April 8, 2008

A Bit of a Diversion

I'm not a big fan of fan fiction. I enjoy books, not books spawned off of other books. But I must confess, on our last trip to Barnes 'n' Nobel, I strayed from my position on fan fiction and bought The Darcys Give a Ball by Elizabeth Newark. Any idea which book inspired this tale? :)

The book begins with the death of Mr. Bennet, some twelve years after Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are married. After about two chapters, it jumps fifteen years and begins telling the stories of the children of all our favorite Austen characters, who are now grown up. While the main story line features the Bingleys, the Darcys, and others from Pride & Prejudice, there are nods to all of Austen's books: Colonel Brandon and his "lovely wife" are invited to the ball, along with their daughter Dorthea; Nell Ferras also makes an appearance, even though Mrs. Darcy knew "Mr. Edward Ferras and his quiet wife, Elinor, very slightly." Another Ferras arrives, uninvited, on the arm of one Gerard Churchill, and Elizabeth hopes very much to see her daughter Juliet settle down with "one of the Knightley twins."

I read half the book in the car yesterday as we drove out to the desert, and I finished it at home late last night. No awards will be given this small novelette; it is really rather silly (even for Austen), and from a literary view, could have been better written (one is easily lost in the history of marriages, deaths, and births that goes on). But I smiled as I read, laughed a time or two, and on the whole enjoyed the gentle diversion this author offered with her perspective on how things could have been.

Perhaps I would be a harsher critic of this fan fiction if I had not so very much appreciated the humor yesterday.

Grandpa is doing o.k. His short term memory is muddy water at this point, though his long term recollection is near-perfect. He is not the man I remember seeing at Thanksgiving last year; but he is still Grandpa. And he was thrilled, absolutely thrilled, to see us.

There is much to be done in the coming weeks, and much is still up in the air. My biggest challenges will be flexibility (something I've never been good at) and trusting God with the details (something else that could use some practice).

My thanks to all of you, for your prayers and support. I love you guys, and will keep you posted as best I can.

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