Sunday, January 17, 2010

Recollections of Rosings

"Recollections of Rosings" by Rebecca Ann Collins is book 8 in a series of tales that follow after Jane Austen's masterpiece, "Pride and Prejudice."

First line: "It was the morning after the wedding of Darcy Gardiner and Kathryn O'Hare."

Back Jacket cover: "Sisters Catherine Harrison and Becky Tate, daughters of Charlotte Lucas and Mr. Collins, have very different personalities and temperatments. Both gre up in the shadow of Rosings Park, domain of the formidable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but as adults their paths diverged dramatically.

When a catastrophe at Rosings Park brings Becky back to visit her sister, the two clash about their aspirations for the marriage of Catherine's young daughter, and both woman are forced to confront the ghosts of the past - in particular, Lady Catherine's cruelty and deception.

As the shocking truth emerges, the Darcy and Bingley families rally. But it may be too late for the sisters to find the love and happiness they were denied so long ago."

Ms. Collins has paid assiduous attention to the time period's history, technological and political advancements as well as to mode of speech, dress, etc., but I believe she may have done so at the cost of plot and character development. There is only one strong moment in which one of the characters faces difficulty. All the rest are moments of potential tension, which are glossed over by the characters agreeing with one another. For the most part, the characters do not have goals or intentions toward one another, or, if they do, they are not hindered from accomplishing those goals.

That said, I enjoyed this novel. It takes place a generation after the events of "Pride and Prejudice" and the world had changed enough from Austen's time that I appreciated the author's examination of world circumstances. I thought that approach refreshing as most romance novels don't dwell on the problems of this period. I spent several hours at a time engrossed in the characters and only wished that the author had attempted to give them more difficult challenges and motives for change.