Hope readers don’t mind my dropping in this HNS review of a book critiqued by Fiction Feedback as my blog post. We were very impressed by David James’s literary yet very readable sequel to Vanity Fair – we have a paperback copy on the Fiction Feedback ‘published’ shelf – and it’s great to see we aren’t the only ones who like it. It’s a bit racy – but compared to a certain famous book–now–film, it’s pure vanilla sauce.
Historical Novel Society reviews are well regarded, so worth a look?
The Confessions of Becky Sharp by David James: Review by Anne McNulty in HNS Reviews http://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-confessions-of-becky-sharpe/
Fans of William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair and its unforgettable anti-heroine, Becky Sharp, will delight in David James’s smart, intensely readable, funny, and surprisingly moving take on that classic novel’s plot. In the pages of James’s novel, Becky Sharp (the semi-tragic Lady Crawley) jumps to center stage and tells her own story, culminating in her marriage to Rawdon Crawley, her disastrous affair with Lord Steyne, and her own take on the decidedly scandalous characterization Thackeray gives her throughout his book.
James fills the whole narrative with great pathos, glints of humor, and some very perceptive echoes and warpings of his famous template, all the while imbuing Becky herself with all the caustic intelligence Thackeray gave her, but a good deal more humanity. Without doing excessive violence to the continuity of Vanity Fair, he manages to give his unforgettable heroine the one thing Thackeray pointedly denied her: a kind of triumph. Readers who are familiar with Vanity Fair will love this book, but even readers who are not will find it an intelligent and fast-paced story. As a literary pastiche, it could hardly be bettered.
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