A catalogue got sent to me this week by a purveyor of books, and having a few leisurely moments this morning, I flipped through it to see what I could see. Here is what I saw: no less than 15 Jane Austen “sequels” on offer.
What on earth? Who is writing these things? Who is reading them?
Here’s the thing. You can’t write a sequel to Pride and Prejudice because it exists as its own little ball of perfection. Darcy and Elizabeth need a sequel the same way I need all of my teeth to dissolve and/or explode.*** I know that in real life things don’t tie up nicely like that — that marriage is the beginning of the rest of your life, not the end of the story — but from a narrative perspective, Pride and Prejudice told all of the story it needed to tell, and then stopped. We don’t need more information than the epilogue gives us; that’s moving into overboard territory.
I dunno. I just can’t see the point.
Has anyone read this sort of thing? Are they any good?
* Okay, there’s no “maybe” about it.
** Note to aspiring authors: I made this title up. You can write this book if you like, if you don’t mind that I won’t read it.
*** Don’t laugh: I get nightmares about this.