Monday, December 19, 2005

CONVICTION by Skylar Hamilton Burris (Virtualbookworm)

Anyone who has attended high school has read the classic Jane Austen novel (or the Cliff's Notes to) PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. What you might not have read are any of the sequels.

Why? Because none of them were written by Jane Austen.

How many sequels are there? Quite a few.

It got me thinking about the difficulty in writing such a book. Would someone ever try to write the sequel to CATCHER IN THE RYE? Would Holden be a grown-up, Prozac-popping guy stuck in middle management? Or forever lost in some psychiatric ward? Most successful authors are afraid to attempt their own sequels--so you can imagine how hard it might be for someone to try and mimic the style and content of a decided master, then build upon the storyline.

It gives one a headache, really.

That said, I went back and re-read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE to get a foothold, then dove into CONVICTION (after verifying the writing was not horrid) without missing a beat. It wasn't long into the latter novel that I could tell I was turning the pages of a winner. CONVICTION is a wonderful continuation of Austen's novel, both lyrically and story-wise. Will I compare the two authors? What would be the point. It's sort of irrelevant and I don't need any extra emails of dissention coming my way. But rest assured that this book is wonderful and--PRIDE AND PREJUDICE aside--can stand alone as an excellent novel in and of itself. The characters are rich (and believable for the Regency period) the plot is delightful and you'll find Georgiana Darcy to be a moving heroine. Even if you haven't read P&P, you can still enjoy (and love) CONVICTION.

And if you haven't read the Austen classic yet, well . . . maybe it's time to find your local library.

At only $13.95 (for 260+ pages; a POD miracle) you will get enjoyment from every penny. Need a last minute holiday gift? You just found it.