Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pies & Prejudice

The title: Pies & Prejudice
The author: Heather Vogel Frederick
Publication: Simon and Shuster, 2010
Got it from: The library

Yep, I called it in the last one. In this fourth Mother-Daughter Book Club outing, the girls are definitely growing up and becoming more mature. Emma and her family head to England for a year (lucky ducks) and decide to videoconference their book club so they can all read Pride and Prejudice. True Janeites will recognize a ton of Austen names slipped in, such as Emma's school being named Knightley-Martin. And of course, many Austen-like characters abound. Emma's got her own Mr. Collins, a local boy named Rupert, and a snooty Caroline Bingley named Annabelle. Back in Concord, the family Emma is swapping with have two boys of their own, a Mr. Bingley named Simon, who Megan falls for, and a Mr. Darcy named Tristan who clashes with tomboyish Cassidy.

It always amazes me just how busy these girls are, and I suspect the author had extensive flowcharts just to keep track of everyone's schedule. Jess continues at boarding school, disappointed that Emma's brother is away for the year - but longtime readers need not fear, as there is a satisfying resolution to that saga. Cassidy starts a little girl's hockey team and is forced to pair with moody Tristan to help him practice for an ice dancing competition, a la The Cutting Edge. Megan starts a snarky fashion blog called Fashionista Jane
that lands her in hot water when she discovers the object of her affection, Simon, is not such a fan.

There's a lot of characters and plotlines to keep track of, so it's definitely not recommended you start with this one if you haven't read any of the others. It doesn't offer a lot of surprises but it's extremely fun all the same and is an improvement over the last one, which I felt was the weakest of the series. I've really enjoyed watching the girls grow up and I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that there will really be a fifth one like the author has hinted. Having thought I'd reached the end of the series, it was a pleasant surprise.

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