My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The keys to a good reimagining of an Austen novel – or any well-loved novel- are keeping the same tone as the original and keeping the reader, who probably knows the original story inside and out, hooked even if they know how the story will turn out. The tone of An Assembly Such as This, while decidedly more masculine than Pride and Prejudice, for most of the novel is similar to the original. Only at the end when there are no scenes between Darcy and Elizabeth does it feel really different. And that’s when I found that it turned dull. Aidan imagines Darcy’s life in London and the scene is annoying and boring as it discusses politics and historical figures that will have some readers going to Google to figure out who the people are. I want more Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship! Which brings me to how the author keeps the reader interested. Like in Pride and Prejudice, we only get one side of the story. It is fascinating to read Aidan’s interpretation of Darcy’s experience during the course of the events of Pride and Prejudice and to compare it with my own ideas of what he was thinking and feeling. We don’t always agree. My biggest complaint isn’t really a complaint but just a frustration. When I was about halfway through the novel, I found myself wondering how Aidan was going to fit the rest of Darcy and Elizabeth’s tale into the pages that remained. It was only when took another look at the cover that I saw that An Assembly Such as This is the first part of a trilogy. I guess that’s one way to keep your reader guessing but it’s like I picked up Pride and Prejudice and read only the first third before putting back on the shelf.