So let me preface this by saying it was SO interesting to finally read a sequel written by a man. (NOTHING against women when I say that) I’m so used to reading a P&P sequel written by a woman where Darcy has a huge character transformation and Elizabeth has a transformation, but not on an epic scale like Darcy. Reading Pemberley Ranch it is Beth who has the huge character transformation. It was an interesting change to read and I think because as women we romanticize the transformation of Darcy into something bigger than is actually written. (Maybe because the period of time in which he transforms is not written explicitly?)
Anyway, back to Pemberley Ranch! It was also refreshing to not read an overly mushy or sexual romance between Beth and Will. The conflicts are what take center stage here; especially those between Cate Burroughs, Will Darcy, George Whitehead, and Denny’s gang. The romance that is written however does seem more realistic and natural than other sequels I read. Nothing is overly romanticized, it all seems natural.
Caldwell did some really interesting things with the characters that I enjoyed: Bingley was a doctor, Mr. Lucas was the town sheriff, Colonel Fitzwilliam was the head man on Darcy’s ranch, Denny was a gunslinger, and Mrs. Younge became a saloon owner. I also was pleased to see other Austen characters make their way into the novel, with the biggest supporting part going to Reverend Henry Tilney of Northanger Abbey.
All in all the book was a lot of fun to read and as I said previously a refreshingly different point of view. For those women who are trying to get the men in their lives to read a Pride and Prejudice sequel, I would definitely suggest trying this one. It’s written with enough action to keep their attention.
4 out of 5 Stars