First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther. Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.

Synopsis:

The year is 1803, and Darcy and Elizabeth have been married for six years. There are two handsome and healthy sons in the Pemberley nursery, Elizabeth’s beloved sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live within seventeen miles, the ordered and secure life of Pemberley seems unassailable, and Elizabeth’s happiness in her marriage is complete. But their peace is threatened and old sins and misunderstandings are rekindled on the eve of the annual autumn ball. The Darcys and their guests are preparing to retire for the night when a chaise appears, rocking down the path from Pemberley’s wild woodland, and as it pulls up, Lydia Wickham, an uninvited guest, tumbles out, screaming that her husband has been murdered.


We are done with another work week! My first week in my new work is finally done! I was so anxious at the start of the week. It is challenging every time a change takes place. It entails a lot of adjustment. On the other hand, a new environment means new opportunities to learn, hence, more opportunities to grow as a professional and as an individual. My new employer is a bank, the first time I am working in this industry. Apart from my new job, this past week saw me celebrate my 10th year of passing the licensure exams for certified public accountants. Cheers to that! How about you reader? How did your week go? I hope it went well and that you ended it on a high note. Otherwise, I hope you use the weekend to rest and relax. More importantly, I hope that everyone is doing well, physically, mentally, and spiritually. COVID19 remains a threat but in the past days I have been reporting to work, it seems that the world has adjusted to its presence. I hope it gets completely eradicated. Only time will tell.

I can’t believe that May is slowly drawing to a close! We’re nearly five months done in 2022. Let me close it with my last First Impression Friday update for the month. In May, have been immersing myself in the works of European literature. It was a smorgasbord that made me taste different literary flavors, from Swedish to French to Italian to Spanish to Czech. The experience, as expected, was scintillating although there were moments when it got perplexing. Nonetheless, it is these uncertainties that make literature interesting. Just like what I have done in March and April, I have been alternating new-to-me writers and not-so-new-to-me writers. My current read is British suspense writer P.D. James’ Death Comes to Pemberley.

After completing Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal’s The Little Town Where Time Stood Still last Wednesday, I was contemplating what to read next. I originally had Umberto Eco’s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana in mind, which would make it my third novel by the renowned Italian writer. But after going over my 2022 Beat the Backlist Challenge, I immediately noticed Death Comes to Pemberley. I then remembered that it has been over a decade since I read my first novel by James. With this in mind, I picked it up as my next literary stop. I am still hoping to read the Eco novel perhaps in June as I am planning to extend my European literature journey; I have quite a stack of unread works.

When I started reading my second novel by P.D. James, the first emotion that seized me was utter shock. I didn’t realize that the book was essentially an extension of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice after Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy tied the knot. It has also been a decade since I read the Austen classic and my memory of it is sketchy at best. The novel somehow did a commendable job of reminding me of the seminal events that transpired in Austen’s timeless novel. James’ novel, meanwhile, catches up after Pride and Prejudice. Darcy and Elizabeth have settled in the Darcy estate, the titular Pemberley. They also have two children.

On the surface and as far as I have reached, the crux of the novel was two complicated relationships. One involved Darcy and George Wickham, the son of his father’s steward. They were formerly best friends until Wickham fell from Darcy’s graces. This chasm in their friendship was complicated by Wickham’s betrothal to Elizabeth’s younger sister, Lydia. The second complicated relationship involved Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, and her two suitors: Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s cousin, and Henry Alveston. Tension picked up when on the eve of a ball, Captain Denny, Wickham’s friend, ended up getting murdered on the Pemberley estate.

With the drunk Wickham clutching onto the bloody corpse of Denny, repeatedly saying that it was his “fault”, the case seemed crystal clear. That is what James wants us to believe but, of course, this is a mystery novel and in this genre, nothing is ever evidently straightforward. While James is laying out the landscape of the story, I am already forming my thoughts on who the suspect might be. I am just waiting for James to build the motives of the characters so that I can sift through them. At this point, everyone is a possible suspect. I am looking forward to how James will surprise the readers with her craftiness. The book is quite an easy read and I just might be able to complete it over the weekend. How about you fellow reader? What book or books are you taking with you for the weekend? I hope you get to enjoy them. For now, happy weekend! And as always, happy reading and take care!