This is a follow up to Pride and Prejudice, picking up the lives of Elizabeth and Darcy a year into their marriage. It is a pleasant book, detailing their day to day life, and letting us as readers see how things might have happened beyond the ending of Austen’s book.
Tennant carries on Austen’s characters admirably, keeping them acting the same way as Austen originally wrote them. Jane is still sweet tempered, Elizabeth’s witty, Darcy retains some of his pride but has begun to unbend, Georgiana’s still nervous in company etc.
It wasn’t until the second reading that I truly saw the gaping continuity problem which unfortunately hadn’t been picked up by the proofreading team at Tennant’s publishers. She writes that Jane is the mother of a year old daughter, but as Austen informed us that ‘happy was the day which Mrs Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters’ and Tennant tells us that Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for a year, it implies that Jane must have been pregnant on her wedding day. Something like that would have been a terrible scandal in Georgian England, far outweighing the scandal which erupts when Lydia runs away with Wickham.
I am sure that there were cases of women being heavily pregnant on their wedding days, as pre marital sex is not just a twentieth century phenomenon. However I can’t imagine someone of Jane’s character or Bingley’s for that matter indulging in such a manner.
If you can ignore such a continuity error, and misstep in portraying Austen’s characters, and admittedly there are far more radical departures from her original vision, such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and Fifty Shades of Mr Darcy, some which hold more appeal than others, then Pemberley is a well crafted attempt at aping Austen’s writing style.