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These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan; Review

February 20, 2010

Title: These Three Remain

Author: Pamela Aidan

Published: January 2, 2007 by Simon and Schuster

Number of Pages: 464

Rating: 4/5

Quote:

Brougham broke their silence with a sigh and then, with a wry smile, leaned his elbows once more upon the table and looked Darcy square in the eye. ‘I think you had better tell me about her, old man,’ he prescribed, his voice compassionate but firm. ‘She must, indeed, be of incomparable worth if she has so won your heart.’

“From habit, Darcy bridled at Dy’s quiet request that he lower his defenses; but the old reserve, the shield between himself and the world, had already been rent by a young woman from Hertfordshire. Why should he hold it up against his oldest friend? He would not reveal all; it was too much, and the details were unimportant now. But he would tell him something of it, enough to understand.

“‘Her name is Elizabeth,’ he began, looking past Dy’s shoulder the better to maintain shreds of something akin to dignity, ‘and I am the last man in the world that she could ever be prevailed on to marry.'”

Review:

I know it looks like I’ve been using the fact that I’m being very generous and giving away a copy of The Book Thief as an excuse not to post (FYI: if spoken, this sentence would have been dripping with a tone that told you I was joking) – I’m not. I’ve been sick and lazy (primarily the latter), which has kept me from my blogging duties. I apologize! As a side note: the aforementioned giveaway is doing splendidly, and there’s still time to enter so drop by!

On to These Three Remain, book three in the Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentlemen series, which, you will notice, I’ve been surprisingly fond of. When I read the first book, I was shocked by the fact that I could look past the fact that the name Pamela Aidan was on the cover, as opposed to Jane Austen. I’ve enjoyed the series immensely. If you’re going to read Pride and Prejudice spin-offs, first of all, read P&P, and second, read this trilogy. Pamela is a fantastic writer.

I read These Three Remain quite awhile back, and my memory’s a bit fuzzy. I can assure you, however, that I was not disappointed in what Aidan managed to do with the most pivotal part of the P&P story. We begin at Rosings Park, where, we all know, Mr. Darcy runs into Miss Elizabeth Bennet once again. Unfortunately for Darcy, she squirms herself back into his life so immediately after he’s sworn her off that his resolution isn’t quite strong enough to hold back the tidal wave of his renewed feelings. It seems our Mr. Darcy simply can’t get Elizabeth off his mind, despite how much he’d like to.

The wonderful thing about These Three Remain is that it not only does wonderfully with the story we already love, but Aidan brings back the favorites of the characters she’s taken upon herself to flesh out and allows us to obsess over them as well. My favorite of these characters (well, actually, this man and Fletcher are both eligible candidates for this spot), Lord Dyfed Brougham, burst back into the story, as intriguing and charming as ever.

Duty and Desire (book two – see my review here) strolled far off of Austen’s path (it’s up to you to decide whether you like the direction Aidan took. I thought it was interesting and rather fun, personally), which couldn’t really be helped, seeing as Pride and Prejudice was relatively Darcy-free during that period of time. Austen’s story could guide Aidan’s a bit more in this third installment, yet Aidan didn’t relax her hold on the story for a second. This book is infused with subplots that revolve around the story-lines that Aidan has taken on completely on her own. Darcy’s sister, for example, develops much in this novel and her story becomes more and more interesting as both she and her relationships with various people progress. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to delve into the lives of people whom I never would have “met” or gotten to know if it weren’t for Aidan’s refusal to step back from her post as author.

I’ve probably lost a few hard-core, P&P fans already. Come back! Come back! Don’t shut off your computers and run to Borders to rip all Austen spin-offs (WARNING: There are millions. Try explaining the thousands of dollars you’ll spend buying ruined books to your families). I’ve focused so far on the new, but there’s plenty of old to go along with it.

This book takes place during our very favorite part of our beloved Pride and Prejudice. We meet Lady Catherine de Bourgh, stay at the Collins’, and travel far past that to the very finish of the story – and we all know what happens then. Hardly anything can top this classic story, and it’s simply delicious to relive it through Darcy’s eyes.

I think I’ve mentioned before that, however much I might like Darcy in Aidan’s books, I’m absolutely certain that Austen wouldn’t quite agree with this particular portrayal, but then again, don’t we all have our own version of Mr. Darcy tucked away somewhere inside? There’s no universal Darcy, and I think that adds to the fun of seeing such a deep, interesting and heartfelt version in these books. You’re getting a glimpse of someone else’s Darcy. (I think many of us will agree however, that our Darcy’s look like the one on the right…)

Many surprises are tucked within the covers of These Three Remain, and although many don’t directly pertain to the events of Pride and Prejudice (don’t worry, folks, the ending’s the same. These books are faithful to the origin), I can happily and honestly say that I would love to see another book. There are characters I’m not quite finished with.

Stay tuned for an interview with Pamela Aidan, coming up soon!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 23, 2010 5:08 AM

    I can’t even imagine what the story is like from Darcy’s perspective because even though he was such a large presence but you basically don’t know all that much about him. I have to try and read something from his perspective one day.

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