Based on my prior prejudice, I’ll admit it took me some time to get into this charming and clever novel. Becton begins her story where Austen ends. Caroline starts as heartless and unlikeable. Becton took her time to slowly convince her reader otherwise. I frequently stopped to marvel over Becton’s skillful writing.
Caroline Bingley begins shortly after Pride and Prejudice ends. Caroline has been banished from revisiting Pemberley until she apologizes to Elizabeth Darcy. She goes to live with her mother under the watchful eye of Mrs. Pickersgill, a companion her brother Charles appoints to her. Though Caroline treats Mrs. Pickersgill like a servant, she is curious as to why her mother and friends treat her as an equal. Caroline is obsessed with maintaining proper class structure; which Becton unravels throughout the book. Mrs. Pickersgill’s story is a tantalizing mystery.
The characters of Elizabeth and Darcy only appear briefly in this story, but Becton remains true to Austen’s inspiring original and makes them believable. My only regret was that I bought this book on my phone. I would much prefer to have this book in paper copy and recommend the indulgence to others.