- File Size: 2596 KB
- Print Length: 139 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Leenie B Books (May 24, 2018)
- Publication Date: May 24, 2018
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07CZG66ZN
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,462 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Confounding Caroline: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (Marrying Elizabeth Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Leenie’s “Choices” series is a delight. “Confounding Caroline,” unfortunately, is full of preposterous conversations (for example, Darcy and Bingley, on an early morning ride, approach their quarry (the man they hope will marry Caroline). They fall into immediate conversation about love lives). Sweet Jane is somehow the engineer of this retribution. Most offensive, though, is the men’s treatment of Caroline like a horse from Tattersall’s. Watching these “principled” men treat Caroline as she treats others reflects poorly on them.
And there’s no epilogue—not that I really needed one, for I was happy to be done with the book.
What a fun story! The author makes lots of interesting character tweaks that don't directly contradict Jane Austen's creations. This starts with Mr. Bingley. He's surprisingly observant and insightful regarding Mr. Darcy's feelings about Elizabeth Bennet. Jane Bennet also has much more spunk than her serene countenance suggests.
Jane is in London, having just made her very unsatisfying call to Caroline and Louisa. Darcy recognizes Bingley's depression and understands the cause, so he reveals all to Bingley the following day. His friend is eager to see his angel, but he also challenges Darcy to pursue Elizabeth because he correctly identifies the interest there. Darcy has the usual reservations, which Bingley successfully argues against. Then there's Darcy's concern that Elizabeth doesn't even like him. The two begin strategizing, and Colonel Fitzwilliam joins them.
When they call on the Gardiner home in Cheapside, Mrs. Gardiner is polite but makes pointed inquiries of the two gentlemen. (More pointed than is completely credible, but I went with it.) One of the many things they all agree upon is that Caroline is a problem that must be dealt with directly. Intriguingly, it's Jane who throws down the gauntlet to her suiter with a possible solution.
For the rest of the story, we are privy to discussions planning their campaign to win Elizabeth over for Darcy and especially to proactively manage Caroline. As the plot develops, Georgiana and Colonel Fitzwilliam both make their contributions, as do new characters Mr. Johnson (whose wife hosts frequent social gatherings) and Sir Matthew Broadhurst.
Even though all the pieces fall together far too easily to be believed, the author finds a perfect balance between what we learn in advance and what we learn as the plan is executed. As I said earlier, the characterizations are sometimes surprising but not impossibly different from the originals. Caroline does her own plotting to stage a compromise and force her brother to marry a lady of her choice, so you can't help but enjoy as the anticipation builds for her to get her just desserts.
The tone is appropriately light. It's a short, clean, delightful read.
I received an ARC from the author with no promise of a review, positive or otherwise. Opinions are my own.