As a complete sucker for all things Jane Austen, need I say that the idea of reading the very first "sequel" to Pride and Prejudice was an appealing one to me? Even better than that was dicovering that this is more than just a Pride and Prejudice sequel. As its newly minted subtitle claims, it is a sequel to all the novels. Pulling many favorite characters from all of Austen's best-loved works, Brinton has created a fun romp through Regency England in the company of Austen's secondary characters.
This is not focused on the main characters of Aussten's books. After all, she wrapped their stories up fairly neatly. Instead, the focus is on Georgiana Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, Kitty Bennett and Mary Crawford, Tom Bertram and William Price, and others. While some purists shudder at the thought of introducing these characters to each other, Regency society was fairly small and so people of the same social standing could be expected to have connections to each other, making this intermingling of Austen's creations feasible.
The plot, while not as witty and sharp as Austen's herself, is quite entertaining, opening with Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam breaking their engagement to each other to the stern annoyance of Lady Catherine. Both will look for suitable partners throughout the rest of the book. Each will have to overcome societal obstacles as well as the difficulties of their own hearts and personalities in order to be happy.
As with most Austen sequels, a reader who is not familiar with the backstory and characters from the originals will be disappointed with the novel. But Austen fans who are willing to allow the mingling of their best-loved minor characters will likely enjoy this short and quick read.