Devotion is Meg Kerr’s second sequel to Pride and Prejudice, following Experience (2011). At first I thought it would be hard to follow, since I hadn’t read Experience, but Devotion stands on its own, and Kerr summarizes what happened in the earlier book. Experience focuses on Mary and Kitty Bennet and their marriages, while Devotion tells the story of Georgiana Darcy, four years after her brother’s marriage to Elizabeth Bennet.
George Wickham has been killed at Waterloo, and Georgiana, who has never stopped loving him, goes in secret to Brussels to visit his grave. Her unscrupulous governess, Mrs. Younge, who had abetted her failed attempt to elope with Wickham, accompanies her. While in Brussels, Mrs. Younge schemes with a handsome scoundrel, John Amaury, to get him to marry Georgiana and give Mrs. Younge a portion of her dowry. But Georgiana and Amaury end up genuinely falling in love. Georgiana’s family is horrified when they learn of Amaury’s reputation. Only Elizabeth’s aunt and uncle, the Gardiners, see potential in the young man. Will this rogue truly reform? Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet, who has run out of daughters to marry off, attempts to marry Lydia’s friend Pen Harrington to a viscount, the man Lady Catherine de Bourgh intends for her daughter. And Caroline Bingley, now in an unhappy marriage, regrets her decision to reject a worthier suitor.
Kerr’s attempt to write in the style of Jane Austen works better than most such attempts I have read, even though I think no one can truly write like Austen except Austen herself. Kerr’s ideas of the characters are sometimes not the same as my own. For example, I cannot imagine a Georgiana who has not stopped loving Wickham. But Devotion is an enjoyable sequel, and now I am curious to read Experience.