Whiteley Press, 2011
Caroline Bingley. Anyone familiar with Pride & Prejudice probably shudders at the name. Miss Bingley is one of Miss Austen's most Love-to-Hate characters. She's snobbish and catty, she snubs Jane Bennet and makes scathing remarks about Lizzie. In short, Caroline Bingley is not a nice person. So why read a book about her? Because Caroline, like any good villain, has a story of her own. And Jennifer Becton does a masterful job of letting Caroline tell her story.
Caroline has been banished. Or rather, Charles - manning up and demanding his sister make things right with Jane and Elizabeth (both now married to their Heroes) - has sent her home to their mother, giving her plenty of time to rethink her decisions. Needless to say, Caroline is seething over the perceived injustice of her punishment - especially the addition of her 'companion' Mrs. Pickersgill. After trying so hard and so long to redeem her family's heritage in trade, Caroline Bingley is not about to see herself squandered in the country. After indulging in some well-deserved self-pity, Caroline quickly takes stock of what's what and formulates a plan that will both insure her place in society and prevent the humiliation of apologizing to Elizabeth Darcy.
As with Caroline's other, more infamous plans, things do not go as she believes. The pieces do fall in place, yes, but Caroline is shocked to discover that she is not able to follow through. You see, Caroline has a heart. Seriously! And even a strong sense of morality. And both of these come to her rescue - though it takes her a while to realize just what she's supposed to do, who she's supposed to be. But not before several mishaps, misunderstandings and surprises to keep things interesting! With a knack for story and an ability to weave historical and cultural details into a fleshed out, enjoyable narrative, Jennifer Becton has made 'Caro' come alive.
Digital copy provided by author for review.