia561 said...

While it's been awhile since I last read Pride & Prejudice, I don't usually like prequels/sequels written by someone else. I think I'll keep my fond memories intact and skip this one.

Gina R said...

Hi praises all things considered. Thanks for the share!