After reading through the collection of Jane Austen’s books I was given several suggestions by fellow blogger Dot at La Deetda Reads. She had suggested two books, Charlotte Collins and Caroline Bingley by Jennifer Becton. I had looked into the story about Charlotte first and discovered that it sounded familiar. I had read the book about four years ago, so I crossed that book off my list and went in search of Caroline Bingley from my library.
Caroline had been exiled from her family and she was sent to her mothers home. Caroline was very resentful of her brother and the Bennett sisters but she was determined to get back into his good graces and to find herself a wealthy suitor.
I was apprehensive of reading this story because like many who have loved Pride & Prejudice Caroline’s character was not loved. She was snotty and thought she was above everyone else, especially the Bennett sisters. After reading Jennifer Becton’s novel I will have to say that I like Caroline, don’t love her character, but definitely liked. I thought Becton did a really fantastic job on keeping Caroline’s character in tact from the original story.
In this novel Caroline was the main character, which really let you get to know her. I liked her in this novel because you got to read that she truly loved her family and wanted what was best for everyone. She just goes about things the wrong way. It also helped that Caroline was given a dose of her own medicine. She is humbled by the situation which lets her truly follow her heart.
In the end I was cheering for Caroline to find that happy ending with the right man.
Charlotte Collins is now a widow after seven years of marriage to Mr. Collins. She is wondering how she will live her life but that will be pushed to the side when she has her sister come join her at the cottage. She will help Maria find a suitor and love at the same time but problems will occur when Charlotte’s reputation will be in danger.
Reading Pride and Prejudice is always a joy no matter what time of day it is or how I am feeling because it takes you to that time period. Jennifer Becton continues from Pride and Prejudice with her own story following Charlotte in Charlotte Collins. With anything Austen I am always up to read it whether I like it is another question. Becton’s continuation of Charlotte left no doubt in my mind as this was a wonderfully written book once again bringing me back into that time period, into the world that Austen created. It was a fresh outlook on the classic story and characters. I was able to get lost in the book as it held similar wit along with the charm. There was of course the giggling of school girls looking for suitors and the flirtation in the ballrooms.
Charlotte was always the plain girl in the book but now in her widowhood she is blossoming and becoming the woman she was meant to be. She was still very proper but living a little more dangerously with letting herself take a chance. Mr. Basford I had thought would be the villain but he is our hero as everything he does is to help Charlotte. I loved that he was an American who cared little for fashion and only wanted to help.
Charlotte Collins will makes you smile that Charlotte will have her own happy ending. Becton has another book written on Caroline Bingely who was never a favorite but I would be interested to find out where her story will go.