Monday, July 1, 2013

Caroline Bingley by Jennifer Becton

Caroline Bingley is obviously the character you'd love to hate. She's stuck-up and hypocritical (you'd think being 'new money' she'll be nicer to Jane and Elizabeth). And worst of all, she was the competitor for Darcy's attention. You'd think that with all these negative traits, major character surgery will be required to make her likable.

Well, this book convinced me otherwise. Caroline doesn't have to be likable to be the protagonist of an insanely addictive Pride and Prejudice sequel. This is seriously the poster book on how to write a sequel, starting with the step of Not Changing The Characters (yes, I still remember that terrible one with Lydia that I could not finish).

Now, since Blingley got married, he grew a spine and more or less banished Caroline to her mother's house until she apologises/makes peace with Jane and Elisabeth (ok, you can't help but make peace with Jane, but Elizabeth is another matter). So away she goes in disgrace, forced to "suffer" with a companion she dislikes and none of the high company she requires.

And then the tables are turned on her. If you've always wanted to see Caroline get her comeuppance, you really have to read this book. At least halfway. She gets a happy ending, so you may just want to read till the part where she's miserable (although you probably won't be able to help yourself from reading everything).

The end of the book had some "deleted scenes" that didn't make it into the novel. And I'm so glad they were deleted. I didn't read all of them, but the one or two I skimmed convinced me that those scenes were telling rather than showing. You may or may not want to read them, but trust me, you're not missing anything if you don't.

This is easily one of the best Pride and Prejudice sequels out there!

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