Caroline by Sue Barr, view her guest post, explores Caroline Bingley from a different perspective, following Mr. Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. What if all we thought we knew about Jane Austen’s foil to Elizabeth wasn’t completely true? What if there was more to her than we thought?
Caroline has been in love with Mr. Darcy, or at least his society position and estate, for a very long time, and when she discovers he is lost to her forever, she is devastated. She falls to an emotional low, and while turning to music and listening to her sister’s advice, she strives to make improvements — albeit slowly. But her relationship with her siblings is not as close as it could be, especially when she makes her feelings known to Charles.
“Caroline eyed the half-chewed sticky mass on the floor and with great determination kept a steady gaze on Louisa’s face. Not for the first time she wished her sister would not speak with her mouth full. In front of the wrong person, she could be mistaken for an uncouth gentlewoman, on par with Mrs. Bennet.”
In walks, Lord Nathan Kerr, Mr. Darcy’s new vicar, and he is almost immediately besotted, but like Mr. Knightley, he takes Caroline to task for her past transgressions, even some she didn’t make. Barr creatively intertwines scripture and is never heavy handed, and she shows the gradual evolution of Caroline from social-climber to a woman who is looking for companionship, respect, and love. She has a harsh temper, which she must learn to curb, and eventually listening to the advice of her grandmother from long ago, she’s able to seek solace and learn to quiet her frustrations and anxieties enough to see the potential before her without lamenting what can never be.
The only drawback was the convenient ending, which took away some of the redemptive qualities of the novel. But, overall, Caroline by Sue Barr is a wonderful story about a woman in need of new direction and finds it by looking at the opportunities before her that she might have spurned not too long ago. This fiery redhead learns a lot about herself and society perceptions along the way, leaving her little choice but to reform herself and become more open to love.
About the Author:
Sue Barr resides in beautiful Southwestern Ontario with her retired Air Force hubby, two sons and their families. She’s also an indentured servant to three cats and has been known to rescue a kitten or two, or three … in an attempt to keep her ‘cat-lady- in-training’ status current. Although, she has deviated from appointed path and rescued a few dogs as well.
Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and their affiliate chapter, Love, Hope and Faith as well as American Christian Fiction Writers. For more information about her other books, visit her website, her blog, and on Pinterest, Facebook, GoodReads, and Twitter.