FICTION

The Clergyman’s Wife: A Pride & Prejudice Novel

Morrow. Dec. 2019. 304p. ISBN 9780062942913. pap. $15.99. F
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DEBUT Finally, Charlotte Lucas, the practical friend of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, gets a fuller story taking up her life married to the loquacious, proud, and obsequious Rev. William Collins, Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s vicar and heir to the Longbourn estate. Settling into her life caring for her daughter Louisa, Charlotte learns the duties of visiting parishioners while tolerating Lady Catherine’s condescension and “suggestions.” This is her interior story of compromise and boredom to desperation. Charlotte’s unexpected and totally inappropriate friendship with tenant farmer Mr. Travers both enlivens her Hunsford existence and threatens to change everything. For the first time she feels someone wishes to know her interests and thoughts as she learns the potential of emotional intimacy. When the Longbourn estate becomes available she’s faced with a choice that will change the course of her life. Greeley captures the literary flavor and society of Jane Austen’s novels. Austenites will appreciate her faithful depiction of favorite familiar characters while creating a new story for them.
VERDICT Recommended for general fiction collections and Austen fans eager to revisit the popular characters and places in Pride and Prejudice.

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