Book Review: Pemberley Ranch

Pemberley RanchPemberley Ranch
By Jack Caldwell
Sourcebooks Landmark, 2010

I love Jane Austen fan fiction. Good or bad, I generally plow through to the end. This is the first of the Jane Austen fan fiction where I thought to myself, you know, I would have liked this book a lot better if Caldwell hadn’t used the character names from the original Austen texts. I just don’t think Austen’s characters belong in Civil War/Reconstruction-era Texas. I mean really, “Doc Bingley”? Mr. Darcy saying things like “Saddle ’em up, boys. Let’s ride!”?

The storyline is necessarily quite different from Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, and would have been interesting if the character names hadn’t constantly reminded me that this was supposed to be a retelling of Pride & Prejudice in the Old West.

As it was I felt like I was intruding on the Darcys, Bingleys, Bennets, and Lucases as they played a game of Cowboys and Outlaws in the Old West at a Pride & Prejudice family reunion and I was kind of embarrassed for them.

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